Life has been extra busy in this household lately. Here is why…
When we got married, my husband had already raised an eight month old chocolate lab named Beany (after a cocoa bean). While Beany was surely still a puppy when I came into the picture, I never experienced the early puppy hood with her. Beany went on to live twelve years of good, adventurous and cosmopolitan life, having lived with us in Washington, Tel Aviv, Kiev and Belgrade, as we moved overseas. She passed away during our last year in Belgrade. Beany will always have a special place in our hearts.
When we learnt we were moving to Washington DC for three years, we promised our boys was that we would get another dog. The first year back in the U.S. passed quickly as we adjusted to life back in the U.S. , said goodbye to granddad, spent time with the U.S. part of the family, explored areas around DC and the South and set up our home.
The second year, I went back to work and the kids thrived in school and made many friends. Our second year was coming to a close and as our boys kept reminding us – it was high time to get a dog. We spent a couple of months visiting shelters and researching breeds and breeders in our vicinity. We wanted a medium size dog this time. However, none of the dogs we saw in shelters stroke us as ‘the one”no matter how hard we wanted to rescue a dog. As it goes, fate might have had something to do with us getting a Brittany Spaniel puppy.
Last summer, during our older son’s trip to Belgrade to stay with my parents for the summer, a (stray) dog (named by my son Zuca [Yellow]) appeared one day at my parents’ weekend cottage, just outside of Belgrade. He would come by every day when Sasha and my parents were there over the weekends and Zuca over time, befriended Sasha. While it was unrealistic that Zuca (a Brittany Spaniel mix) could come back to the U.S. with Sasha, the two pals had wonderful time playing and spending summer days in Belgrade.
[Meanwhile, my amazing little sister, an avid animal lover, worked on and succeeded in finding a new home for Zuca who is now thriving in Belgrade.] Upon returning back to the U.S. Sasha became a fierce advocate of us getting a Brittany Spaniel. Spring was coming, days were getting warmer. It was time.
After some research, we finally identified a breeder in rural Virginia, at the foothills of Shenandoah mountains that raised champion line Brittanies and had a new litter coming up. We knew we wanted a girl (another female to counter balance the gender split in our family). After some back and forth on logistics with Mr Jim, we agreed to pick her up over the Memorial Day weekend.
Couple of weeks prior, packages began arriving as we had to make sure we were fully stocked with puppy supplies. Here in the U.S. at least, the solution for working families who decide to raise a puppy is using puppy plan pens and crates. So we ordered and assembled ours and got few more supplies to welcome Stella properly.
Decision on a name was also a big one: we wrote down names that we liked and finally paired the list down to four finalists. In the end, we ended up choosing Stella as a consensus – we all loved the name.
After a few weeks of anticipation, we drove for about 2 hours to pick Stella up over the Memorial Day weekend. The part of Virginia where the kennel is located is breathtaking. Just look at the view from the breeder’s house on the top of a hill.
When we finally met Stella, playing carelessly on the grass – it was love at first sight. Stella was gorgeous and she instantly charmed us all.
As I am finishing up this post, it has been five days with Stella in tha’ house and we are loving it. Of course, as with a little puppy, there are sleepless nights, whining the first day and accidents all over the place. But each day Stella seems to be making progress and boys are pulling their weight with taking care of her. She is turning out to be smart, energetic, quite confident and even a bit sassy. She has already made our lives richer and we are sure she will continue to do so for many years to come, as we continue our adventures.
Don’t you just want a puppy right away? Wishing you a great week.