Exactly one year ago we were pulling into our driveway with two eight week old aussiedoodle puppies. It would be hard to say that this year has whipped by fast considering all of the stages of growth and training these dogs have gone through. Most of which have been described in detail on this blog. Despite the 364 days that have passed since their homecoming, I will never forget the day Koda and Summer entered my life and my heart.
After an extensive search for just the right aussiedoodle breeder, we landed on Rose Hill Doodles, a sweet family breeder out in the southwestern rural area of Virginia. One look at the beautiful Australian shepherd mother and her previous offspring with a handsome poodle lad, and we knew we had found the place. I also liked the breeder’s focus on the health and well-being of her family dog, the aussie mother. It was April and she had a litter of 8 puppies. The highly sought after pups with the aussie markings were more expensive and were going fast. Fine with us, we fell in love right away with the all black roly poly fur ball on the screen. It was around this time that we made the decision to get two of those little 8 pounds cuties; after all, every picture had them snuggling together. I would sit and stare at my phone screen, oohing and ahhing at every sweet picture of purple collar and green collar (the breeders method for telling them apart).
After weeks of anxiously waiting, finally came the big day. Papa Bear and I got out of the truck and walked up to the fence. Out from under a canopy of trees in the shade trotted a thick furry Australian shepherd with five little puppies trailing behind her. The breeder greeted us and right away picked up the tiny female and handed her to Papa Bear. Sweet Summer! My eyes welled. Seconds later the round male was placed in my arms. My little Koda Bear! I remember being a little nervous (how do I hold this fragile baby). His coat was so silky and soft, his puppy smell and his apprehension (always the scared one). The exchange happened so fast: our last payment, their shot records and two little gift bags she’d prepared, and then it was goodbye.
I hesitated for a moment, worrying that the aussie mother might feel sad at the departure of two of her babies. My voice shaky with emotions, I called out to the breeder and to the aussie mother, “We will take great care of them. Thank you so much!” I am even teary now recalling that feeling as we drove away with Koda and Summer. Less than five minutes later, sentimental experience was interrupted with the sudden smell of puppy poop. There is nothing that throws you right into puppy parenthood like the strong scent from a nervous young puppy. How could something so tiny and cute blast that kind of obnoxious odor into the small space of the cab of our truck? Not to fear, we came prepared with cleaning wipes, and a fresh towel for the dog carrier they shared. We pulled over and did what parents do when there’s a potty mishap, and then we were back on the road.
A few hours later we pulled up to our house. Koda and Summer were home. They met their new siblings, explored their new backyard, and began life in the grizzlybearma family.