“Having moved the children 100 miles from their original home when joining me in rural Worcestershire, my partner and I decided that bringing a new puppy into the family would be a good way of helping the transition to a new home, school, friendship groups, etc.
The kids, if truth be told, were a little bit nervous of dogs but the prospect of a puppy really excited them. The task of selecting the right breed for our household was delegated to Georgia, our youngest child (eleven years old at the time). I brought an encyclopaedia of dogs home from work. Georgia then set about her research, she did this very diligently, refining her search.....what breed did she like the look of, what amount of exercise did they need / could we offer, how much grooming would be needed, temperament (with the focus on being family friendly and affectionate), and so on. Eventually she produced a short list of five breeds. The final selection was then made in a family pros and cons debate over breakfast. The final choice was an English Springer Spaniel. I think the final factor in making this decision was a neighbour who had Roxy, the most gorgeous, friendly and well behaved springer who had already captured the hearts of our kids.
Next step was finding a litter of puppies from a reliable breeder within an hour or two of home. This was achieved initially using an online search, followed by a telephone discussion with the breeder - asking questions such as "is the litter being brought up in a family home, can we meet both mum and dad, are you a KC accredited breeder, can we visit them at your house, etc.?" The visit was then arranged for the following weekend. When we arrived we were presented with a basket of eight four week old puppies. It was love at first sight as far a Georgia was concerned, strangely enough some form of sixth sense made the whole family pick the same puppy, the lovely liver and white bitch with the three chocolate spots across her back. Georgia already had the name decided, thus Sadie was chosen as the new member of our family.
The next four weeks dragged on slowly as we waited until Sadie was old enough to leave her litter and join the Smith household. It's hard to believe that was three years ago now. Sadie is firmly established at the core of the family, she is much loved and it is hard to imagine life without her.
Being an office dog owned by the CEO of Fish4Dogs, she is a minor celebrity. Her life being played-out on social media, her first walk, visit to the beach, holiday, even her whirlwind office romance with Zac, the handsome yellow Labrador and latest member of the office pack, was played out in the public domain.
The big question the family now face is whether to find a second family dog to keep Sadie company, if we do it will be from a rescue centre second time around. "
To be continued…..