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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Choices, choices, choices

Choices, choices, choices.

We think that we are ready to have a new canine soul join our family. We are still grieving our loss of K but we think that a new spirit in our family will help us move forward. Today, our canine plans took a 90 degree turn, as a Lab pup who we were waiting for became unavailable, for reasons beyond anybody's control.

Now, we are trying to decide between a 9-month-old wonderful chocolate lab or a tiny puppy. The older pup is the offspring of two truly amazing parents, both of whom have passed their service dog tests as well as winning other awards. The pup is affectionate, healthy, calm, smart, and beautiful. Her owner thinks that this pup and I are a match made in heaven and offered her to me for that reason alone. Before the owner learned of K's death, she had planned to keep this pup to be trained as a service dog. Her decision to offer this pup to me speaks volumes about the potential for an amazing relationship between this pup and me.
My only hesitation about bringing that wonderful 9-month-old pup into our family is whether I'm willing to give up a chance to have a tiny puppy grow up with us. I adore puppies... I absolutely love them. However, I also remember how much work they are and the fact that their final temperament cannot be known when they're tiny puppies.
So, I ponder... The known wonderful 9 month old puppy or the unknown tiny puppy. Either one could join us within the next couple of weeks.

I am flummoxed by this decision. But, in re-reading the words that I wrote above, I think that maybe my heart has decided. What do you think?


  1. That is quite a decision you'll have to make. But I know that you'll make the right decision for yourself. And of course if you can't decide, you can always take both of them..... :o)

  2. It's a decision only you can make!
    But, if it were me, I would go for the 9 month puppy. Teeny babies are adorable, but SO MUCH WORK!!! Seriously, I forgot how much work puppies were till Phoenix came home. It's truly exhausting, especially when you have another (or in my case, 3 other) dog. Just my 2 cents.
    Good luck!
    Nola's Mom

  3. Whatever your heart tells you, you will know. :)

    Just follow it...<3

  4. I hate to admit that I was wring, but oh my gosh, look at those eyes. Glad I don't have to make this decision.

    But look at those eyes.

  5. I so know what you mean. I love raising a puppy, even though it means going without a full night's sleep for the first THREE. WEEKS. MINIMUM. O.o

    I lost my 15 y.o. dog Bouncer in February. I think we're finally ready to add another dog to our lives, and we're looking at a dog that's about a year old. I totally understand your hesitation about bringing in an older-than-a-puppy dog, because we're going through that too.

    I'm sure either dog would have a wonderful life with you. And good for you for going ahead and getting another dog. You'll never forget K, but you have room in your heart for another. :)

  6. My husband and I just brought home a five month old labradoodle and she is an absolute delight. At this age, she seems so ready to learn and please us. Is so very loving, is so responsive to correction. Our daughter has recently acquired a two month old Boxer puppy, and, oh my, what a lot of work! I am so delighted with this older puppy and heartily recommend trying it! Best of luck to you with your tough decision and new family member!

  7. Very tough call. I love, love, love puppies too, but this last one has been quite the challenge. Knowing you, there is no doubt you will make the best choice. And I have to add I am so very happy for you to be at this point:) Maybe you should ask K for a sign.

  8. I know you will let your heart lead you, and I agree- that Angel K can help point you in the right direction.

  9. Well, you could get them both!! Just kidding. What a fun decision to get to ponder. You, the Runner and R will make the right choice. Here's a thought...maybe R should meet the older pup--to see what he thinks.

  10. My vote isn't worth anything, but I would go for the 9-month-old. She can give you the extra loving you need right now. My guess is K would agree.

  11. I think your choice is made, when reading your last few words, " wonderful" is the clue. Pups, like kittens, need so much time, training, broken nights, early mornings, and more. K will always be with you, irreplaceable, but your heart can hold another.You will know which is the one for you. Fond greetings, Jean.

  12. OOH a new pup, how excitin'! What ever you decide your new addition will know nothin' but love and happiness through out it's life.
    We can't wait to hear which one you picks!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

    PeeS Let R helps wif your decision too :)

  13. I'd go with the 9 month old because, honestly, at my age, I don't have the energy for another puppy! That's just my 2 cents worth and I know you will make the right decision for you.

