So, even though I went through that yicky pressure-ful phase, I still have rough training notes scattered around the place, and I'd really like to collect and collate them. What better place than here? :o)
So for the next few weeks, posting will primarily be playing catch-up as I hunt down said notes and put them up here - with photos, of course!
To begin, a bit of background.
Laura, aka RoseDelight My Sunshine, was born on the 5th of May 2007 - even though her certificate says the 8th! We really couldn't afford a purebred at the time, but after watching my last dog degenerate severely from conditions that ought to have been prevented by a responsible breeder (she was a petshop pup, a rough collie), we were determined NOT to go the petshop route.
My mum and sisters were also in the market for a pup, having lost the collie a few months prior.
I had just decide that, alas, I must give up on the idea of a dog for now due to funds, when Middle Sis stumbled across an ad in the online classifieds: Labrador puppies, bargain price, but microchipped. My ears pricked up. Non-breeders don't usually chip.
We investigated, and lo-and-behold, it was indeed a legit breeder, a small family who breed their dogs purely for the pleasure of the puppies, and not in any way for profit. We were sorely tempted - but I refused to say yes to a dog without having seen it. I had no first-hand experience in judging puppies, but I'd practically memorised the breed standard and read every thing I could find on choosing puppies - what to look for in temperment, quick tests to perform, etc etc.
The breeders were marvellous. They offered to drive the puppies down to us (about a two hour trip) so that we could see them, with no obligation.
Of couse, I'm sure they figured they were pretty safe - four girls, two squiggly puppies... Are they really going to say no?
I would have, had there been anything to say no to. But my little yellow honeycake was, as near as I could guess, a pretty well-shaped dog, and even after a two hour car trip was attentive, curious and friendly. I checked out her papers, and was pleased to see that I recognised a few of the kennel names in her pedigree - of course, at the time I didn't realise quite how good they were!
And so we brought her home, and my mum and sisters took home her sister Abbi. And let me tell you, despite the accidents on the carpet, despite the howls at night, despite the poo up all the walls at times and the complete lack of anything that resembles a backyard at either house - we haven't looked back. We love our dogs. They're here to stay :)