Finding Charlie Brown
My search for Charlie started in the spring of 2015. I had decided I was ready and needed to narrow down what kind of dog I was going to get. So many to choose from and now that Charlie is with me I often get asked, “why a Chesapeake Bay Retriever?” (Chessie for short) It’s simple really…I like the breed. I like that they’re loyal, protective, intelligent, a high desire to be WITH people, a high desire to please, confident, and calmer than they look. Chessie’s while not low shedding, they shed quite a bit less than a German Shepherds and Labs (which they often get confused for), and they’re very low maintenance with grooming. I was also ready for a friendly looking dog. So by summer of 2015 I knew I was looking for a Chessie, now I needed to find a breeder. I spent hours upon hours on the internet researching for what I was looking for. Someone that had been breeding for more than 10 years, whelped the puppies in their home, had children, focused on the health and sound temperament of the breed, didn’t breed several types of breeds within their kennel but instead focused solely on Chessie’s, could provide sound pedigrees, allowed people to visit the kennel, meet the breeding pair, and had primarily positive references or reviews. That brought me to Blackwood Chesapeake’s. Eric Wise was awesome! She let me know which litter was going to be best for me and after what felt like a crazy long wait she let me know when the puppies were born.
Blackwood Charlie Brown was born on August 15 2016. He is one of 7 males out of a litter of 9 puppies. (pictures at the end) He was born on a Monday, and we did a happy dance the day we got the text from Erica. I knew 8 weeks would go by both really fast and excruciatingly slow at the same time. The preparations began. It started with making sure I had all the equipment I needed. I had a crate, toys, leashes, collars, treats, and dishes. What I needed was new grooming tools. Chessie’s have a unique coat type; it’s coarse, oily, and curly. After a few hours of research, I discovered everything I currently use for my German Shepherd was bad for the Chessie coat. They’re only supposed to be bathed a couple of times a year, and you shouldn’t use oatmeal or tea tree shampoo’s. (it strips the coat of the oils it needs) Also any metal brushes can damage the coat, so it’s recommended that only rubber brushes are used. Another big difference for me is that this new sidekick was going to be riding mostly up front with me, since my kids take up the back seat. With my last 2 puppies (14 and 10 years ago) I just put them in the back seat, but I was nervous about this puppy trying to climb in my lap, get down by my feet, and in the worst case scenario be injured in a collision. Another couple of hours of research and I found the car safety harness I wanted to use. A waterproof car seat cover, a few new interactive toys, some new high value treats, and a crate cover finished off the shopping list.
Here is the shampoo, crate cover, brushes, and car harness I use for Charlie
Now I needed to think about getting him home! Puppies should stay with their litter until the age of 8 weeks. It can be a very crucial part of their development and I often get called out to houses with pups that have been taken away too early. Mother dogs usually wean puppies around the 5th week and by the 6th week the puppies don’t NEED their mother anymore. But they do NEED their littermates. 8 weeks exactly was on Monday October 10. After a few messages with the breeder we scheduled Charlie’s pick up on the morning of Friday the 7th. To reduce his stress as much as possible the day of the pickup, a couple of weeks before I picked him up, I sent Erica a clean hand towel with our family’s smell on it. I had everyone rub their clean hands on it, and even rubbed the top of Lucy’s head with it. Erica gave it to Charlie a few days before I picked him up and it came back home with us with the smell of his littermates, Erica, and her daughter on it. The breeder made the puppy selections at 7.5 weeks. I found out which of the male puppies I was getting just the day before I picked him up.
I scheduled a potty break about halfway home (my Dad’s house) for him to get out and walk around for while before getting back in the car. This was his first ride, and it took him awhile to settle down. He wouldn’t actually sleep on the way to my Dad’s house, and he did an awful lot of whimpering, but when we got back in the car, he was exhausted enough that he slept the rest of the way home. My family was anxiously waiting for us to get there, and everyone fell in love at first sight! We had 3 names picked out for him and after getting him home we couldn’t agree on which one fit him best. He spent the first 2 hours as “puppy”. We started over, got the baby name book out, and after lots of ideas were thrown around, we settled on Charlie Brown. So here he is….the newest Sidekick of PAWS Training and Behavior Modification LLC.
The day Charlie was born.
Charlie 3 weeks old
Charlie 6 weeks old
Charlie Brown 8 weeks old