Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Last Puppy

We finally decided that we wanted to get a family dog... and then we had to decide what KIND of dog. Annika and I poured over books and pictures and internet surveys, trying to decide. At first, I was partial to a pound puppy, but apparently they don't exist in Sweden (the few that are available are imported from Ireland). When I saw the puppy prices at breeders, I began to understand why - most are around $2000! Almost all breeders offer a buy-back clause, so that probably helps as well. Anyway, after much discussion, we finally decided that a brown lab would be best for us.

Timing was tight - we wanted to get a puppy at the end of the summer so that we would still be able to travel at Christmas without feeling guilty at missing some of the puppyhood. So I started looking at the kennel club website and the labrador club website... but there were just no puppies available. 39 litters born over the summer and not one puppy left.

Finally, I found two - a male that was a 10 hour drive away, and another male that was only 2 1/2 hours away... so we went for Teamvik's Dean, born on the 18th of June, close to Örebro, to mamma Alva. He had three brothers and a sister - Dallas, Dixon, Dylan and Doris.

Going back to the puppy books, all of them discussed what to look for in a puppy - the one that comes to you, the one that hangs back, the results of the puppy aptitude tests - but none of them discussed what to do if you didn't get a choice - if your puppy was the last one left.

So back to the e-mail again... and the breeder mentioned that Dean was the puppy we would get... but he was listed as "sold" on the kennel club website. Then while at the breeder's, well into the new puppy hugging process, the breeder admitted that Dean was actually sold to a couple, who came back after three days, exhausted, and gave him back.

So what kind of a puppy did we get? The last choice? Or the first choice reject?

All I can say is that I am typing this while he is sleeping next to me. I am tired after the first night, but mostly because I'm just not used to night-time potty runs. Puppy Dean was awesome - max 15 minutes of whining the first time he was put in his bed, then 5 minutes, and then none. The kids are extatic, David and I are thrilled, and we are looking forward to an enjoyable puppyhood. Yes, certain details still need to be worked out, but so far we're sure Dean is the puppy for us.

Now we just have to pick a name. The leading contenders right now are:
  • Bruno (which three of us like, but not the other two)
  • Mr. Ed (David's suggestion... but he once had a hamster named "Mamma hamster" so I'm not sure we should take his advice)
  • Pelle (Christopher's favorite, mostly because it is not Bruno)
  • James (as in James Dean, to go with his current kennel name)
  • Jimmy (as in Jimmy Dean...)
Just looking at him, I think the biggest challenge will be keeping him out of the Puppy Chow!

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