Three years ago on November 27th, I received an email from a Pennsylvania breeder letting me know the pregnant Golden Retriever I’d chosen just delivered eight puppies – five males and three females.
When I called her for details, she invited me back for another visit 7 weeks later to select my puppy (but not to bring him home). By week four she had enough insight about our family lifestyle, (we both agreed we had talked so many times – almost daily two weeks before our initial meeting and then multiple times since his birth) in addition to a rather detailed description of the doodle I was looking for, (I’d asked for a puppy with a lot of personality but not annoying, active but nothing like the energizer bunny, frisky but not “in your face”) gentle and loving. What I wanted was “a cuddle bug”. I just couldn’t conjure up compelling reasons for me to travel 500+ miles “just to see”, so she told me she would observe and play with the puppies, apply the “puppy temperament test”, and get back to me.
During week five – I read an email that for a brief second, took my breath away: “Hi Cathy, I’ve found your little man, he is a real lover-boy, and he loves to play. We’ve already started calling him Harley, and you can pick him up in another four weeks”. Week nine – took forever to arrive, and I remember so well how Harley leaped into my arms when they brought him to me. I placed him on the floor, completed some paperwork and thus we began the relationship which would change my life forever!
This past Sunday, a mere 1,095 days later, my mind “revisited” many memories….
That five hour ride home – he threw up in my lap, the car, you name it!
Taking him to the vet three days later – he had the worst case of giardiasis (parasites) EVER – and he slept for weeks!
Seven months of dispensing medication on aluminum foil mixed with peach flavored yogurt, dealing w/diarrhea, Imodium AD, and paying vet fees – Ugh!
Day Camp – Meeting like-minded people who love their dogs – him making friends
Learning to swim – so he wouldn’t drown at the beach
Teaching us about unconditional love – so much so, we got another one ….