Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Snowflake" a Keeper!

Long our favorite from this most recent litter, "SNOWFLAKE", now 13-week old female, is learning the ropes around the house. Due to other commitments we refrained from advertising her availability until today and the time with us has proved fruitful and wistful at the same time. She's readily trainable--she's comfortable with a crate at night, has learned to 'sit', 'stay', and 'wait' for her bowl of food. We have four other labs, and everyone eats at the same time--even the youngest! One thing we all love is her luxurious coat. We keep joking about getting her a part in 101 Dalmations: Cruella Deville would die for the softness of Snowflake's fur! Alas! it will be harder to depart with this pup than the others... she's grown on us. A real "keeper" for a lucky owner!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CAICOS - 1997-2009 "The Matriarch"

It's an end to an era... regretfully, our grand dam Caicos passed away today, ending a wonderful life she gave us these past 11+ years.

Caicos Bill Leigh of Penbeck, arrived in Massachusetts on Oct 20, 1997. In early December of that year she joined our household and wiggled her way into our hearts. Maybe it was going to the bathroom on Kyra on the trip home from the breeder's, or her stealing of sandwiches and lunchbags from the construction crew that built our addition 10 years ago, or her 'skidaddle' scamper around the yard or... any and all of these events made Caicos a special dog.

She was a great swimmer and diver -- she loved jumping off the Connecticut River Museum dock for tennis balls and even this summer she found the strength to dive into the pool for frisbees and balls, a true lab retriever. Caicos had a penchant for rocks, with the ability to find rocks we never knew existed beneath our yard. Frustrating for us but, looking back, it brings a chuckle to see the twinkle in her eye and the dirt on her tongue as she caressed each rock between her front paws, licking it clean.

Caicos became known as the Matriarch, giving birth to several litters of puppies that fanned out across New England and brought happiness to so many families, including ours, for we kept two of her offspring, our Bromley and Mingus. Caicos loved puppies and even after she stopped having her own she still enjoyed climbing in the whelping box and playing nursemaid to her 'grandpups'. The puppies would jump on her, pull and bite her ears and she enjoyed every minute, only voicing disapproval when a wayward pup would try to muscle in on Caicos' food bowl while she was eating!

Caicos enjoyed trips to Vermont, going for hikes, romping in the snow, and swimming in the ponds and rivers around Bromley Mountain. Here in Connecticut she loved the beach, chasing after sticks thrown into waves or after seagulls strutting on the sand. She wasn't our first lab but she had a lot of 'firsts' for us. We're saddened by our loss but gladdened in having had her a part of our family for all these many years. Rest in peace, Caicos.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

One Snowflake remains

Nearly all of the pups are now living with their families, with Kris Kringle being picked up in Vermont to join his new family as "Willie" in Connecticut. Thus, we have only Snowflake still available. And what a doll she is! She's having the time of her life with her extended family of five labrador retriever aunts, sister, grandmother, and mother. They all get in a good 60-90 minutes of fun before Snowflake retires for a morning snooze and the lunch. Then another round of play time... and so it goes. Turns out she loves the snow (we've been in Vermont for the past 10 days)--living up to her name!