Thursday, March 31, 2011

Picking up the Pupcake

Ryan and I have been talking about getting a puppy for about 4 years.  Every couple of months, we talk about it pretty seriously but have never felt like the timing was right.  But when Mally had her hip surgery last fall, it became pretty apparent to us that she's not getting any younger and perhaps it was about time to get a puppy that could keep her young and active.  She turns 10 years old in April (which makes me feel really old) and we figured it was a good time to start looking for a pup.

We knew right away that we wanted to get a Golden Retriever.  I wanted a soft, cuddly, lovable family dog that would be gentle with kids.  Ryan wanted a smart, active, water-loving retriever that he could train to be a duck-hunting dog.  A Golden Retriever fit the bill for both of us so we started looking at pups online.  I tell you what, puppies are really hard to find - all the websites I found had dogs that had champion show dog bloodlines and cost a million dollars.  They were taking "reservations" for puppies that were due a year from now.  And they shipped puppies internationally and blah, blah, blah.  We didn't need all that.  We just wanted a healthy and happy pup from a reputable breeder that was loved like a child.  I couldn't even work up the courage to send an email to any of these breeders because I was so worried about these places being puppy mills and getting a dog from someone that just cranked out dogs for money.  No thanks.

So, last week I was g-chatting with Ally (aka my partner in crime) and she sent me a link to a fun little website (www.puppyfind.com) where I could search for puppies available now in my state.  Score!  There were about 30 female Golden Retriever puppies available (or would be available soon) in Missouri and Illinois.  I spent an entire day stalking these dogs/breeders' websites and narrowing down the choices.  I got it down to 3 places with available female pups.  One breeder was a college-age girl that had 2 gorgeous reddish-colored Goldens and 2 female puppies available - she raised one litter a year and used the money to help pay for school.  There was another place that had 4 beautiful classic-colored Goldens that were all adorable and had the cutest studio-quality pictures of the puppies.  And then, there was a breeder in Kansas City that had a litter of English Cream Golden Retrievers (white Goldens).  This was the breeder (and the mama dog's) first litter of puppies and these dogs were gorgeous.  I contacted all three and then sent the pictures of all the dogs to Ryan to help me narrow down the choice.  It was impossible for me to choose - he's the voice of reason, otherwise, we'd have 40 dogs.

Since this was going to be Ryan's dog, it was his choice.  Immediately, he was drawn to the English Cream Goldens.  They're such beautiful and rare dogs - you just don't see them very often.  The first time Ryan and I ever saw a white golden was in Jackson Hole, while we were there for our wedding.  We went on a walk one morning and ran into a man with a white Golden.  We immediately stopped him and asked what kind of dog that was.  We were both completely enamored.  I told Ryan that someday I wanted a dog just like that one.  It seemed so fitting that we were now talking about getting one of our own. I contacted the breeder and immediately liked her - she was really knowledgeable about the breed, very attentive to the puppies and went above and beyond to answer all my questions.  I asked her if she knew of any hunting experience in the dog's family, which really intrigued her.  She mentioned that the daddy dog (Leo) had excellent tracking skills and she was going to enter him into tracking competitions.  Of course, that really got Ryan's attention.  When she mentioned that the dogs also watch the birds fly by in the sky, it was a done deal.  We'd found our pup. 

So, we packed up the car and made the 4 hour drive to Kansas City on Sunday to meet the pups.  There were 2 females available, Purple pup and Green pup.  Neither of us had any idea how we were going to make the decision - what was it that we were looking for in a dog?  We just figured that we'd know which one was ours when we met them.  We'd let them "speak" to us.  It was also important to us that we met the puppy's parents and see where she grew up.  We wanted to see how big the parents and the other pups were and get to know their personalities a little. 

Momma dog (Gracie) was a complete lover and sweetheart.  She was all over us!  She was about the size of Ryan's parent's dog Murphy and she was active and energetic, a fast runner and great jumper.  All excellent qualities. 

There were 9 puppies in the litter!  Three pups had left for their forever homes the day before, so we had 6 there to play with.  The breeder decided to keep one of the girls for herself, so we had the two females (purple and green) to pick from.  We took them both outside and let them run around for a while to try to figure out which one was our baby.  It was such a hard decision!  Purple or Green, Purple or Green - we could not decide.  Green was more active and adventurous, but purple was more attentive to people.  Green was bigger, but not by much.  Purple was a little clumsy on her feet, but hopped around like a rabbit, which was so cute I could die.  Green was getting into trouble left and right, but Purple was right behind her.  It was such a hard choice, but for some reason, we picked Purple pup.  She just had such a pretty face, bright eyes, smaller feet, more interest in people and showed a lot of enthusiasm in attacking the stuffed duck in the playroom.  We were in love.  We came back inside to start filling out paperwork just in time for puppy naptime.

