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a breeder of champions

08 January 2011

Entering this breeder’s home was a lot different than our experience in November visiting Breeder Number One. MW had previously completed a lengthy application form so the breeder knew way more about us than we did about her.

A chorus of barking from four adult great danes welcomed us. The house had an appropriate “puppies thriving here” smell. Faded dog show photos, trophies, ribbons and cups adorned the living room, which had temporarily been equipped for puppy rearing.

Four days shy of eight-weeks, the five young ones (four females and one male) were lively playmates for us. Their mom, Jessie, was on site, too. Dad was in Utah.

luna's litter mates age 7wks

Posing for their album cover

Breeder 2 (B2) proved to be like the mechanic you entrust with your vintage 1955 Mercedes coupe. She was into Great Danes when Phil Spector was still respected. She’s been around. She has inquired, investigated, tested, confirmed, and welcomed us with a wealth of breeding knowledge. More than anything, B2 wanted us to know the litter’s provenance or origins.

The Family Tree

This was the History Channel part of our visit. B2 recalled the lives, health and longevity of almost every grandparent, great-grandparent and great-great grandparent (male and female) for four generations in the family tree. I think it took us back to Clinton before Lewinski. A few had died young; most lived to old age. Sarah, Jessie’s mom, was on site, too, and in fantastic shape for 9.5 years. She must be the Jerry Rice of the breed.

After 90 minutes, it was clear that this could be a good fit. We drove home and emailed her the next day. We advised her that we wanted to take the purple girl who B2 thought wouldn’t show well due to a single mark on her tail and her comparatively slight frame. (Yup, that’s how strict dog shows are). In effect, we had just ordered another pet stock puppy.

Yippee.

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