In my previous post I talked about the loss of our beloved Labrador Retriever of nearly 14 years, Hannah, last August (2017). But I didn't want this blog to become about loss of a loved one. I wanted it to be about the joy of a new love. So this post is to introduce that new love, another yellow Labrador Retriever. Today is her 1st birthday. She was born on August 21, 2017, the day of the solar eclipse that was visible right here in the Pacific Northwest where I live, and where she was born.
I wish I had started this blog back then so I could tell her story as it was happening. But, unfortunately, that didn't happen that way for a number of reason, not the least of which is that young puppies are a handful and don't leave much time for blogging! So, on the anniversary of her birth, I'm going to start here from the beginning.
No, it's not quite as mundane as you'd think ... puppy comes home, puppy gets potty trained, puppy is teething, etc. There will be a little bit of that but that's not what I want to focus on. I want to share the quirks and surprises, some strange turns of events I would have never foreseen, some funny photos and videos, etc.
But let's start with the intro. Shortly after Hannah crossed The Rainbow Bridge and I spent several days crying I decided I could not stand living in a dogless home. I had to get another Lab. I knew the new dog would never replace Hannah, but s/he could still bring many of the joys Hannah did, like playing fetch, going on walks and hikes, and all the cuddles and kisses a dog gives.
I researched a number of reputable Lab breeders for upcoming litters. (Don't get on my case about not adopting a rescue dog. Labs are so popular here they never end up in shelters and even breeders often sell out before puppies are even born. There are no "rescue Labs" around here!) I decided on one particular breeder, McCain's Eaglesnest Labradors, because they had puppies coming soon, they were close, and they were yellow/red labs.
I have a preference for yellow Labs but, because Hannah had recently passed, I didn't want a yellow Lab that looked just like her. I was afraid a new puppy that looked just like her might be too much emotion to bear for me or, even worse, I might resent the new puppy for looking like Hannah, but not living up to her qualities. So Eaglesnest was the perfect solution because they breed "fox red" yellow Labs. Fox reds can be very dark red but they are still, technically, yellow Labs. Great! I could have a yellow Lab that doesn't look exactly like Hannah. Problem solved.
So I contacted the breeder and put our name on the list. The night of August 21 comes along and the breeder posts on FB that Mommy is in labor! Puppies are coming! Here she is, Eaglesnest Carmel by the Sea, in her birthing pool, waiting for puppies to pop!
Poor girlie, she does not look comfortable! Though she is a standard yellow Lab the sire, Cimarron's Red, was a fox red. So there was a good chance of red pups coming. Here's a picture of him.
I was instantly drawn to the pup with the green collar girl. Not sure why. I think because she was still close to the standard yellow Lab but just a shade darker so I would not feel she looked too similar to Hannah. I showed the pic to my husband. I did not tell him my preference but asked him which puppy he would want. He also was immediately drawn to the green collar pup. That was it! Our new girl! Yay! We had decided! Now all we had to do was wait 8 weeks and our new girl would be home with us!
But, wait, not so fast .... (to be continued)