Yesterday was one of the most special days of my life. Shaun and I woke up before the sun and embarked on a mini road trip across 2 states to make a very special, long-awaited addition to our family. Across the mountains of Northern Virginia and through the foggy valleys of West Virginia we drove 4 1/2 hours to a little farm in a tiny town called Alderson.
We were on the road by 5:30, passing all the early morning commuters on their way to DC. Across several moonlit highways, down tiny little winding roads, through countless cow pastures and past what must have been dozens of gorgeous old, red barns, we came to the place that would fill our happy home to the brim with love. A special little place called Nash Goldens.
I tried to sleep the first hour of the trip since it was technically still night time. But once the sun started to rise, over those mountaintops and melted that fog right out of the valleys, the excitement bubbled up inside of me and gave me a burst of energy (the frapucino didn't hurt either). I'd like to say the 4 1/2 hour trip was brutal and exasperating and it drew on forever, but in reality it seemed to go by in a flash.
The trip wasn't without it's mini adventures either. There isn't an actual address for the breeder so it was a lot of "drive 3 miles and come to a stop sign, follow the road along the river and go through town". We got lost on some back roads, through some pretty shady little trailer towns and were even chased by a rabid pack of wild beagles.
Yeah, wild beagles.
They were most likely someones pets that ran off and decided to play gangster, wait in the middle of the road for an unsuspecting out of town driver, looking lost and innocent until said out of town vehicle attempts to drive around them and they start barking and howling and chasing down our car like a wild game hunt.
Once we finally got away from the Snoopy Street Gang, we doubled back to our actual destination and decrypted our directions: "come down the hill and you'll see 4 houses on the right, you'll come to 2 yellow paper boxes and a big oak tree, pull down the gravel road to the blackboard fence". I actually enjoyed the landmark style directions, it was sort of like a treasure hunt, piecing together the puzzle until we finally found the treasure.
Tucked in the mountains of WV and down that long gravel driveway, we were greeted by an English Cream golden retriever mommy and daddy and a large fluffy goldendoodle next to an old red barn. We knew we had come to the right place.
As we pulled up a little bit farther we saw this amazing, gorgeous old barn.
My anticipation peaked and I was frantically looking around for little puppies frolicking in the wet morning grass and tackling each others fluffy little heads. Shaun was actually the first to see them, when we pulled in to park, there they were.
We met the breeder Debbi, and her husband, and they picked the 5 boys from the white golden litter, (11 total!) and brought them inside for us to choose.
When Debbi originally sent me the pictures of all 5 boys, numbered chronologically, I had sat dreamy eyed staring at #1 for much longer than I should have. When we narrowed down our puppy choices, it came down to #1, #4 and the runt of the litter.
Shaun really took to #4 and the runt, seeing as they were the most playful. But #1 had already captured my heart. Even though it was the most difficult decision of my life, I knew in my heart that #1 was our dog.
And so we found our Little Bear.
Little Bear was a dream on the car ride home. He slept the entire 4 1/2 hours in mamas arms. About 1 hour into the trip, these new, nervous puppy parents decided to try and stop and let him do his business outside of a gas station. It turns out this little guy wasn't ready to do business and just plopped his little chubby butt down on the ground whining until I picked him up again. When we got back in the car he snuggled up against me and fell fast asleep pretty quickly.
These are some pictures of Little Bears first day home, exploring his new digs, taking lots of naps, meeting and chasing his big brother, Meatwad and just being a little adorable nugget in general.
Welcome home Little Bear, we love you so much and love you more each and every day. We can't wait to watch you learn and grow and discover the big world. You are more perfect than we ever could have imagined.