How I became a NH Labrador Retriever Breeder
UH HR Riverview's Bucket List Hope JH, CGC, cc
aka Ketli , my foundation bitch, came to our family because of the bucket list item I added to my list 8 years ago. After the kids were gone I realized that I was missing the chance to teach and nurture. We had two older Golden retrievers in our household but this time I wanted a Labrador. Why not another Golden? Because I wanted a more athletic dog who could persevere and hunt and retrieve through tough terrain and still be washable! You see, we have well water here in New Hampshire and our well does not supply enough water to spray through the long, thick hair and feathering of a Golden. So I figured Labs have a thick coat but it is not as long as a Golden's coat. And if I got a black or chocolate Lab then dirt would show less. (only kidding!)
Go back 15 years to where it all started when we rescued a ten year old Lab mix named Keela. Keela showed me the incredible connection that retrievers share with their owners. She was prone to charging out our door and running away. So when I told the family that I was going to take her for a walk in the town forest behind our house with no leash they were skeptical. So was I, but I didn't admit it. I had her on a six foot lead that I dropped and let her drag. It would give me a chance to catch her if she bolted. But I knew she trusted me and wanted to stay with me when she stopped at an intersection in the trail and waited for me to show her which way we should go. I was stunned. I never had a dog that showed such eagerness to be with me. Her looking towards me for direction caused a surge of delight and a bond that I never knew was possible with a dog. I decided then that retrievers were the only dogs for me. Sadly Keela only lived with us for 7 months. She died peacefully in her sleep from liver cancer. She never showed a sign of pain or discontent. The sweet nature and connection that retrievers, especially Goldens and Labs have, hooked me.