Our pup is the one on the left (above) and middle dog (below). 
I wanted to take them all home. 
Isn't this the cutest little dogpile you've ever seen?
Our baby slept like a rock.
Here's daddy dog, Leo. 
He was very beautiful and completely showing off and flirting with me. 
I loved it!
What a ham!
And of course, we had to get our picture taken with both the parents.
That way she'd have a picture of her biological parents and her adoptive parents. 
Aren't they beautiful?
And then it was time to take her home! 
We were a little sad that she had to leave her family,
but we hope that she'll love her new family just as much.
There's no doubt that she's loved.
When we got in the car, we started talking about why we picked the Purple pup and whether or not we felt we made the right decision.  Should we have picked the Green pup?  Did we get the right one?  Right about that time, we stopped at a stoplight behind a purple car with the license plate PURPL.  I swear, it was a sign.  We laughed and knew immediately we'd made the right decision. 

The Purple pup was our baby.


Now, what were we going to name her?!  That story and more pictures to come!

29 comments:

  1. What a beautiful bunch of dogs! And thank you for all the puppy pictures - nothing brings a bigger smile to my face =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh how adorable! Can't wait to hear what name you pick!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So glad y'all picked the purple girl! I love her. I'm so glad that I could be your partner in crime for this whole thing. Bwahahaha.

    Also, you know if Justin 86's my beach vacation, I'm just going to come home with a puppy and there's not a damn thing he can do about it.

    PS. The puppy dog pile? I just died.

    ReplyDelete
  4. SARA!! Oh my goodness you absolutely picked the pefect sweet baby pup! I can't wait to hear what you name this darling baby boy! :) Gorgeous pictures as always too!

    Sending you hugs my friend - looking forward to catching up with you soon!!!! xooxxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  5. OHMYGOODNESS I am soooo jealous right now! Those pups look exactly like my Brady did when he was a pup! I can't wait to get another one! :) Can't wait to see more pics and hear what you name her!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your pup is BEAUTIFUL! You made the right choice. :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Those puppies are so cute it hurts me! Our dogs are getting older now too and definitely slowing down. It makes me sad, but then I have to remind myself what a great life they've always had.

    Can't wait to hear what you name her!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my gosh.....cutest puppy pictures ever!!

    ~Tiffany
    http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is the most precious puppy! I've never heard of that breed - that's so great to have one that's so unique. I love you got pictures with her parents. Can't wait to see more pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  10. LITERALLY the cutest dog pile ever. I love, love Sage! Absolutely gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh gosh, I'm in love. I'm dying. CONGRATS!

    ReplyDelete
  12. She is beautiful! I love the English Goldens. I want another one so bad but TG says two dogs is more than enough!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh she is the cutest thing EVER. I'm smitten so I know your heart must have melted :+)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen.

    And now I need a puppy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. ADORABLE!!!!! Congrats Sara & Ryan on your new puppy :) Love the color too!!! our female yellow lab is the "white" color too!! love it!!!
    the pic of the pile of pups is sooo cute :)

    Phyllis Horn

    ReplyDelete
  16. She's such a cutie!! And I teared up (seriously, I'm a puppy-lovin' wuss) when you said you two took a picture with her birth partents so she's always see both bio and adoptive parents. So sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  17. oh my goodness! perfect choice! this makes me want a puppy RIGHT NOW!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Back up the cute puppy bus. Those puppy pile pictures are soooo cute.

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a great story about the purple car! Oh those puppies are so adorable, I don't know how you could have left without taking all of them! Sage will be loved!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh MY GOSH!!! I could just squish her with hugs and kisses!! I LOVE GOLDENS!!! I already have 2!! I love that yours is a white color!! Congrats!!!

    Oh I am a new follower and I cannot wait to hear all about this little girl!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Aw, puppies are the best!!! I love the picture of the biological and adoptive parents. What a sweet idea! WOW- what a sign! Can't wait to hear more!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Cutest pups EVER. It's amazing you left with only one! :) Can't wait for more pics - keep 'em coming.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Puppy pictures on a Friday: perfection! Congratulations!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Adorable!!!!!! I love when they are at that age! (he,he) Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  25. she is so stinkin' cute!! congrats, i can't wait to get a dog this summer!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh my gosh.

    No really.

    Oh my gosh.

    She is precious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Next time, please adopt!

    http://www.dirksfund.com/

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ohhhh my gosh! ADORABLEEEE!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi, I came across your site searching for golden info. I have a beautiful English creme female. She is 8 weeks and gorgeous. Her dad is from Australia and mom from Russia. I just lost her dad and I really want to find her a wonderful NON-breeder home. Do you have any friends that may be interested in a girl like your new baby? Thank you so much and Congrats! www.lifeatbiggerdirt.blogspot.com Brianmelissasmith@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete