I got a $25 Etsy gift card for Hannukah…

…and I have no clue what to spend it on. There are literally hundreds of things on my etsy favorites list under or slightly over $25. Here are a few:

Lovebird Ring Holder

Porcelain Yarn Ball Bowl

Tea mug with side pocket for teabag

Teal hummingbird pillow

Custom Rainbow Zippo Lighter

Leather 4′ Lead from Bold Lead Designs

*sigh* I need help, I’m an etsy addict.

My baby has (probably) been conceived!

Pregnancy confirmation is going to be the 3rd week in December. Puppies due on January 17th. Puppies ready to go home mid march!

My sire is a Spanish Champion named Esp. CH Joksan Nabar the Gloucester or “Brooker”. Here are some pictures:

Brooker1

Brooker2

The dam is a Dutch-bred sweetheart named Brookelyn v.’t Wijdseland or “Brooke”. Here are some pictures of her:

Brooke

 

Brooke 3

 

So excited. I just had my breeder put me in touch with one of the people who took home a puppy from their last litter. The family who took home the puppy lives close to me so they were able to give me some information about transporting the puppy from Washington across country. Here’s what the guy had to say about his experience with the breeder and Drents in general. (Note: his Drent puppy is named “Riley”):

“To put it simply, my experience with [the breeder] was amazing. Candie, Terry, and Jenna are wonderful people and I felt so fortunate that I found them when I was looking for Riley. They truly care about their “fur babies” and truly care what kind of homes that the puppies go to. I still keep in contact with them. Candie sends hand written notes and emails occasionally. I am friends with Jenna on facebook and I make sure to put photos of Riley up so she can see how she’s doing.

The trip out there to get him was nothing short of amazing. We flew into Seattle, rented a car, and drove up to [the breeder]. They have you stay one night in a hotel so that your not pulling a 24 hour or more round trip. You go over there and you get to see your dog and play with all of theirs (litter and all). Brooke [my dam] is a real sweetheart to say the least. You then stay the night in a hotel about 5 minutes away and then you pick your Drent up the next day. You then have the whole day to travel back to Seattle which is only a few hours. Riley and I went to this harbor/ bay area that separates the US and Canada and took a walk.
While flying back, Riley was my “carry on”. We flew American to and from Pittsburgh. I don’t know what your airline preference is, but what I did was called the airline and bought the ticket for him that way. He rode back in a soft kennel with handles. They sell them at petsmart, petco, etc. You just have to make sure they fit the under the seat cargo dimensions for carry on luggage. Riley did well with the flight and slept most of the way. The people he was under didn’t even realize he was there. Also, while waiting for the flight I let him out of the kennel and let him walk around a bit. Just make sure to give yourself some extra time at the airport because they will swab your hands automatically at the security checkpoints. Also, bringing your fiance along would not be a bad idea. That way you can pay attention to the dog and your fiance can drive and handle airplane tickets. I took my mom and I was glad I did.

Riley is an amazing dog and to say he is part of the family is an understatement. He has his own stocking for christmas and will be having the most gifts under the tree this year. He plays well with my nephew that comes over every Friday. My nephew learned to pronounce his name before he learned his own dogs name. He even knows who Riley is when he looks at pictures on the cameras. Riley, like his dad, has no concept of a personal bubble, which makes life a little interesting because he will stick his nose right in your face. He also still thinks he is a little puppy and try and crawl in my lap still…no easy task for a dog that is approximately 60 lbs already. I also had labs growing up. Drents are different. When they play, they are 100% go, much like the labs. However, when we come home, he is a couch potato (granted that he had plenty of exercise that day). Just like his mom he is very affectionate and is content to curl up at your feet…

…As for a comparison of another dog breed to a Drent, I can’t think of one. They are unique. A lot of hunting dogs are 100% go all the time. Drents on the other hand adjust to their environment in and out of the field… Drents are really smart as well, aim to please, but don’t take well to harsh corrections. You need a gentle, but firm training style.

Riley also gets along with other dogs. There is a lab across the street that he loves playing “tag” with and he always checks to see if she’s out to play.

To summate, I think you will be more than pleased with the [breeder]. They truly care. Also, on the puppy application, the more information you can provide about yourself, the better. They perform an assessment at 7 weeks and match the dog to you. It’s tough waiting 7 weeks to find out which puppy is yours, but take some time when they post photos to really enjoy the entire litter. Believe me when I say they take a lot of time deciding which puppy goes to which home. Riley and I have worked out fine and it was a great match thanks to all of their hard work.”

I have to admit, I’m really excited now. I was really worried that since she put me in touch with a guy who was a hunter I was going to get an email that was all, “Drents are hardcore working dogs.” “They’re not for everyone”. “They’re going to tear your house apart.” But it seems that his experience with the breed sort of echos everything I’ve read: that they’re incredibly awesome outdoor working dogs that transition into laid-back indoor dogs once they pass the threshold into your house. That’s EXACTLY why I wanted to go with this breed. Very excited.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here’s a picture of Riley:

Riley

Let’s start at the very beginning

I’ve decided to start this blog to follow my journey as I build a family over the next few years. Only 2 years ago, I was a single woman, disabled and unsure of where life was headed. Then, I met Steven (name changed to protect privacy). After a beautiful 10 month romance, we got engaged.

I use a service dog to help me get through the day and we have been partnered since August 2011. My service dog is a 4 year old yellow labrador named Daphne.  I suffer from complex migraines that are triggered by most indoor lighting. The migraines don’t hurt, but they mimic strokes and when I have one, I have trouble walking, navigating, even talking. I get confused, disoriented, dizzy, and I generally have a bad time. Here is a picture of Daphne in full harness.

20130812_182850

Steven didn’t seem to skip a beat when I arrived with Daphne on one of our first dates. We actually became quite a nice little working family very quickly.

Because I do not get my migraines outdoors, we are about to add another member to our family. Steven is originally from the Netherlands so we decided to get a dutch breed puppy, known as a drentsche patrijshond, or dutch partridge dog. I hope to train to train the dog in agility or hunting trails and maybe get out of the house more often. Our puppy was just conceived a few days ago and is due to be born on January 17th. We are going to be picking him/her up from the breeder in mid-march. Here’s is a picture of a drentsche patrijshond or “drent”:

random drent

To add even more excitement, we should be moving this upcoming summer. Steven is a professor of math at an ivy league school, but this particular school does not offer tenure to young math professors. So, he is currently looking for a tenure track job in the US. I have high hopes that we will be moving to Denver (he has applied to the University of Colorado), but we may also be moving to Baton Rouge, Atlanta, or Nashville. We plan to buy a house once we get to where we’re going. I told Steven that my only condition when it comes to my move is that there is plenty of room for my dogs to run.

Finally, there is the wedding. We are getting married on October 26, 2014 at my old eating club in Princeton University. So, there will be a lot of discussion of wedding plans on this blog as well.

Essentially, there is a lot going on in my life right now and I want to keep a safe log of it all.