Lupo our Dobermann, is 11 years old now, and his greying face and growing ailments is a stark reminder he won’t always be here. He’s still enjoying his daily walks, but can’t go as far as he used to without getting too tired, especially when the weather is warm. He’s on anti-inflammatories to help his back and back legs – without the medicine his back slopes like an Alsatian and it would be painful for him. He is absolutely fine in himself, loves to charge around like he’s 1 year old again, but the saddest thing is his tail is all droopy when it used to stand tall and curl over his back.
Whilst no other dog can ever replace him, with much thought and consideration on him and our family, we recently made the decision to get a puppy. At the very least to avoid the awful emptiness of a home without a dog but one for our kids to grow up with and care for.
I love the research into this process and have had to learn a lot of new things since I was last a puppy parent 11 years ago, but when it comes to finding the right breeder, we had a bit of a head start. My parents recently took home a fox red Labrador called Dulcie. She comes from strong working lines, as opposed to the show lines Lupo’s family history is made of. Working Labs are bred for their intelligence and health. They are super smart, eager to please and cute to boot.
Dulcie’s breeder told my parents of a litter imminently due from one of her previous puppies, so we were put on the list and requested first choice of a yellow female. The litter was born in July and at 5 weeks old, we drove a 300 mile round trip to chose our puppy between two yellow females in the litter.
The puppies live on a beautiful farm in a rural village, getting lots of time in the garden and the whelping box was just off the family kitchen. we were first greeted by the puppies mother, a gorgeous black Lab who smiled at us while her whole body waggled, showing us her pearly whites! I loved this as that’s exactly what Lupo does to us if we’ve been out a while.
Being asked to choose a puppy is a really hard decision, but we grabbed both girls and had a cuddle after watching them play with their litter mates. Both were very placid, a few squeaks but nice and sleepy after they’d just had milk. Their mum has such a lovely nature and to be honest that was the main thing I wanted to see, if the mum is confident and the type of dog you’d like to have, then the puppies should follow suit.
We fell in love with this little face, but my husband could see I wanted to take both home!
Named after a character from one of my favourite films, My Girl, Vada will join us in just a few days now. I’ve been on a supermarket sweep in Pets at Home, bought things from Amazon and booked her 12 week vaccinations already. We’ll be sharing our journey on here and over on Instagram, follow us here: http://www.instagram.com/vadaandlupo
I’ll be doing a few things for the first time with Vada, such as crate training and introducing her to Lupo, so I’ll share my advice and mistakes in case you are in the same boat.
The next blog post will be all about the things we bought for her before she came home – this includes a lot more dog toys than she needs as I took my 8 year old daughter to the shop with me!
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