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Langford golden retriever spends golden years carrying groceries

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but age isn’t stopping a 10-year-old golden retriever named Lily from learning a new love.

"She kind of looked at it," owner Robyn Rioux says, recalling the dog looking at her bag of groceries and wondering what she wanted. "And nudged at us a little bit."

"And all of a sudden it went in her mouth," Chad Rioux remembers, with a smile. "And I’m like, 'OK.'"

Before we can appreciate what Lily’s parents are talking about, we need to know that the dog has been defying Robyn and Chad’s expectations since before they even met.

"We had talked about getting a dog, but then [Chad] said, 'No. No. We’re not going to get a dog,'" Robyn says. "But then he brought photos [of puppies] over and it’s like, 'Game over! We’re getting a dog!'"

After looking at pictures of a co-worker’s litter of newborns, they decided to pick little Lily.

"I’m kind of a proud parent," Robyn smiles. "A proud dog mom."

Robyn proudly shares all sorts of pictures and videos of her pup on social media, from having her mouth full to catching balls and fetching sticks, and to playing hockey and performing her squeaking toys like they were instruments.

"Every time [Lily] greets us," Robyn says, recalling the dog’s younger years. "She had to greet us with a toy."

Robyn has video of Lily tenderly licking her squeaky toys dry after they were left out in the rain.

The dog probably thought it was a much more efficient than how her humans would clean them, which required the toys being hung on a clothesline to dry, just out of reach of Lily’s mouth.

There are photos of the dog straining to reach half a dozen drying stuffies on the line, before gathering them together in her dog bed and reclaiming them as her own.

"She’s always brought me joy from day one," Robyn smiles.

And after a decade's-worth of joyful days, Robyn and Chad thought they’d seen Lily do it all. Until that day they were walking home from the grocery story and the dog did something different.

"She put her mouth towards [the grocery bag] and we’re like OK," Robyn recalls. "Let’s let her carry it."

And Lily carried a bag of frozen French fries in her mouth all the way home.

"She was super proud," Robyn says, before showing me a video of the moment. "Her head was held high."

Lily hasn’t stopped since. A couple times a week, for more than a year and a half, the dog has lugged everything in her mouth, from a container of cookies and a package of spaghetti, to a bag of asparagus and a box of microwavable popcorn.

"Anytime we come out of the grocery story," Chad smiles. "We have to give her something."

While the dog’s beloved squeaky toys often end up being destroyed, Lily couldn’t be more delicate with her deliveries, transporting a cucumber home without leaving a mark on it.

The new routine is turning a chore into a chance for people passing her to be cheerful.

"It’s something nice in a not so nice world," Robyn says of the strangers who smile at Lily. "And it brings an extra joy to our lives."

And despite what’s said about "old dogs," this golden retriever is spending her golden years reminding us all, it's never too late to teach yourself new tricks. 

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