  14. Only you can make the choice. I am sure whatever you decided it will be right. Maybe R can help out in the decision making. I guess I would lean towards the 9 month old. Oooooo so tough to choose.
    Blessings Upon Your Choice,

  15. I think it would be quite an honor to bring the 9 month old into your home. The way the current owner is willing to give up a dog with so much potential because she knows what a great pet parent you will be to the pup and what a great life you can give to her. Also I don't think I would want to take on a puppy again either.

    Good luck with your decision.


  16. That is an unbelievably hard choice!

    I'm happy to hear that you've healed enough to thinking about adding to your family again, though. And I look forward to gorgeous pictures of that new addition, tiny or not!

  17. At the moment I am a testament to the sleep deprivation that goes along with a tiny puppy. I have also (mid-typing this)just run outside to move her from planting her butt to poo upstairs on the verandah to the garden downstairs, where she did what was expected of her. I know it's going to be worthwhile in the long run. :) Either choice will be the right one for you. Can't wait to see your new family member.

  18. Gosh, what a decision ...I know you will make the right decision! Can't wait to meet your new family member.

    Your pal, Pip

  19. teeny-24 hours of being the mom
    9 month old- being the mom 12 hours
    Benny & Lily

  20. Ann...from...the Outer Banks of NC...said...we all know K will always be in your heart forever...and I do know ...what a (WONDERFUL) decision you will make.... no matter what you decide you will be over-joyed with well as R.....a thought comes to my mind by (George Ellison)..."How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it".. HUGS

  21. That´s a difficult choice. If the breeder is willing to give up their pup for you it must be a special one, I would take the 9 months old one. A pup is lovely, hard work.
    Its very good for R to get a new friend. He was never the only dog.
    I think K are very happy to hear the news sitting watching you on Rainbow Bridge.
    Hugs from us.

  22. Sorry but I'm a total sucker for pups. They are huge amounts of work but oh the puppy breath, the little cuddly bodies, yep gets me every time. We are so happy you are making this decision. Another dog to love and share your family will be so wonderful. We know K would be smiling from the Rainbow Bridge with all our friends and family, cause we have all been through this decision making too. No worries, and love, Carol and Stella and Rory

  23. It's your decision to make. I'm glad you feel ready.

  24. I am so happy to hear this :~))))) And I have the perfect solution: you should adopt the pug I'm fostering.

    Pugs love to explore the wilderness. Rocky heights are a piece of cake for them! You can wash a pug in the sink. [Try that with a Lab!] Plus: dinky food bills. It's all good! You should totally adopt this pug.

    OK, I kid ;~) Her new peeps are taking her home on Monday. She might not be one of the best dogs to ride the trails with -- but the dog you choose WILL be, I'm sure of that. I've got happy tears in my eyes and am sending you hugs and best wishes from SoCal. Your dog-fu is strong!

  25. Oh my gosh, that 9month old pup is just beautiful, is that the one that is pulling your heartstrings? K would be so happy that you have room in your hearts for a new friend.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  26. You can't make a mistake! You have our mom in tears once again, KB.

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  27. The Krews Mom here , Having not long welcomed a tiny ( and I mean tiny she was under 2 pounds when we got her and at 4 months she is almost 5 pounds now and not likely to get much bigger) I would say go for the puppy. She has not been a problem at all, slept all night long from day one, a couple of pee accidents ( missing her pee mat ) but that is to be expected.
    However a 9 month old has all those wrinkles worked out already.
    I think though you already know which way your heart is telling you and whichever way you decide will be the right choice for you and your new family member.

    I personally do love watching them develop into teenhood and then adulthood. Watching them get into the gangly leg stage and discover all the news things with the looks of wonder on their little faces.

    Whatever way you go it will be a wonderful journey for you all, full of love, joy and lots of laughter.
    I can't wait to see your choice
    Momma Tea
    xxx xxx

  28. I'm so happy that you have got to this point, KB. Like everyone has said...YOU will know which is the right decision. 9months old, however, is still a puppy. :)
    Thinking of you.

