Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Manor Monday {Meet Finley Kipper & Our Puppy Saga}

Before I get to the breaking news, I just want to say it feels great to be back to blogging. As much as I enjoyed the break, I missed chronicling all our home/family endeavors. 

June saw several changes in our house but none bigger than the addition of a new family member. 
Finley Kipper joined our family June 29th (Hubby & my 12th anniversary) and has been a joy ever since. I have to say we are all completely smitten with our fur baby.

Belle has wanted a dog for the past 3 years and took the goal to heart this past year. Peanut followed suit and before we knew it, the two of them were routinely demonstrating responsibility (as best an 8 & 5 year old can). With little M nearly potty trained and more self sufficient, now just seemed like the opportune time.

Our initial thought was to adopt a rescue dog around 1-2 years of age. I had no interest in raising a puppy and felt there were plenty of shelter dogs that could use loving homes. So one day after swim practice, the littles and I dropped in on a local shelter and began our search. We played with all size and breeds of dogs to get a feel for the right fit for our family. A week later, we returned to the shelter to play with a sweet Terrier mix and we feel in love.

Father's day morning we adopted Shep and brought him home believing we were on the path to a long and loving relationship. Sadly, those hopes were dashed 4 days into our adoption when our veterinarian  looked at us from across the exam table and delivered the bad news that the extremely aggressive behavior Shep demonstrated was a risk to our family. News that he had only delivered one other time in all his 30 years of practice. (If you care for the nitty gritty details about what went down at the vet's office, email me). Belle & I sobbed the remainder of the afternoon as Hubby packed up Sheppy's things and returned him to the shelter.

During this whole ordeal with Shep, we did manage to meet our Fairy Dogmother. A wonderful tech from the vets office who sent us numerous emails and helped guide us in our search for the right dog.
I became a neurotic, research machine reading up on every possible breed and kept track of which traits would or would not work for our lifestyle. We decided this time around we were going to go the puppy route as younger dogs generally have fewer socialization problems. In addition, we wanted to meet both the pup's parents as they are one of the best predictors of temperament. We worked to cross all our "T's" and dot all our "I's" this time around & make sure that this puppy did not have aggressive tendencies.

After countless hours of research we settled on a mini golden doodle, which is a cross between a golden retriever and toy poodle. Generally speaking puppies from a breeder often require months of waiting but as luck would have it, the breeder had a large litter of nine and selection spots still available. We didn't tell the littles anything about the pups and instead made an appointment for 5:30 on Saturday evening to meet with the breeder and view the facilities.

As we turned onto the gravel road that lead us to a 5 acre mini golden doodle farm we told Belle & Peanut that we were going to play with some puppies and have a look around their home. This DID NOT mean that any of the puppies would be coming home with us. As the visit went on, it become clearer and clearer that Finley was everything we were looking for in a family pet. He bonded individually to each of the littles and was just the right combination of docile & feisty.

But the deal was sealed after meeting Finley's mother. Lucy is her name and she has to be the world's sweetest, red haired golden retriever. Despite the mounds of hair she shed, I would have taken her home right then & there if she was available. Alas, the breeders were just as much in love with Lucy as we were and assured us that over the years her pups have carried her loyal & lovable nature.  So with that we signed on the dotted line & Finley Kipper joined our family.

I know several readers have requested updates on how our family responds to the demands of a puppy. If you are wondering anything in particular, feel free to leave a comment below & I'll be happy to do a follow up post to answer them. For now I'll leave you with shots from Finley's first week at home.

Finley's first night home. 

Playing chase with the boys


  1. Oh my word, he is just precious. We had to go through that with a rescue dog. It not only got sick, but was showing some aggressive behavior we were not thrilled with. It broke my heart to have to take her back, but it was best.

  2. Such a beautiful puppy! Congratulations and welcome back!

    I am sorry about your first steps, but you have to do what is best for you guys.

  3. He is so so precious!! We have always had good luck with shelter dogs but it is hit or miss for sure. We have been considering a goldendoodle when we get another dog because of some allergy issues and I've heard they are great for that!

  4. Three kids and a puppy!?! You are brave my friend!!!

  5. PS...I am so happy you are blogging again. You have been missed!

  6. Congratulations on the newest addition of your family, Finley is adorable! I am sure you all have been having a great summer with him so far. I am sorry you had to take back the other dog, but it's difficult when you don't know the specific history and what he's been through before coming to you. Sounds like it was the smart decision.

  7. Oh my heavens!! Just too cute!! (Both the kiddos and the pup!) Just after we brought our shelter pup home we received a call from the shelter that he had parvo and would likely not make it. We got lucky.....he's sleeping on my feet as I type :). Enjoy your puppy!!


Thanks so much for taking a minute to share your thoughts with me! I love reading each of them. Have a great one.