It was 2013 and I had been living as a single person for almost 5 years. Sam, our beautiful family black lab, had recently passed due to a horrible but thankfully quick struggle with throat cancer. I decided it was time to get another dog and this time, she was going to be mine. It was the first time I had been able to make a decision like this on my own.
I asked the kids what kind of dog they wanted to get, fully expecting them to request another black lab. Both of our previous 2 dogs had been that breed and I have always had an affection for them. One son said we should get another black lab and the other son said we should get something different, so I decided on a black labradoodle. That way, it satisfied both sons’ requests. A labradoodle was a lab and yet, it wasn’t a lab.
So the search for a black labradoodle began. You’d think that it would be an easy search, but it was quite the challenge. I refuse to spend a fortune on a dog, so the initial searches showing a cost of over $1000 was completely out of the question. The next searches showed dogs in my price range, but they were all out of state, so by the time you factored in shipping/travel expenses, the dog was still going to cost over $1000.
After about a week of searching, I suddenly found a litter of black Labradoodles, in Wisconsin, and in my price range! Now the next challenge, did they have a female? I have only ever had female dogs and don’t plan on changing anytime soon. As it turns out, they only had 1 female left. I jumped at it. It was like it was meant to be.
I contacted the breeder, who was just a family that bred their dog. The puppies had so far been raised in a family home surrounded by kids and it sounded perfect. I was sent some pictures and within a day, I had agreed to travel to LaCrosse to see the puppies.
Mom and I hopped in the car and made the 2.5-hour drive to check things out. The first dog we saw was one of the males and it looked so much like a poodle. That was NOT the look I was going for. Then we saw her. She was perfect. She was jet black, sweet, and looked more like a lab than her brothers. The breeder told us that she was very smart and would likely be the one to teach all the other dogs how to escape through the fence. (hindsight being 20/20 – we should’ve listened, because she has become our Houdini dog and frequently escapes through new holes in the fence)
We decided on the spot that she was the one.
I hadn’t prepared for actually buying a puppy that night, so we had to stop at the pet store on the way home to pick up the necessary supplies. While at the store, my new puppy must’ve been nervous because she ended up puking all over the floor. I was mortified, but the store employees didn’t seem too shocked and they just handed me a roll of paper towel so I could clean up the mess.
We made it home without any further problems and we began the joyous journey of life with our new puppy, Lucy!