We began to think about breeding in 2000. The well-planned purchase of our first girl, Caelan (pronounced KEE lin) brought with it many plans, hopes, and dreams. Breeding was not among them. I had simply planned on training her to be the best pet I could. Then I walked into the show ring. I fell in love with it all, the showing, the obedience, the training, and eventually Caelan won her Canine Good Citizen (CGC), and became a Therapy Dog. We sampled a little bit of everything, agility, hunting, obedience, conformation. Some things we liked more than others, but as time wore on, one thing was sure -- our whole family was completely infatuated with the breed. After much research and talking with other breeders, our veterinarian, etc., I decided to take a leap of faith and join the ranks.
Our puppies are raised with an end-goal in mind, their health and happiness. We start their training the day they are born with gentle handling. Every interaction between the puppies and the world around them is a learning experience for them. We strive to make all those interactions as pleasant and informative to them as possible. By the time they are old enough to start crawling out of their whelping box, we transfer them to their "area," a section of our kitchen in the middle of our house. They are exposed to as many noises, smells, and sights as we possibly can. Dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum, phones, television, radio, you get the idea. We include the puppies in our daily life, and this central area in our home makes this easy. They are introduced to the outdoors, to many different textures (gravel, grass, mud, water, metal, etc.) and smells. At around five weeks, they begin an early process of crate training, where we begin to put them into a crate together, and eventually over the course of the next few weeks, separate them into different crates. They are taught some basic commands during this time, and go to their homes well on their way to being housebroken, crate-trained, and with some simple obedience. The important thing then, for the new owner, is to continue with the training foundation they've been given.
Our puppies go to their new homes at 9 weeks or later with all their vaccinations current for their age, a hip and eye guarantee from us, their AKC registration paperwork and folder of information, a puppy book, and a handful of toys they have all played with here. We believe that in most cases, 9 weeks or later is a better time for a puppy to go to his or her new home.
We currently own only one Labrador (the dog on the far left), our up-and-coming male, Murphy. We co-own our newest addition, Molly with our friends at Mountain Vista Labs. We also have two Whippets, Evie (center), and Chloe both cherished pets . Our female, Caelan (far right), passed away unexpectedly in November of 2004. We hadn't actually planned on keeping a boy from Caelan's litter, as I wasn't sure I was ready to have a male and female in the house at the same time (that I couldn't use for breeding). But when Caelan's first litter came, and there was only one girl, the perfect home presented itself, and I couldn't bring myself to keep her. Murphy was handsome from the start, and I wanted to sell him to a "show home" where his new owners could take him to shows and work with him, and possibly use him as a stud. However, he just wasn't meant to leave us, and as time wore on, Murphy wrapped us around his paws in love, and we just couldn't give him up. He is incredibly sweet, and such a happy boy, all he cares about is making us happy and being loved in return, and of course...retrieving.
Hi, my name is Belinda, and welcome to my home. We raise our dogs in our house, as well as each litter of puppies. I only have one litter at a time so that I can attend to them as best I can and make them a part of our daily life, in the hopes that the transition into their new homes will be as easy as possible. My husband Dennis, and our two daughters, Pam and Ellie, help me with this often.
Dennis is the Service Manager for an equipment dealer that sells Municipal Equipment. He comes home in the evening and unwinds by cuddling the pups and playing with the dogs! Our oldest daughter Pam has achieved the rank of First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and our youngest, Ellie has been studying Classical Ballet for eight years. We often have friends over, of all different colors, shapes, and sizes, so the puppies generally get a good start on the very essential aspect of socialization.
We also have a few cats; Katy, Peanut, and Alex. Katy loves to play with the puppies. She's an orange tabby who was given to us by a breeder friend of mine when she 6 weeks old. They had found her at 4 weeks in the late winter, her whiskers and head-fur singed and a bit skinny. She lived with them as one of the 'puppies' for a couple weeks, and the first day we met her, we took her home with us. We're pretty sure she thinks she's a dog.
Katy's friend and regular wrestling companion is a buff and white tabby we named Peanut - 'cause he's just a little bit nutty. He's a purr-machine and likes to snuggle, as long as it's on his terms, of course. He and Katy get along great, and he bosses the dogs around regularly.
Katy's and Peanut's newest companion is Alex, an orange tabby we were fostering for a cat rescue. He came to us at the tender age of 2 and half weeks old, needing many bottle feedings per day (and night!) and lots of love. When it was time for him to be adopted, we signed the paperwork ourselves and added him to our menagerie. He is the most gentle, forgiving, sweet, and yet obnoxious cat we've ever met. He constantly keeps us laughing at his antics and new tricks.