Hey there friends. It’s been a snowy week here, are any of the rest of you experiencing a belated winter too? If you’re following me over on Instagram (here) you’ve seen posts like this from time to time of our snow-eating labradoodle, Mars.
But I’ve never shared here the story of how she came to be with us, and since it’s not a typical story, I think it’s worth telling. And if the story’s not for you, feel free to just scroll through and look at cute dog photos!
The only typical part of the story is probably the part where we’re a suburban family with kids who would frequently and incessantly ask “When can we get a dog?” Not “Can we get a dog?”, but WHEN! They worked it into pretty much every conversation. For years. I’ll confess that I was the last hold-out, I’d never had a dog as a pet and am not much of a dog-lover. (Well, I am now but I wasn’t then!) Plus I knew that the majority of the doggy care would fall to me, and I couldn’t wrap my head around the puppy-training.
So as a compromise, we started down the road of looking for a dog to adopt, rather than buying a puppy. After many months of searching online ads and checking in at local shelters, we stumbled across the idea of dog breeders who put their breeding dogs out into foster homes, or “guardian” homes. It seemed like a good fit for us.
We found a breeder within a couple of hours drive from us who had some dogs available and went several times to visit. The advantages to us were these:
2. She was fully trained, vaccinated and certified, and had been well cared for.
3. She was free.
4. And did I mention, she was free? If you’ve ever looked into buying a puppy you know it can be an investment, especially if you’re looking for a particular breed.
So in April 2012 she came home with us. Her name was Mars Bar, as many of this breeders chocolate labradoodles went by chocolate names. We call her Mars, or Marsie. Mars Bar only when she’s in trouble. (haha!) Once a year she’s gone back to the breeder for a conjugal visit. We kept her through her pregnancies and when she was due she would go back to the breeder to have the puppies and stayed until they were weaned. She’s had four litters of adorable chocolate labradoodles.
As of January this year, she’s retired as a breeding dog and is officially ours to keep. We’re her forever family, but she’s already been part of our family for four years. She has the routines down, knows how to get what she wants and has her favourite places to hang out. We know her goofy quirks like loving to eat snow (see first photo above!) and drinking water from a garden hose. She has that awkward talent of falling up the stairs. The dignified photo above was taken right before an epic failure at trying to swim. All but one of us have given up on her learning to play fetch. And we love her.
To commemorate her new official status in the family she got a special DIY present at Christmas, which I’ll share in another post. But… over to you… are you a dog-owner? a dog-lover? I’ve been converted, I’m here to say it can be done. And I would even say, in spite of the extra work, that family life with a dog is better than without. Maybe even blogging life too.. (Refinished Console Table and Oh Hello Sign).
Plus she’s really cute, right?
Thanks so much for reading! See you next time!