It seems like only yesterday we brought our sweet little Ramsey home from the breeder. She was about ten pounds and the fluffiest little sweetheart you ever did see.
For years, I dreamed of having a golden retriever. Some days at work, I would think about how good it would feel to go home and cuddle with a puppy. When Eric and I made the decision for me to leave the work force and come home to work on PreEngaged, we decided it was the right time to fulfill our dream of getting that adorable golden retriever puppy.
Preparing for Cuteness
We wanted to make sure we weren’t getting a dog from a puppy mill. Additionally, for this go-round, we decided we wanted a dog from a breeder. So Eric, always a researcher, started researching online for golden retriever breeders. We found one in North Carolina where the breeder was also a part of a few golden retriever organizations. We knew this breeder was serious and we had found our match.
Little did we know that in our breeder being serious, she had a serious process for puppy placement. First, we had to apply and fill out a long questionnaire. That was our first clue that this breeder was serious about her doggies. She did not want them to go to just any home. She wanted them to have loving, responsible owners. The second step was the interview phone call.
I can vividly remember Eric talking to the breeder on the phone. Much to our excitement, she informed us that she was planning to breed her dogs in the very near future. While they were talking, I felt myself getting misty and excited. You would have thought we were in the process of adopting a baby. Not long after the phone interview, we made the trip to North Carolina to meet her.
We rang her doorbell and heard the glorious sounds of barking in the background. Her two female goldens greeted us at the door, walked us to the loveseat, and then put their heads in our laps. They were such well-trained little ladies and we could not wait to have one of our own.
Shortly after that visit, we got word that Ramsey’s mom, Nana, was in the family way. We were finally going to have a puppy!
Very early in May we received an e-mail complete with a picture! There were nine tiny pups (looked a bit more like rats at the time) nursing happily, and one of them was going to be ours!
In June 2010, we went to see the six-week old pups and, let me tell you, the closest place to Heaven on Earth is a room filled with nine tiny, fluffy, completely adorable golden retriever pups. We held several of them, but there was something about the one in the light blue, polka dot collar. There was something special about her.
And wouldn’t you know it… “Blue-ini,” as they affectionately called her, was the puppy she thought would be the best match for us. (As she picked the puppy to match the owners wants and needs, the owner did not pick the puppy!)
So, I packed up my desk, said goodbye to my co-workers, came home and set up Ramsey’s room, and the next morning, Eric and I set off to get our little sweetie. On one hand, I know she’s “just a dog,” but it was still one of the sweetest days of my life.
When we got her home that night, I accidentally burned dinner and the fire alarm went off. To this day, Ramsey completely shudders in terror when she hears a fire alarm go off. Poor baby. So, that night I spent on the couch next to her crate in the one room that didn’t smell like smoke. Every time she made a sound, I was on alert. Is something wrong? Is she okay? What if something happens to her on her first night here?!
That first year was not quite the fairytale I expected. She was cute, but she was also whiney! She was fluffy, but she also shed like the dickens! She was fun, but she was also energetic and always ready to play, even at inopportune times. There were days I felt guilty and wondered if we ever should have gotten her in the first place.
But, today, I cannot imagine my life without her. She just turned four and I love her more every day. She guards us. She is great company. She makes us smile. She encourages us to play. She is a wonderful companion and I am so thankful for her.
Connect with a Pet for Your Health and Wellness
Connections with people are extremely important and we all need them. Yet, connecting with a pet is extremely therapeutic too. In fact, studies have shown that when we play and interact with our pets, endorphins are released in us (it is the chemical in us that facilitates euphoria).
If you are too busy to care for a pet properly, we would encourage you to wait; but, when life calms down, you may want to consider adopting a furry friend for your family. Doggies do add work, but they also add an extra element of comfort to your home. Pets encourage us to smile, relax, and enjoy life; and, dogs have a way of encouraging us to get active and improve our health!
If you have the chance, connect with a pet. You may be surprised by how much your little fluff ball changes your life!
Have you ever connected with a pet? How did that relationship affect you?