Monday, March 19, 2012

Take 8 - Taylor's Story

Taylor's story

Looking back a few years and many miles, David and I were sitting in our family room one evening discussing the pros and cons of adopting a puppy. Mostly pros, I must admit. We had the perfect location and the almost perfect situation. We were living in a large house on a half acre lot of rural bliss on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. David worked mostly from home as did I and there were plenty of good doggie daycare in the area if we ever needed to use one.  What kept coming up during our discussion were the facts that a) we didn't know which breed we wanted and b) neither of us had any experience raising a puppy of any breed. We knew we wanted what would become a large dog and wanted it from puppyhood. After doing a bit of research and regretfully rejecting Bernese Mountain and Newfoundland dogs because of their short life expectancy, our choice went to the Golden Retriever. The Golden's life expectancy is generally about 14 years (although we once met one who was almost 19 and still going strong) and is one of the easiest dogs to raise, perfect for us doggie neophytes. The next step was finding a serious and reliable breeder. I went online and visited the Golden Retriever Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club websites. I gathered lots of information about what to look for in a breeder and what to ask as well as what to expect. When I finally found a great breeder, we went to visit and met with the future Mom, Aimy. When the time came, she would be artificially inseminated (apparently lots of serious breeders now do it this way) with the sperm of a beautiful Golden Retriever named Fisher, who lived in Florida. Yes, when all the stars aligned, the sperm was actually flown from Florida to British Columbia, Canada and Aimy was inseminated . The end result was a gorgeous litter of 8 (6 males and 2 females).  After about 18 months of waiting, filling out forms, visiting, etc., we finally got to take  our baby home with the car radio blasting rock&roll music to sooth him from the shock of being away from his brood, as he cried himself to sleep. It was quite the experience having him in our lives but after little trials and tribulations, our baby is now a great cuddly pet. Let's just say raising a puppy is comparable to the labor pains of a pregnancy..... soon you forget the pain and discomfort and before you know it, you are making plans to do it again. With Taylor at almost 4 years old, we are thinking of getting him a little sister or brother.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I hope you will enjoy looking at these photographs almost as much as we enjoyed taking them. A note on a couple of them. In one photo, Taylor was on our front lawn napping away while several deer stood behind him. (Quite the guard dog !)  Also, on another, he is photographed at 2 years old with his Mom Aimy and his Grand-Mother Scramble. This is probably my favorite photo of all.
Aimy, after giving birth

He's one of them...

Or them...

Definitively one of them!

On the beach, at 5 months.

Before the water...

14 weeks - what can you say!

8 weeks

10 weeks - if you only knew, parents!

The Guard Dog


I'm two, I'm too tired.

Taylor, mom Aimy, grand-ma Scramble.

Ah! Vancouver.  I'm 3.

Hello California!

Enjoy also the easy chicken recipe.

Barcelona Chicken Skillet

2 teaspoon Paprika
2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon fresh Thyme leaves minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black Pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet pepper (green, red, orange or yellow) cut into thin strips
1 large onion quartered then the pieces halved
1 can 14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup chicken broth or dry Sherry
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Mix flour, salt and all spices except peppers in a small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with 2 tablespoons of the seasoned flour. Cook chicken in hot oil in large skillet on medium high heat 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove from skillet. Add bell pepper and onion to the skillet and cook and stir for five minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes, broth or Sherry and remaining flour. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in red pepper (if using). Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes or more until chicken is cooked through.

Enjoy !


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