Many of you know – we welcomed a new member to our little family in July. A 7 month old female yellow lab named Cotton. We’ve spent the past few months acclimating to life with a doggie again…or should I say life with a YOUNG doggie again. Oy.
It’s really by chance that we happened up Miss Cotton…
While we enjoyed several dog-free months (the first of our entire marriage) my heart still yearned for the love of a dog. While the cats are nice and all – I am a dog person through and through. And while Matt would claim he didn’t really care if we got another dog – he is too. So earlier this summer we started doing some research on dogs, looking mostly at ARL websites and rescue dogs. We both thought we’d like to have another female yellow lab and we’d found a few dogs that looked promising, when I stumbled upon the website of a Labrador breeder close to Des Moines. I was poking through their website, just reading about them and looking at their lovely dogs, when I saw a section about sometimes having older puppies or dogs available. Low and behold, they happened to have a 6 month old yellow female. So I sent an e-mail asking about her.
A series of e-mails went back and forth between myself and the breeder and we found out Miss Cotton was a bit of a special needs dog. They had kept her as a small pup, because she was the pick of the litter and they thought she would be a great dog to breed herself. As she began to grow, however, she showed signs of elbow fragmentation – a genetic disease. They knew they wouldn’t be able to breed her and that she would need surgery to fix her elbows. So they paid for her surgery and were carefully rehabbing her when I stumbled upon their website. She explained that Cotton should live a normal life – but she should avoid a lot of stairs or jumping up a lot…to prevent early arthritis/pain in the joints she had surgery on. She was also taking several joint support supplements to help prevent further issues and they were very concerned that wherever Cotton ended up, she would be able to continue taking them. I could sense right away how caring and thorough the breeder was and we both decided to meet up and see if we thought we’d be a good fit.
Walking into the breeder’s place – we were immediately greeted with no less than 7 large labs with huge smiles, wagging tails…and 2 ‘token’ shelties happily following behind them. They were happy, friendly, and extremely well behaved. No jumping. No barking. Just friendly, incredibly loveable dogs. We wanted to take them all home.
Cotton was still recovering from surgery, so she was confined to her crate most of the day and went bonkers when they let her out to visit us. Naturally, we expected her to be wild with excitement. All that time cooped up, and being such a young dog, we knew what to expect. And of course, we loved her instantly. We felt without a doubt that she would be perfect for us, and we would be perfect for her. So we made a deal with the breeder to pick her up after our vacation…nearly 6 weeks after our initial visit. We spent the next several days talking about how amazing the place was – how well behaved the dogs were – and how much we were going to love our new doggie.
Heading down for our first visit, we thought for sure we would change her name. Cotton just wasn’t our favorite…but after meeting her, we knew…she was Cotton. We made purchases and plans and got things ready at home, and the day after we drove 12 hours home from Colorado, we loaded up and drove down to pick up our new dog. We’ve been happily covered in hair ever since. Cotton still has some learning to do – it’s strange having a nearly full grown sized PUPPY! Clearly her joints are not bothering her yet as she jumps up on me way more than she should…something we’re working on a lot right now. It’s been an adventure for sure, and a bit strange having a new dog after so many years. But oh my – I love her so much already. She is so happy, and so loveable, and so perfect for us. So here’s to the future with a dog named Cotton!