  29. So happy for you and your family and so happy for the newcomer who is going to join your family, either the 9 month-old or the puppy will definitely grow well and live happily with you. It's a present from K as he knew it's time to have a new family member.

    Your heart will tell you what you want and whatever decision you make, you know that it's a wish that you have wanted all the time.

    Can't wait to see lots of gorgeous pictures of R and the new addiction : )

  30. We know that you know....already. Can't wait for the next chapter in your adventures. Have a brilliant Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

  31. Personally I think you should go with the 9 month old pup, but it's really what's in YOUR heart that matters, of course.


  32. my vote: 9 month old!!! so excited for you! and what a beautiful, soulful face!

  33. Whatever the choice there will be laughter and smiles all around.

  34. Such a dilemma to have!

    Make a decision string. This was taught to me by an old Cajun. Tie a key (or anything about the weight of a key) to a piece of string about a foot long. Hold the end of the string in your dominant hand and let the key hang. Make sure the key is hanging still and then start thinking "Older dog clockwise, puppy counter-clockwise" (or vice-versa). Don't move your hand, just think the phrase over and over again while staying as still as you can and watching the key. Eventually the key will start to swing side to side and then it will move into either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. There is your heart's answer. If you want to double check your decision, reverse the directions in your mind as the key swings and see if the key slows and then changes directions.

  35. I couldn't tell for certain from your wording - have you actually met the older pup? If you have, and there was a connection, I would definitely take the older one. I think with one that age, you should know right away upon meeting whether or not you are a "fit"...

  36. How exciting! Remember - 9 months is still a puppy, you won't be missing out on much!


  37. Either way, you are giving all of us the chance to be adoring Aunties once more !

  38. we know that K is watching over you all. while tiny puppies are adorable, they are a LOT of work. we love the face on the 9 month old baby (and remember he is still a baby). follow your heart - you can't go wrong that way....

  39. Big Decision - But we think you already have it in your heart for the 9 month old puppy. Very beautiful/handsome AND he or she has gorgeous eyes and coloring..
    Happy Tailwags
    Ernie,Sasha,Chica,Lucas, and Rosie nad Mom Barb too ;-)

  40. Puppies are fun, but ...
    The eyes of the 9-month-old pup speak volumes of love and intelligence.

  41. We are just beaming from ear to ear over here reading your news! OMD, we are so thrilled for you to be considering a new little one. You all have such big and loving hearts so any decision you make will be the RIGHT one! After looking at the pictures, we would have to take them all :)

    Has the Runner and R met any of them yet? We'd be interested to hear how R reacts to them.

    Your sweet and beautiful K is sending you a BIG high 5 right now for opening up your hearts once again. We know she's proud of you!

    Auntie Lily Belle & Auntie Muffin

  42. Your heart will make the call. But I know whichever one you choose will be an incredibly lucky dog!

  43. If anything happens to our dogs I would adopt an older puppy rather than a tiny untrained, unknown personality one.
    I think your mind may be made up but I agree with letting R help make the decision. How will he feel with a brand new puppy suddenly getting all the attention without being able to play rough with the new dog. If that is the pic of the little 9 month old, I think she looks adorable and thoughtful and still very puppy like but ready and eager to learn.
    Our girl Aria is finally starting to play with Mikey now that he is over 1 yr old and has suddenly started to settle down more and not have as many annoying puppy qualities. She's a sensitive girl and doesn't appreciate the rambunctious face jumping and over excitement of a puppy.
    Either way, I look forward to continuing to read your amazing and heartfelt journey.
    Hisqueen1 with Aria and Mikey

  44. There was a time that i would have never considered anything but a little puppy. There is nothing like them, but they require a lot of work and a lot of patience to survive those first few years. When I lost my last dog, I decided to find a rescue and found a 4 year old corgi mix that was described as delightful, and she is. Her energy level fit mine, she was potty trained, nothing got chewed up or destroyed, and I could not be happier. It was still great fun getting to know her and developing our relationship. And nine months is still pretty young, but granted, not a pup. I'm just so thrilled that you are taking the step!!! It's what K would have wanted. Now it will be fun to find out which of those two dogs is the luckiest.

