Our family dog Sookie (yellow Labrador) was coming up to 13 yrs young. She was the first gift Alan had given to me a couple of months into us seeing each other back in the “olden days” as our son says 🙂 2013 was the first year where we actually considered her “old”. Her knees and elbows were starting to creek, she groaned getting into the boot for her walk to Curraghchase Forest Park and she wasn’t as agile as she used to be when it came to chasing that tennis ball or unsuspecting cat down the lawn (imagine the word HATE and multiply x 1000 and your starting to scratch the surface) and worst of all for us – the FLATULENCE, my god the flatulence, which realistically had always been there, but had gotten considerable worse with age 🙂
Our kids then 4yrs & 6yrs knew they couldn’t wear her out as much either, so it was decided that we should look for a companion, who at the very least would possibly bring out a new lease of life in her, but mainly would provide some distraction on that inevitable day when she would visit the little dog kennel in the sky. It was quickly decided upon that our breed of choice would be the beautifully dreamy delicious Chocolate Labrador.
After some time researching, talking to the Kennel Club, book reading and sifting through adverts (we visited one Breeder who we gave a VERY wide berth due to all the signs pointing to “puppy farm”) we eventually found the perfect litter of choc labs about 2hrs drive from where we lived. The breeders had been recommended to us by friends of ours who had a pup from a previous litter by the same breeders. He was called “Major” and if he was anything to go by, we were onto a winner.
We booked an appointment for a viewing and off we went. The excitement in the car that morning was fantastic because the kids were so giddy at what lay ahead. I knew one thing was for sure, they were going to want to bring home the entire litter (which was NOT going to happen!) so we carefully explained to them what we were to look for in that “perfect” dog. Bubbly (but not crazy) strong (but not too big) wagging tail (not tucked in between their hind legs) – this left them even more confused of course! If its buying a car, or picking a pup, its hard to put it into words, but you know in your gut the minute you find “the one” – and that’s what happened us…….
When we arrived, all the pups were running around freely in a side paddock with their mother. I wont lie, it was total and utter chaos. There were 5 in the litter and they were all complete lunatics. We were one of the first viewings so we had the pick of the litter (which made it even harder for us…..) In all the mayhem, we also got to see the Father of the litter, which was a huge bonus, as some breeders don’t always own both.
Once her eyes met ours, that was it, she had us at woof. She was stuck to the kids like a magnet from the get-go, letting out little yelps every now and then to remind the kids to pay attention to her and not the other peasants. The entire litter were very well socialized, had healthy coats, strong paws, clear eyes…. And luckily came with a full healthcheck. All the boxes were being ticked at a rate of knots and this pup, in our eyes, was the one.
The Breeder was extremely helpful when it came to advising on her diet and was good enough to have a complimentary bag of the current feed for each new owner for the first week. The last thing you want to do when taking a new pup home, which can be a very stressful time for them regardless, is to go change their diet and next thing you know you may have an upset tummy on your hands. Luckily the pups weren’t fed that morning, which cut the odds of us having any “throwing up” incidents on the way home.
Next thing we knew, we were in the car pulling down the drive way and the debate began as to who would get the pleasure of naming her…..