When Jake and I got married, one thing was certain: We would always have a dog in our household. Ideally, we'd love to have two dogs. When we lived in California, we had that. We had Fala, my then 7 year old Black Lab GDA drop out, and Camry, my then 2 year old Yellow Lab GDA breeder. It was perfect. No human was left out during walks, and the girls could play with each other when their mommy was too lazy. :)
Things changed when we moved to Maine. Camry belonged to GDA and she couldn't come with me. So, we dropped down to a one dog family. Realistically I know it's probably for the best, even though I miss Camry every day. Having two dogs in one apartment, while doable, is very difficult. But, Fala isn't getting any younger. She will be 9 years old in two weeks. So Jake and I have been thinking... when will the new puppy be on his or her way?
We want to get a new puppy when Fala is still young enough to enjoy one. We don't want Fala to think of the puppy as a replacement, but rather as a playmate. We want to establish our own relationship with the puppy before Fala passes away (we are talking YEARS people) so that the puppy has no "shoes to fill" so to speak.
Jake and I have spent months agonizing over the breed of dog that is right for us. I am a die hard Labrador fan, but of course I am! I've only had one breed other than a Lab, which was an Australian Shepherd. And while she was great, they are NOT apartment dogs. And I don't have the energy to keep up with one! I guess I just always assumed that when the time came to add a dog to our family, it'd be a Lab. A yellow one. Because Fala is black.
Enter my husband. He loves dogs, although he only had mixes when he was growing up. His friends only ever had Labs. And he's tired of them. He LOVES them, don't get me wrong. But he wants change. He wants a Golden Retriever.
I am so skeptical about Goldens for certain reasons.. The GDA golden retriever line probably wasn't the BEST out there. Actually, I know it wasn't. They are still trying to tweak it to make it as perfect as possible. But while I was a trainer I worked with my fair share of Goldens. And while they were sweet, there's a reason they didn't graduate.
We also talked about getting a Bernese Mountain Dog. I know I know... a GIANT dog in an apartment? Well we have a friend here that has one. They live in an apartment and apparently the breed is really low key energy-wise and easy to get along with. We were looking at breeders and such when we found out that because they are a super Large breed dog, they have a short life expectancy. Shorter than 10 years. I told Jake that I didn't want a dog whose life expectancy was shorter than 10 years, simply because I couldn't handle it. If I had been able to, we would've adopted Dawson last year. So, sadly, the Bernese Mountain Dog is no longer a real option for now.
So I think we have decided that next year a new Golden Retriever will join our household. I feel like I am in my own way for really really wanting one. I am sure that if we choose the right breeder, the puppy will be better than I am expecting. I am just so cautious about them!
With all this said, I am so excited with our decision. Goldens are BEAUTIFUL dogs and I'm excited for one to join our family. It won't be a while, but I think we've narrowed down to one or two possible breeders. I know I know, it's so far off. But I want to get a head start. Buying a dog is a huge decision!