Meet Indy - Our New Puppy

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

 

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy

I’ve wanted a dog for almost as long as I can remember. It was never something my parents were keen on when I was growing up, so although I had other pets, a dog was never part of my life. 


My first little part time job was actually walking a retired greyhound called Buddy for the elderly owner. 


My husband grew up with dogs, mainly Labradors and was also keen, but until now, with careers involving travel, both the Mr and I working outside of the home all day, having babies and the house being a building site for the best part of a year while we did a huge renovation, it’s never been the right time before.


Now, finally, all the stars have aligned. 


My job means I’m permanently based at home, so Indy will be a great reason to get out and about during the day. 


We live an active lifestyle so we knew we could give the dog enough exercise, plus we live next to a nature reserve which is the perfect spot for walks. 


The kids are old enough that they’re not babies anymore and can enjoy having a dog around and help to care for it. 


And all the major building work on our home is complete - all except getting new carpets, which we’ve put on hold until we know Indy is fully house-trained! 


It was the right time to welcome a four-legged friend into our lives.


Choosing The Right Dog To Love

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy


Initially, we thought about giving a home to a rescue dog. But my husband felt that because we have small children, we needed to be completely sure of the temperament and experience of any animal coming into the home. 


For that reason we started looking for a breeder. We’d considered a few different breeds. The Mr was sold on a labrador at first, as those are the dogs he’s grown up with and we know they make great family pets. 


I was keener on a dog slightly smaller in size, so we decided that a spaniel would be ideal. They’re highly intelligent, friendly and great with kids. 


It’s important to be realistic about what kind of dog fits with your life. As we walk a lot and both of us run most days, we were confident that we could meet the high exercise needs of a spaniel.


Finding Indy

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy


Once we’d decided on a spaniel, the hard part was finding one. 


We didn’t mind if the dog was a springer spaniel or a cocker spaniel (from what I hear, springers are slightly crazier energy wise!). 


We did know we wanted a female. My husband has kept both male and female dogs, and although they are both loveable, males can get quite boisterous around the one year mark, so we preferred the slightly calmer nature of a female. 


Finding a breeder was insanely hard. We used Pets4Homes and also a website called GunDogsDirect to try and find the right litter. I contacted dozens of breeders, but none had female pups available. As soon as a listing would appear, the pups would be sold within an hour or so, if not even before they were born. 


We were also a little concerned about lockdown restrictions and what that meant for our search- if the dog was the other side of the country, we wouldn’t be able to visit and see the mother and the conditions the breeder kept, which is hugely important. 


Because of these factors and the popularity of dogs at the moment, we spent quite a few months looking. 


Finally, in January we had a breakthrough. We found a breeder three miles up the road from us who had a newborn litter of six ‘sprocker’ pups. 


Sprockers are a hybrid breed, a mix of springer and cocker spaniel. Funnily enough, we met an amazing spaniel on a walk last year that the kids loved and got chatting to the owner a bit - and he was a sprocker. So it must be fate. 


After viewing the litter over FaceTime, we selected a gorgeous girl with a solid golden coat (this was the hard part, as all the pups were beautiful!). 


Before paying the deposit, we also went around to the breeders house - back garden only, and socially distanced! - so we could meet the puppies. 


We also saw their mother, Pepper, a gorgeous chocolate cocker spaniel - and even their grandmother, as those two dogs are the family pets there. 


The puppies were coming from a house with children as well. This was important as we knew they would be used to being around kids. 


Choosing a name for our new pet was the hardest part! I was very keen on Juno and the kids liked Honey, but we ended up compromising and choosing Indy as everyone liked it.


Bringing Her Home

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy

Golden sprocker spaniel puppy | getting a puppy


Before we welcomed Indy, we made sure to stock up on new puppy essentials, so that we’d have everything we needed ready to go. When she was over eight weeks old and fully weaned, we went to collect her. 


We had a cage for her to travel and overnight in, with her Joules dog bed inside. She also came to us vaccinated, microchipped and with a bag of her preferred food and a snuggle toy to help her settle into her new home. We slowly introduced her to the house and garden and made sure to give her lots of love and reassurance. 


Having Indy has definitely enhanced our lives and now our family feels really complete.


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