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We drove through the afternoon sunshine up a green and wooded way, a gravel road leading to an old brick farmhouse. The lane narrowed and slid between two rickety gateposts. As the car crunched forward, a beautiful black dog suddenly came galloping toward us, roo roo roo roo she barked, clearly telling us to stand down and state our business. 2 flaxen-haired toddlers appeared behind her and advanced on the car as well, forcing us to shift down from crawl to stop. I got out to shepherd everyone away from the car, and ended up leading the procession into the farmyard.

There, what a wonderful sight met our eyes: PUPPIES! A bazillion of them, it seemed at first, until the wiggling, happily greeting, sniffily welcoming black pupballs resolved into individual units and we counted ...9...10...11...12!

all in a row

Martin, Karin, Anders and I dropped to our knees to say hello. Such squiggly wiggling! Such whippity tails! Such lickity lippings!

puppy love

chew toy

Anders and I sat down with Christina, the breeder, while the kids disappeared under a sun-kissed, wriggly-black flock of dogs. We asked a lot of questions and she gave us a lot of answers. She told us all about flat-coated retrievers, about how their kennel works, about what the dogs need and what the breeders provide and expect. She soothed a few doubts and made us feel like we were going about this the right way.

puppy kiss

The dog that met us at the gate was the puppie's grandmother, a 9-year-old 3x champion that showed off for us, with her trainer, some of the moves they use in competition. Several bird-sized bags of sand were tossed far across the yard, and she went through her paces beautifully. At one point, running towards us, with her fur rippling in the sunshine like sleek, black water, I was completely hypnotized.

Of the 12 in this litter, 6 puppies are already spoken for. They are expecting 2 more litters this summer.

7th heaven

We need to decide several things, but we know what our next steps are. On the way home, we discussed changing our vacation plans to accommodate a puppy. We'll be calling her back quite soon. And tomorrow I'm calling the healthcare clinic to arrange allergy testing for all of us.

playful pups

If everything goes according to plan, and the puppies don't all get sold out from under our noses this week, AND assuming we can actually CHOOSE JUST ONE, we'll be bringing one of them home with us in July. :)

can't we take them ALL??
mood: enthralled
music: Ace of Base—All That She Wants

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Eeeeeee!!! SO CUTE!!!!

I knew you'd never be able to resist! And flat-coated retrievers are wonderful family pets. You can read a bit more about them here and here.

I hope it all comes together for you. How exciting for the whole family! Has Karin picked a name yet?

Nope, but Anders has come up with 3 suggestions, all of which I shot down: Kill, Foppe (after Peter Forsberg, the hockey player), and Desmo (a motorcycle thing) :D

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw....soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!

I want 1 or 12!

Hooray!!! They look so fantastic.

There's nothing like a puppy...

(maybe) congratulations! Puppies, while exhausting, are pretty much the greatest in my book.

Those are sooo cute! I don't think you will regret your decision. Labs are one of the kindest dog breeds, and all of those puppies look like fine candidates!!

Both my dogs have been labs, the last one being a black lab. No complaints here, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

These are actually flat-coated retrievers, so not quite the same as a lab, but they are in the same general family. :)

Awwwwwww :)

Good luck with all your puppy plans -- I bet it all works out great! :)

I hope the allergy tests work okay for you all, because once you've had a dog in your life, you'll wonder why you didn't do it years before.

YAY! :) What a wonderful way to come to the decision of adding to your family. This is going to be one lucky puppy.

YAAAAAY! *virtualbouncesofjoy*


They sure are cute- oh, and the puppies are too! How did you manage to leave without one in your arms! Most kids aren't very good about delayed satisfaction! What are you thinking about the vacation plans now? And did you find out about possible kennels for your trips to the States- and don't you dare say that now you won't be able to come sometime!!!
Love, Lizardmom

You can't just drive in to a kennel and take a puppy home here...they check you out first, and expect you to take your time to make a carefully thought out decision. :) We have a few more things to do and discuss, and then we'll call her and tell her we're definite.

We're considering 2 weeks away now instead of 3, and 2 weeks at home, and then Anders might take a 5th week as well. They will kennel their "own" dogs (for a nominal fee), so we have a built-in kennel to help out when we expect to be gone to the States, and she already said it wouldn't be any problem. AND, there may be the possibility of getting the new pet passport, which might mean the dog could come WITH US! :)

one of my friends has a "flatte" (but it's brown). she's out training and competing with it all the time, throwing those bags and laying scent trails or whatever it's called. (her freezer is full of dead birds.) :-)

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We talked to the breeder about that, since we have no plans to compete or hunt with our dog, but she assured us that they are great family dogs, and as long as they get stimulation and exercise (and lots of playing fetch) they'll be fine :)

SO cute!
And the kids seem very content with those puppies! There is no turning back now! Congratulations!

ditto with the allergy tests.
I can't think of another wonderful family that would love this new addition then your's Liz:)
You'll find they don't ask too much in return, other than some loving :)

We dog sat last summer which was a thrill, Zebbe is a Border Collie & kept us going non-stop. When he was dropped off, we had a list of do's & do not's. One was he wasn't allowed to be on the furnature. That we could live with, however one morning I woke early thinking my back was up against Peter's ......... NOT!!! Zebbe just rolled over & looked at me & fell asleep again. LAUGH

LOL! I think not being on the furniture will definitely have to be a rule for us, too. :)

Oh, they are just adorable! Here's hoping that all your allergy tests come back negative for dogs!

Me, too! Keep your fingers crossed :)

Owh puppy cuteness!! Mind if I share this with a friend who is a animal/doglover as well? :)

of course not! :) go right ahead.

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lizardek's obiter photos
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