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