The Canine Consulting Beginning….. 

Never would I have thought that when I begged, bargained, and even presented a financial statement detailing the cost of owning a dog, to my dad at the age of twelve; that it would eventually lead to the creation of Collective Canine Consulting. Dogs have been a monumental part of my life, and a passion for me since my earliest memories.

Thankfully my dear dad succumbed to my relentless hounding of the topic, and we adopted “my first dog”. Sam was a two year old, yellow Labrador crossed with a German Shepard, who instantly became “the apple of my eye”. Sam became my shadow, my faithful, he soaked up many tears, and was there through many successes as well. He showed so many of the Labrador characteristics in so many ways. When my first son was born, Sam immediately understood the importance of his new job. The common traits of his German Shepard side shone through, as he slept beneath my sons crib every night, keeping a watchful eye on him. During the day, he kept our kitchen floor spotless, particularly under my sons highchair.

Sam’s forever presence in our lives was never in question, until one unexpected stormy day, I came home to find the yard eerily empty. No wagging tail, no wet nose bumping my hand for a “welcome home” pat. My heart racing, I ran to the house in case Sam was accidently locked inside. The house was silent. The worst case scenario possible began to hit me, Sam was terrified of thunder. He had run away in complete fear and terror, and I hadn’t been home to comfort him.

Tears streaming, we searched every corner of the property, we scoured the neighborhood, called neighbors, put up signs, called radio stations, and every week I went to the local pound with hope that Sam would be turned in.

Six months went by, as I kept hope, and amongst one of my many disheartening visits, I came a cross a new prisoner of someone’s ignorance. While all the other canine pound mates jumped, lunged, and vocally demanded my attention, I nearly missed the reserved, meek Black Labrador/Border Collie sitting quietly, but with intention, against the chain-link barrier between us. His soft brown eyes sucked me in for just enough time, he caught my attention. That look briefly reminded me of Sam, incredibly smart, with an equal amount of love and loyalty. I missed Sam more than I could put into words, so on I went, searching for Sam.

Over the next five weeks, to no avail, did I find Sam. My last visit to the pound, I decided to ask about the young Black Lab/Border Collie cross, that by now I had grown fond of, as I made a point to pay him a quick “hello” on each of my visits. I was surprised he was still there. I found out his time was running out to be there. I knew at that moment, he was the next addition to my small family.

Being half Border collie, “Little Baloo” proved to be incredibly bright. I would think of his next command, and with often no words, just a look from me, he understood. To this day, I feel he knew I saved him, and never once in his whole life did he stray from my side. Only a couple weeks after he joined our family, did I loose track of any leash in the household. They were never needed. His desire to please me, and figure out what I wanted was strong until the day he died in my arms. Way to early I must say. He passed of cancer at the age of seven. I had to take the rest of the week off from work. I knew then, there would never be the option for me to navigate through this unpredictable world with out a canine companion. There is no love or loyalty able to match that of a dog.

At this point in life, I had the learned and experienced the value of a Labrador Retriever cross, and felt a Labrador was suitable for myself and my children. The next addition to our world was Riley, a chunky black Lab puppy, who stayed that way for most of her life. She was incredible with my boys, and actually put herself between my youngest son, and a lake shore during a camping trip, when all adult eyes were turned for a brief moment. I felt forever indebted to her after that! Her intuition and loyalty was amazing.

Riley was my first female canine family member, and during a random conversation with someone, the idea of having a litter came up. At this time Labradoodles were fairly new, and through the grapevine, I had access to a Standard Poodle stud, so yes, you guessed it! Riley was bred to a vivacious, brilliant cream coloured poodle.

I was so excited; it felt like the longest nine weeks I could remember. The idea of numerous bundles of canine joy at my fingertips left me barely able to sleep at night! When Riley went into labor, I never left her side. She delivered her puppies with ease, and was a natural mom from the first moment. I was so entranced with every part of puppy raising, I felt I had found a new passion. What was even more fun was working with the families. Over all the experience was fulfilling, all encompassing, and something I knew I would do again.

As the years passed, I was blessed with several other dogs, mostly Labradors, as well as Taffy our Golden Retriever, and even Max, a 5 lb Chihuahua! I have worked with many families over the years, and have raised a variety of purebred and cross type puppies. I have spent hours and hours vetting other breeders to make sure I am bringing home the healthiest canine family members possible. As time passed, I have also learned to understand when families are ready to add a dog to their world, or when a later time is better. It has been a life long journey, with so many learning curves, that have lead to the idea of Collective Canine Consulting coming together. There is rarely a gift greater than that of a good dog….

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