This last weekend was a joyous one. Very early Saturday morning we began the journey to bring this sweet girl into our family.
We made it to our destination a little early and were rewarded with meeting the whole litter as they returned from getting their cardiac clearances. They were a wiggly, fluffy pile on this last day as a group. It was hard to tell where one stopped and the other started.
We helped transfer them all to their pen and then started the process of taking ownership of this special puppy. It was a little emotional for all of us. This was a big day full of changes and adjustments but I was so happy.
I did not make this decision lightly and had found this breeder about a year ago. Adopting Annie had opened my eyes to the abuses of a careless breeder and I quickly learned about the differences in breeder techniques and how to find one that is ethical and doing it for the love of the breed and to support breed standards and health.
After a lot of behind the scenes research, which included referring to the NCA website and following their recommendations, talking to other Newfie owners and seeing a different breeders’ litter I decided I wanted to contact this breeder to start the next step of finding the right puppy. Just as I needed to be comfortable with him, he also needed to be comfortable with me. He would want to know what kind of home we had, what type of owner I am and how this puppy would be treated. I would need his approval.
Annie has surprised me. Once I figured out how old she was, I realized our time together would probably be shorter than I originally hoped. Currently she shows no signs of decline, but with these big dogs I have learned that things can change pretty quickly so it seemed like the right time to start the process.
I took a leap and made the first contact in January. I wanted to introduce myself and find out what his letter plans were for the year. I was hoping for late summer/early fall but he had just bred his girl. If she was pregnant she would be due in March and then she would retire. His next litter wouldn’t be for 2 years because he would wait for his other girl to mature. I thought about it for about 2 seconds, and then decided I still wanted to pursue a puppy from this breeder, at this time if possible. He couldn’t promise me anything. There were other people ahead of me that had interest in this litter and he would have no way of knowing if there would be one for me until after they were born.
I’ve learned that if you wait for the perfect moment to do something, you might not recognize that moment when it appears. There are always reasons and excuses to put something off, but I decided to seize this opportunity and felt like the positives outweighed the negatives.
I am so glad I made that decision that day. I was still hurting from the loss of my best friend. She died Thanksgiving weekend, 3 weeks after receiving a Leukemia diagnosis. On Jan. 2nd, my dad was diagnosed with Liver Cancer and I spent about 3 weeks in February with him while he went through radiation therapy but at the end of March, he took a turn and I rushed back to his side and stayed there until he passed away 4 days later.
I had hoped to bring the puppy for a visit at the end of May when my dad was supposed to have a scan to determine the success of his treatment. As I sat by his side, I shared pictures and updates with him as they came in from her breeder, and told him I would be naming her after the lake in New Hampshire that we both loved so much. My dad wasn’t able to talk, but I could read his face and knew that he was happy for me. There is no way I could have known on that January day all that would transpire over the next several months, but having this sweet, fluffy puppy in my arms brings me the joy that I’ve recently been searching for.
This is Winn. Her name is inspired by years of wonderful memories spent at my parents lake house and riding in my dad’s boat on Lake Winnipesaukee. She is 10 weeks old and she makes our pack complete!