Alisha surprised me with Cocoa, then an 8 week old cute chocolate lab puppy, as a housewarming gift in 2005. I remember telling her how I always wanted a lab puppy when I moved into my first house. I had just finished remodeling the house and was moving in right around my birthday in June 2005. I was 21 years old and so excited, but I didn’t have a puppy. We found an ad for a mixed breed litter that had labs in the mix so we went and saw the puppies. Their living conditions were terrible and I felt really bad for the litter. I wanted to rescue all of them out of there, but I knew I couldn’t. I was brand new to the “puppy world” and we started to experience how hard it was to find a sound, healthy lab puppy. We called breeder after breeder, only to come up empty. Half the time the breeders were rude to us or never returned our calls anyway.
Alisha stumbled on an ad in the “Wheeler Dealer” and found a litter of lab puppies. 🙂 She drove me out to the middle of nowhere (much like the same feeling those have when they come to our house now), I had no idea where we were going. When we pulled into this driveway, I saw an adorable chocolate lab puppy in the yard and I fell in love in about 1.5 seconds. I go back to that feeling every time a family steps out of their car to meet our puppies, it is such an amazing feeling.
Bringing her home with me and moving into my new house the very same day is something I’ll always remember. In a way I feel like we grew up together. She became my best buddy and we did everything together. We still have the chocolate brown furniture I bought just for her, she sleeps on the loveseat every night in our puppy nursery.
That started our love for labs and I am so glad we went with a healthy, purebred lab! Now she’s 12 years old and still my best buddy. Her tail is a weapon and she gets what she wants. She was one of our first moms and we LOVED her puppies with Chopper. Now she’s “Aunt Cocoa”, who turns into a puppy again whenever she plays with them. It’s fun to look back and think about where our love for labs began.