Puppies grow fast !! We planned to keep four of them, but plans can change.
Puppy # 1 became Legacy's Let Me Count The Ways. Around the age of eight weeks she started turning silver and became the prettiest of all the pups. She was always easily distracted, had to be watched while nursing as she would forget what she was doing and crawl away. She had to be constantly plugged back in. She is still high strung and distracted, but so loveable. She loves to be petted and hugged and thinks hanging with her humans is the best activity. She is extremely attracted to water and when she sees the garden hose she goes crazy. She is a tireless retriever and will bring her ball back to be thrown for hours. We always tire before she does.
We always knew we would keep Tess. She is gorgeous and very attached to us. We are planning to start obedience class soon and I think Tess will excel.
Puppy # 2 became Legacy's Red Sky At Night. Sky has always been our early warning signal. Even as a tiny pup he would bark at any strange noise, movement or whatever. He still is a barker, letting me know when it's time to get up, eat, go out or just play with doggies. He has an amazing sense of time and always knows within five minutes of dinner time. Sky is independent, likes to have his back scratched, but really doesn't want to cuddle. He is the largest of the pups now weighing 57 pounds. He isn't crazy about water but he does have a favorite toy. He has a glow ball that he carries everywhere with him. He loves to retrieve.
We thought we had found a good home for Sky. We had many conversations with the man who wanted him. He had done his homework and it looked like a good home. A week before we were planning to deliver him I started getting uneasy feelings. I asked some pointed questions and it slipped out that his wife didn't want the dog. I wouldn't place a puppy in that situation.
Rob and I took another look at Sky and came to the same conclusion. Sky would stay with us.
Sky is a ham. Point a camera at him and he sits and smiles.
Puppy # 3 became Legacy's Whatever Lola Wants. She is black with silver feet and chest. At three weeks Rob told me she had the most beautiful face of any puppy ever. She was staying. She is a born thief and counter-surfer. She loves to retrieve and to run. She adores Monty and loves to play with Tsar. Lola is fearless.
Puppy # 4 became Legacy's Winter's Grace. She was a beauty from the start with four white feet, a big white chest and a white chin. She always tried to be very good and when the others got in trouble, she would come for a hug and reassurance. She would get lost in our little pack. I felt she would thrive in a home where she could be either an only dog or one of two so she could get plenty of attention, but the right home didn't come along.
Gracie liked water and liked to retrieve, but she mostly wanted to be with us and to be petted. I worried that I couldn't give her enough attention.
One morning when the pups were ten months old, Rob had them in the back yard. I was in the kitchen getting breakfast for the adult dogs when the doorbell rang. It was an English lady J, who introduced herself and said she had a Portuguese Water Dog and had gotten my name from the breed club membership book. She wanted to meet someone else with a PWD. I asked her if she would like to see mine and walked her to the back of the deck to see where the five girls were playing. Next Rob brought out the boys and Samba and Fudge.
J told me she was thinking of getting an adult dog to be company for her seven year old male. We talked for a while, then I introduced her to Gracie. The first introduction didn't go well. Gracie thought she needed to defend her yard from this stranger and barked at her.
About a week later J came by again and Samba, Grace and I met her in the front yard. This time it went much better. Grace went up to J and it looked like they might make friends. The next meeting went better. J and Grace went for a little walk alone together and Grace met J's dog Splash. J had not wanted a pup, even a ten month old pup, and took her time deciding. We talked many times and I gave her copies of all the pedigrees, health certificates, pictures of parents and grandparents, copies of my contract, everything I thought she needed to see to make an informed decision. But in the end, she simply fell in love with Grace.
In October, just weeks before her first birthday, Grace went to live with J and Splash. It was hard to part with an eleven month old puppy. I missed her and worried about how she would adjust. I needn't have worried. I didn't lose a dog, I gained a friend. J and Rob and I have become good friends and have done many things together, some dog related, some not. We have visited J, Grace and Splash a number of times and we could not have dreamed of a better home for our puppy.
Grace will probably be the first Legacy dog to earn a title and I couldn't be more proud of her.
Splash and Grace
Puppy # 5 became Legacy's Ebony Bay. She was always small and independent and often got picked on by her sisters, but Bailey has become a lovely, tough young dog. She still likes to get a toy and go off to play by herself, but she will also start a game of 'catch me'. She is a good retriever and a good tracker. She is always following the scent of rabbits or squirrels and even snatched a bird out of the air. The bird was released uninjured.
A young couple who were experienced with Golden Retrievers contacted us about Bailey. They had researched the breed and were very interested. After interviewing them I thought they were a good family for a dog, but they had three small children and I didn't know if a very active, mouthy PWD was a good choice for them. I suggested they spend some time with one and let me know what they thought. I gave them some names in their area to contact. I received a call saying they felt the breed was a little too much for their kids, but maybe sometime in the future. They were going to stick with a Golden. I thought they made a good decision, but Bailey still needed a home.
We never found the right home for Bailey and now she is a big part of our family so I guess Bailey is here to stay.
Puppy # 6 became Legacy's Indigo Sea. He was a really independent little guy and preferred to play by himself and sleep apart from the others at an early age. We had originally planned to keep him, but a young man from Oklahoma, C, wanted a pup and had a good home for him. Gib was a perfect fit for C's lifestyle and at age twelve weeks left for his new home.
We get e-mails from C, and Gib has taken to the water. He loves to go boating and swims all summer.
Is this an adorable puppy?
Puppy #7 is Legacy's Adrift In The Dark. He is the smallest and possibly the cutest of the pups. Noah is a big fuzzy teddy bear. He loves to cuddle and has a sweet disposition. He was also his Mom's favorite. She allowed him to nurse longer than the others and still watches over him. Noah was supposed to go to my best friend, but she wasn't in a position to take him and now we wouldn't part with him.
Noah has the most white of all the pups and attracts the most attention from strangers. He's just a little doll who loves playing with his brother, Sky.
Puppy # 9 is Legacy's Some Like It Hot. There was never any doubt from the first week that Norma Jean was staying with us. She decided. Even before her eyes and ears opened she would start crawling toward me when I entered the nursery. Once they opened, she never took her eyes off me when we were together. She still is very obviously my dog. I love all the pups, but Norma Jean is my favorite. She is not well behaved, she jumps and twirls and nips my clothing. She gets her muddy feet all over me, but she comes the instant I call and stays by my side. She enjoys playing with her siblings, but prefers to play with me. How can you not love a dog like that?
Norma Jean loves the water, but is indifferent to retrieving. She'll do it, but her heart isn't in it. She just wants to spend time with me. I think Norma Jean will do well in obedience class and we are hoping to do rally with her.
Though we originally thought we'd keep four pups, we kept six. Each has a very different personality. It would be extremely hard to choose between them now. They all get along well with each other and with the older dogs. Robert feels like a shepherd with a flock of black sheep sometimes. In these pictures he looks the part.