Our family grew by four feet!

Our last dog died when I was pregnant with our youngest son. We knew that we weren’t ready to welcome another dog into our home because our boys were young (newborn, 4, and 6) and my husband and I both know how much work a puppy is.

We travelled, we welcomed two new cats to the family, and our home remained pup free aside from the odd four-legged visitor.

Our middle son has been asking for a dog since kindergarten. He campaigned long and hard but never succeeded in convincing us it was the right time.

We started talking about a dog a year ago. The boys were finally old enough to be able to help raise and train a puppy but my husband was the final hold out in the “no dog” camp. He wasn’t against getting a dog but was concerned about finding the right dog for our family and making sure we had the time to train our puppy.

I have always owned shelties but wasn’t sure it was the right breed for our family. I spent ten years working at a vet clinic before I started my career as a therapist and have a lot of experience with different breeds but we still couldn’t settle on what breed we thought would work well for our family and our lifestyle.

In early March I visited a friend for coffee and met their new golden doodle puppy. I was smitten. It was a breed I wasn’t familiar with and after doing some research and talking to our friends about their experience, we contacted the breeder. My husband also went to visit their puppy but we didn’t tell the kids because we wanted time to think through our decision without their enthusiastic influence.

Before the Covid shutdown, we visited the breeder and met the dogs and puppies. Even my oldest son, who has been wary of dogs since an unfortunate incident when he was a toddler, happily sat on the floor surrounded by dogs. We loved their calm demeanour and how much they enjoyed being with people: the boys loved playing with the dogs and brushing them.

Because we weren’t particular about size, colour, or sex, we were fortunate enough to choose from a litter that was born on May 7th. Because of the Covid restrictions we couldn’t meet the puppies so we got to watch the litter of 8 grow up via photos and video that the breeder shared.

In late June we met the litter for the first time and got the chance to pick our puppy. The boys would have taken them all home, so we narrowed our choices down to four and then two puppies and my husband had the final say since we couldn’t reach consensus. He grew up with golden retrievers and really loved Ms. Hazel’s look and temperament.

Hazel has been home with us for a week. The boys have done an amazing job helping to house train her and keeping her busy while my husband and I work. She’s crate trained at night and has a puppy pen where she spends time during the day when we can’t supervise her.

Puppy kindergarten starts at the end of the month and the boys are eager for future obedience classes and agility training!

She loves people, crinkly toys, baggy pant legs, and dehydrated salmon. We’re curious to see what she thinks of her first camping trip and can’t wait to share our adventures with her!