I don’t think I’m allowed to tell you her name yet…
But I can tell you that my wife, Lindsay, and I are going to be the proud parents of a Golden Retriever Puppy!
This has been in the pipeline for a little while, so let me give you some background. I love dogs. Growing up as a home schooled kid in a small town, you have certain social issues. When I was young, my parents were kind enough to let me adopt a puppy from a shelter. I brought home a mutt (I still can’t be sure what exactly he was a mix of) named Mallow. This was in the days before digital cameras so there aren’t really many photos of Mallow, and certainly none digitized. I’m not going to lie and say that a 12 year old boy with no previous dog experience was a very good trainer, but I loved my time with that dog. Unfortunately, when I moved away to university I had to foster him with another family and we lost touch. I’ve always wanted to get another dog but I knew I needed to wait until the right time.
Lindsay and I are now living in a townhome that we bought back in may of 2014, and we have settled into a routine. Together, we decided that 2016 would be the year that we adopted a dog. In the past, I had found my pup from the humane society, however this time around we decided that we wanted a pure bred golden retriever. When Lindsay was young, she had been afraid of dogs, expect for golden retrievers. On top of this, they are also known as easy dogs for training and I thought that would be a good idea given this will be Lindsay’s first dog.
Selecting a Breeder
Once Lindsay and I had decided on getting a Golden Retriever, we set out to look for breeders in the Ottawa area. This turned out to be monumentally harder than we expected. We had no problem with breeders wanting to make sure that their dogs went to a good home, but the frustration came from lack of organization and responsiveness of the breeders. We originally contacted a breeder who seemed promising and set up a time to visit her residence to see the dogs and meet with her. Unfortunately we found out the day before our meet that she was going to cancel on us (and hadn’t even called us in advance). We were devastated and started contacting other breeders that weekend and came across Sunkozi.
Beverly at Sunkozi has been amazing and really saved the puppy adoption experience for us. We met with her that Saturday after our previous breeder cancelled on us and she has a lot of love and passion for her dogs. Her dogs, many of which are show animals, live with a ton of freedom and space, and she takes the raising of the dogs very seriously. Lindsay and I were also blown away over how calm and well behaved all of her dogs were. Needless to say, we were left with the impression that our dog would come from good stock!
Beverly was also far more organized than other breeders we met with. We gave her a deposit to reserve a place in her next litter, and were given a best guess as to when a potential birth would be expected (although this wasn’t confirmed as the dogs hadn’t even begun breeding yet.)
Getting the big news
One of the hardest parts of this process has been the waiting. Even from the beginning. When we were trying to meet with our first breeder we had booked our meeting for the first time she would be available, 4 weeks out from initial contact, and that anticipation was difficult. Once we got in a reservation with Sunkozi we waited for another 6 weeks to find out if there was a confirmed pregnancy. After the confirmation, we still had a few weeks to wait for the litter to find out if there would be enough puppies for us.
We finally heard back, as we were getting back into North America after our cruise, and unfortunately it was disappointing news. The litter which we had reserved for was a small group, with only two male dogs. Beverly asked us if we would be willing to be bumped to the next litter, expected for the next week, and we jumped at the chance. This meant waiting another week and a half for news, but on April 23rd we finally had news.
7 puppies were born to mama Shiver on April 21st, and among them is a little baby girl for Lindsay and I. We have been over the moon since then and have not stopped thinking about her, talking about how to train her, and buying her things! Now the final stretch of waiting is in front of us. On May 28th, once the puppies are past 5 weeks old, Lindsay and I will meet our little girl. We can’t contain our excitement for her. I’ll be sure to post photos of her once we get her, but until then I’ll leave these pictures of the litter.
Shiver and 7 Puppies at 3 days old
Some hungry puppies
Down for a nap
Happy, but exhausted, mama
Puppies in a basket photo credit: Golden Retriever Welpen via photopin (license)
Shiver’s litter were all taken by Beverly Farquhar from Sunkozi