It was May 28th, 2011, when we first made contact with out breeder, Judy Gruzelier. Her ‘kennel’ (none of the dogs are kennelled – she keeps it small and all are house dogs), Waterwalk, is located in Belcarra, a mere 40 kilometres from our home in Vancouver. We had anticipated this whole breeder-visiting business to be a time-consuming project requiring lots of long road-trips, because the Lakeland terrier is a rare breed and BC is about the size of Western Europe. Finding out that there was a good breeder only an hour away was astonishing. The odds seemed to be on our side, for sure.
Judy and I exchanged emails and she sent me some pictures of potential Lakie parents. And as if she had been listening in on our conversations all this time, two days later, on May 30th, London (one of the potential mommies) had come into season. -Bam!- You dream, London delivers. FedEx might as well pack up and go home.
Wow! Hold on. Time to take a deep breath. … We weren’t even sure we were ready for this. I mean, we had just started our research journey. The book we ordered about the Lakeland terrier was still on its (long!) way to our home, thanks to the Canadian postal strike. We weren’t planning on jumping in headfirst like this.
But nature does not wait on anything. London would be bred soon, puppies would arrive in August and a few lucky families would add a Lakie to their household in October. We decided that, even though we might not choose to be one of those families just yet, we would still be able to witness this incredible process and have a front-row seat to this whole puppy business. It would be somewhat of a dress-rehearsal for next year. Perfect!
And just like that it was time to get this show on the road.
On June 9th, London, a beautiful red girl, was brought to Belcarra from her home in Calgary. She had already proven to be an excellent mom to a litter of four happy and healthy pups (two red, two grizzle) last year. At that time, she was bred to Thomas, but this year Judy decided to breed London to Nico.
Nico is a handsome grizzle boy who has done extremely well on dog shows over the past year. When he is not out and about impressing the ladies and collecting awards, he roams Judy’s neighbourhood together with a Giant Schnauzer, two Japanese Chins, a Wheaten terrier and another Lakie. A lively bunch!
Now we all know that long-distance relationships can be tough. But Nico and London managed to keep their heads up, their priorities straight and had no issues rekindling their love. And by June 11th, London was on her way home again.
Unfortunately, we missed London by a day, but we got to meet Nico and Tristan (both of Judy’s Lakies) on June 12th. Enthusiastic, intelligent, curious and extremely loving, I cannot imagine these two having problems stealing anyone’s heart (… and lunch, while they’re at it). Excellent little con-artists with naughty eyes and a sturdy stride… don’t let their size fool you into thinking they’re plush lap-dogs! These mischievous monsters will hold their own just fine.
As we spent some time picking Judy’s brain, the novelty wore off and Tristan and Nico calmed right down. Nico cuddled up to Judy as we continued our conversation. It was great to see both sides to these dogs. For my husband it confirmed the fact that this was the right breed for us. They had energy and spunk (which he had missed in his Newfy that had passed away a few years ago), but could also chill out and be loving (which he really liked about his Newfy).
With all this new information and the impressions of Tristan and Nico still fresh in our minds, we drove home wondering… “Why not now?” “What if we could make it work?” … The way things were lining up, it seemed just too good an opportunity to pass up.