Almost two years ago, we brought home Sailor, our first chocolate lab. She was an absolute perfect fit for our family, but tragedy struck just a few days after Christmas and we lost our sweet puppy when she was just 6 months old. We’ve never mourned over an animal like we did over Sailor. It felt like we had lost a family member. We still think about her and talk about her often.
Our favorite people at Beaver Creek Kennels told us they would have another litter soon. We were ecstatic and nervous. Are we ready for this yet? Should we stick with a chocolate lab or would it be best to choose a black or yellow lab? We decided we were ready and in June 2021, we picked up our newest chocolate lab, Millie.
Millie was always more mischievous and energetic than Sailor. I remember battling her over socks and shoes almost daily. That sneaky girl could be as quiet as a mouse and before you knew it, she was chowing down on a pair of socks. We ended up spending quite the fortune on her sneaky eating habits at the Vets office. We realized very quickly she had to be treated with much more care and observation than Sailor. None of this a problem, puppies are usually like that. We just had to make sure she was in the kennel if we were busy and not able to watch her or when we were away from home. Looking back, we wonder if getting two chocolate labs made us compare the two of them more than we should have.
As some of you know, my husband now travels all over the US as part of his career. We purchased a motorhome last summer so that our family could travel with him when able. When we got Millie, we went out and purchased all the things necessary to travel with a dog. Not a problem, we couldn’t wait to travel with our girl. Until it was a problem. Millie couldn’t travel. She would get physically sick and (what I assumed to be) so anxious that she wouldn’t eat or drink the entire time we were away from home. She wasn’t herself. She would just lie around and we would spend the entire trip worrying about her and if she was ok.
We had already planned an entire summer of traveling with our family in our new motorhome with a dog that doesn’t travel well. I never even considered that could be an issue to arise. For our next few trips, we would take her to stay at Beaver Creek Kennels while we were away, but we couldn’t do this for our summer trip. Thats an entire summer. As a matter of fact, we started to feel like our girl was in a kennel so much of her life and it didn’t feel fair. Millie is an energetic working dog. She needed to keep busy. Keeping her kenneled so much just felt like a cruel existence for her.
After speaking with Kelsey from Beaver Creek, we decided Millie and our family were not the match we were hoping for. We love Millie and this was an incredibly hard decision to make, but we trust Kelsey and she was in agreeance that Millie would be better suited with a family in a different stage of life.
For awhile, it was hard not to feel like terrible people, like we had just given away our dog. Until Kelsey told us that this would be the best decision not only for us, but also for Millie. Millie hit it off immediately with their son. We still get photos and updates of Millie and it makes our heart happy to know that she is loved and in a wonderful home. This wasn’t a decision we made lightly and it was hard on us and our kids, but there hasn’t been a moment we’ve felt we made the wrong decision.