A few months ago our family started discussing adding another 4 legged friend to our family. The first and easiest decision was a blonde Retriever. At the time we didn't even know the real differences between a yellow Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever so we embarked on an adventure of education.
Hubby and I have been around many Retrievers all of our lives and knew the similarities but there are also some differences between the breeds that we needed to consider. We ultimately chose the Golden Retriever and we preferred a female.
For many years we had sworn that we would not have another puppy.... only adult dogs for us. We reflected warmly back to the days of Tia, our Shih Tzu, who was a retired show dog that we adopted at 2 years old. She came well trained and was an immediate fit within our family. She went to Rainbow Bridge several years ago at a very old age and we miss her.
To our dismay, it is almost impossible to find a retired Golden Retriever show dog. Next, we searched for a retired momma dog from a kennel, which stirred up some emotions that we weren't prepared for. The momma dogs are retired at about 6 - 8 years old.... Goldies have a life span of 10 to 12 years. It didn't take long to realize that wasn't going to work as we would have such a short time with a beloved companion. The cost of a retired momma dog was about half of a pure bred puppy. Not ideal and we were very uncomfortable.
OMG, that means we need to adopt a puppy! Deep thought, discussion and finally a commitment to a puppy was the ultimate conclusion of our family.
Fearful of self training, we first researched puppy training programs in which the puppy is born and remains at the kennel for early training. This is an expensive option but more concerning was... we STILL had to learn how to train as the puppy grew to keep her sharp. Our question: So why don't we learn how to train and just bite the bullet? This question stayed with us quite a while as we continued our research.
We talked to no-kill shelters, breeders and rescues within driving distance but none of them really felt right. There was always something that made us pause. Surely we need advice from someone we trust! So we called a local Kennel owner affectionately referred to as the "dog whisperer". We explained that we wanted a Female Golden Retriever and needed advice. She put us in touch with the owners of her favorite Golden Retriever and she glowed about the wonders of this fabulous Goldie! We were then connected with the same breeder who we instantly felt at ease with. The breeder is so committed to the purity of the breed and we learned so much. He specializes in Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers but has very few litters of Goldies because he doesn't want to put too much stress on his momma dog. He has many Labrador Sire and Dams but has difficulty finding suitable Goldie mates. We excitedly placed our deposit and await our new addition to the family near Christmas.
We plan to name our new 4 legged fur ball of joy, Dixie. Much more to come on the Adventures of Dixie.
Update: We changed breeders and will now be a boy named Rebel :D