Bailey. He’s cool.
Bailey is our new puppy – an Australian Multigenerational Labradoodle to be exact. We picked Bailey up from the airport yesterday and it’s pretty amazing to see how quickly he became part of our family.
Choosing whether to buy a dog from a breeder, or to adopt, isn’t easy. Adopting is a responsible choice, but the big unknown is lineage and what experiences the dog had prior to being adopted. Often those poor dogs were neglected or abused, and those negative experiences create challenges. On the other hand, a good breeder does genetic testing going back several generations, and they ensure a positive first eight weeks. Those eight weeks form the emotional foundation for the rest of a dog’s life.
We chose to hire a breeder.
Buying a dog from a reputable breeder isn’t as easy as writing a check and waiting eight weeks. The first hurdle is the interview process. I’m not kidding. We had three phone interviews, two reference checks were made, and a list of promises were exacted before our outstanding breeder agreed to sell us a puppy. I’ve come to believe that that level of investigation and commitment is a good thing, but waiting for a thumbs up or a thumbs down was like waiting at the mailbox day after day for the college acceptance letter. We finally got the letter – the one in the BIG envelope!
Karen and I weighed the pros and cons of owning a dog. On the one hand, owning a dog restricts some of the things we like to do. On the other hand, a good dog brings much joy. When we put pros on one end of the balance beam and cons on the other, the pros won in a big way.
We’re making certain choices that will give us as much flexibility as possible. The first is crate training. Dogs love their crates when crates are used correctly. Bailey will soon be able to stay in his crate (and love it) for up to 4 hours. That’s enough time for Karen and me to get away for a bike ride or to attend a concert in the park.
We also bought a doggy trailer to pull behind our tandem bicycle. Don’t mock us! I think pulling Bailey in a trailer with a tall red flag flying proudly makes a statement. What statement it makes I’ll let you decide. I guess it also helps to be old. We seniors can get away with things youngins can’t. And it just dawned on me that technically our new Co-motion tandem is actually a bicycle built for three.
And lastly, as often as possible, we’ll choose activities that are dog friendly, like hiking or fishing or whatever.
As an aside, if any of you are interested in owning a labradoodle like Bailey, I highly recommend that you contact Julie from Northstar Labradoodles. I guarantee you’ll have a great experience . . . if you pass the test.
I guess that’s it. Now it’s Jeff and Karen and Bailey!