  45. Her eyes are incredible! Oh my gosh! I will be honest here and say that I don't think there's a wrong decision to be made. I look at Kuster who's now nine months old, and I still see a puppy, albeit a very big one. I think there's something about him in particular that would always make me choose him, regardless of his age. He still melts me. But he was our first adult experience with a puppy, too. There are parts of that I've loved and other parts that were trying! I'm no help in making a decision! I'm sorry! lol I can't wait to see the new puppy, regardless of which one it turns out to be. :)

    R, are you ready to be the big brother?

  46. P.S. Mr. Taleteller wants to know if she has incredible ball drive? lol He thinks his next SAR dog could be a Lab. He also says she's a stunner!

  47. That is a tough decision. Go with your heart. :) Only you know what is right for you.

  48. Dear KB, I think your heart has decided too. When we were looking for a new pup in May, I had a black miniature poodle in my head, a young puppy. However, we ended up with a 5 mos old white Bichon;totally opposite of what I thought we needed. I can say there is enough puppy in Hunter, now 8 mos old, to remind me that it was a good thing not to get a really young pup. I'm talking chewing up kleenex, my old cell phone, potty accidents, teaching manners etc. I know you are an expert at dog training but for me,it's been a long time since we had a puppy. I know you'll choose the best one for you, or maybe two?????
    Hugs today.
    Noreen & Hunter

  49. I am totally with the others,to follow what feels right in your heart! I will only tell you that I know without a doubt that while I love the connection that I've got with Todd, I've also felt that same connection with dogs that have come later--I couldn't love them anymore if I'd had them since they were tiny puppies and our bond could not be any stronger.

  50. KB, I'm so happy for you that you've decided to get another dog! Young puppies are initially more work--it's true. They need to be taken outside more frequently, eat more often, and must be watched over just like any little baby. They are also a source of endless delight and laughter. I haven't adopted a puppy in many years (both Wrigs and his predecessor were adopted as adults from the shelter), but I remember how much fun puppies are. The older puppy sounds like a treasure. I assume you'll be meeting both pups in question before making a decision. I'm sure either pup you choose will be wonderful. Good luck! I can't wait to read about your adventures with your new addition. :-)

    Sue T in AZ

  51. Well, considering that I brought my dog home at one year old and have a wonderful relationship with her, and took care of a 40-year old horse for the last few years of his life and consider my bond with him stronger that many that I've experienced, I can attest to the fact that you will be able to watch EITHER dog grow over its lifetime. Maybe not too much physical growth in the case of the older pup, but certainly in other ways.

    But, the choice is up to you. I'd say meet both and see which you "click" with the most. K will be guiding you as you make your decision, I'm sure.

  52. I think you should get both! Betsy

  53. I don't know how I missed this but you gotta have my opinion!

    I would take the 9 month old beauty! He still has a fair amount of puppy between the ears, but he has had some training too.

    Such a beautiful dog with those eyes!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella (who agrees with me!)

  54. See which one "speaks" to you. A puppy is hard work, but a 9 month old retriever (at least a golden) can be handful too. Ah, teenagers. :)

  55. What a tough decision! Your heart will guide you. A puppy is a lot of hard (my Elle is a Golden example) and a 9 month old has already learned some manners. But what about the bonding?

    Good luck,
    Nadine & goldens Neeli & Elle

  56. Oh my goodness - the nine month old - look at that face!!! and eyes!!! and what beautiful coloring - sort of a combination of R and K together!

  57. What ever you decide will be great, I'm sure. Cannot wait to hear the final decision.

  58. How wonderful that you are going to open your heart to another wonderful addition! Oh, I think your heart has indeed already decided. Good luck! :)

  59. I wanted to ask if you were going to meet the puppy so you could see if he/she might be a good match. I'm so glad you have friends with available bundles of love so you ultimately get the right one for you and your family. I know choices can be very hard, but I'm so glad you get to choose!

  60. The sweet green-eyed girl with the tawny patch on her nose is going to have a great furever home (:


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