The dog days of summer are behind us but 20 retrievers just got together for an annual tradition with a golden touch.

This week's record turnout for the eighth-annual golden retriever gathering saw the pups pile into two vans for a trip to the Nanaimo River.

"It's a day to get all the best little goldens in Nanaimo together and celebrate the breed," says co-organizer Rebekah Estes of Pooch Pack Adventures.

The youngest dog at this year's event was 16 months and the oldest was 16 years.

"This is basically the best day for them," says Pooch Pack owner Kim Sirett. "And for us."