We have a system. We each have "our" dogs to train. Of course, they're all family dogs, too.
Ideally, we get dogs 5 to 6 years apart, so that one is at or near retirement, one is in their prime competition years, and one is just getting started. At most that would be 6 dogs in the household, two youngsters, two competition dogs, and two seniors. The other thing we do, is try to choose the dam and lines ahead of time. There are so many Labradors around (number one AKC breed once again, darn it!), and we are selective about the qualities we want. By choosing ahead of time, we can avoid the tempting puppy syndrome, yet when the right litter comes along, we need to be willing to add to our household.
Lonie died last fall, leaving Dave with one dog - Thomas. Now, Thomas is just 4, so a little young for the next in line. However, our friend Lee has a black lab that Dave has admired for years. Tripper is from show and field lines. Her sire is a Ch./Master Hunter and is All Age Qualified. (Those of you who know will go "Oooooooo!" "Ahhhhhhhh!". Those of you who don't - just let it be known that any one of those three - Ch., MH, or AAQ - is a major accomplishment, and to have all three is very rare!) Tripper herself has a Master Hunter title, and is two "double Q's" away from achieving her Master Agility Champion title! (See my TOTALLY AWESOME! post.) She also has a Tracking Dog Excellent title and International Championship - a real versatile, beautiful Labrador. Dave is in her select circle of favorite people, and the feeling is mutual.
So, it was natural that Dave made it known that he'd love to have a Tripper puppy when and if there were some. Well, they happened, and we've been pup-ticipating for several months. There were 5 females to choose from. We visited last week and chose 2 "finalists". (Thomas and Villa are from the same line... a most famous and longtime line that's produced title holders in all AKC venues, and making a fallacy of the statements that show dogs can't hunt and field dogs are ugly.) We went back yesterday afternoon and chose this beautiful baby from our two finalists.
Bonding with Dad...
...and enjoying the great outdoors in the Pacific Northwest in January.
The rest of the pack feels excluded. Most of their interest is directed toward the puppy toys...
Welcome home, Winnie!