Further to my recent thread asking about trainers in the south-west (for which all advice given was most appreciated)...
My Good Lady has been wanting a new puppy (surrogate baby) for some time. I said that until our Golden Retriever was getting the exercise he deserved, I wouldn't let her do it. She finally managed to convince me that if she gave up work, she'd have the time to devote to matters canine, and that the new arrival should be my dedicated hunting dog. After much research and investigations into the usual suspects, we settled on a Korthals Griffon as being the best breed to satisfy all my requirements. We knew of a litter that was due, so we contacted the breeder, Lindsey, to find out more. She is the President of the Korthals Griffon Club of the UK (I hope I got that bit right), and a vet nurse, while her husband is an equine vet.
Lindsey was non-committal, as she said she would only let her babies go to homes that she'd given her personal stamp of approval to. Consequently, we had to go up there (a 200 mile round trip) for what was effectively an interview - at the same time we were able to see the pups as their eyes were just opening. The reasons for her reticence became clear when we got there - this was the second litter she'd raised, and she'd recently taken back Barney, one of the previous brood. He was 18 months old, and had become far too much of a handful for his owner. Apparently this chap was running him for 6 hours a day and still not tiring the dog out. He hadn't realised that they need mental stimulation more than physical effort. The bottom line was that Lindsey had decided to only let her dogs go to working homes.
Anyway - we passed scrutiny, and were told that we could pick a puppy, but only after they had all passed their hearing tests. Apparently, any dogs or cats that have white in their fur have a genetic predisposition to congenital deafness. As a result, we had to go back yesterday, when they were a tad over five weeks old. When we got there it was puppy feeding time - sheer mayhem. Once they'd had their fill though, play was top of the agenda - and that's when we got a chance to see their characters. My opinion was that it would be far better for the puppy to choose us, rather the other way around. To this end, we let them visit us as they went through all their rough and tumble. One of them was quieter than the others, but seemed to be more thoughtful and quite daring. I was particularly impressed that as he explored the garden he'd go on point whenever he found something out of the ordinary. He seemed to take to us, and so meet our new little boy - to be known hereafter as 'Rufus':
Rufus with his new Mum:
Rufus with his new Dad:
Rufus pointing at a decidedly hostile-looking dandelion:
Rosa, long suffering Mum:
This is Barney with his sister, Nemo going in for a quick cuddle with Rufus' new Mum:
We won't be allowed to take Rufus home until the first week in June. To say that we are excited is an understatement!