No, I don’t have any gory animal-fight photos to show you! We went into this spring figuring it was the year of the chicken, especially when we knew we had an offer of two hens from our friends at our local farmers’ market, but we’ve got a little side-tracked (though my better half is insisting that we can probably manage chickens this year too; I’ve told him, “good luck with that” in the nicest way possible, though I am open to him being right).
We’ve talked about getting a dog ever since we planned our move out to the country, and that conversation has been ramping up steadily over the past year or so. My husband was really the hold-out, as he didn’t grow up with dogs like I did, and only had the example of the many unruly dogs that he has met over the years. A visit to a new client, a top breeder and trainer of labs based just a few minutes away from us, changed all of that for him when he saw the wonderfully behaved and well managed animals in their care. The eleven-week old puppies who (mostly) follow instruction beautifully, even as they wriggle with natural puppy energy, knocked him (and me) over. The impressively behaved, warm and friendly older dogs sealed the deal.
On the same visit we met Reggie, one of the eleven-week olds and the only one from his litter not already promised to someone on a waiting list. Reggie was darling and we took to him right away. We agreed that we’d talk about things more seriously and perhaps get the boys out to meet him and see if they were a good fit for each other.
They were! This weekend Reggie will visit our home for the day as we start the process of getting used to each other while he finishes his training (six to 16 weeks is the all-important window in training a puppy, which I certainly never knew). The people raising our dog are truly amazing and we know they will be a continuing resource for us as we settle in with the newest member of our family.
Now, all you farm and country-based folks like ourselves who are dying to share advice or hard-won learning on how to approach life with our black lab puppy, please do spill the beans. We’d love to hear all of your stories!
Promise I’ll post a photo soon; he’s pretty sweet.