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Five years ago, I sent a cute little chocolate Lab puppy named Billy to the west coast. I got to listen to tales of his many adventures and misadventures from Bruce, his owner...and was cheering for him to do well when he went to school with Angie, and then high school with his owner and Don Remein...congratulated them on their hunt test titles and loved seeing pictures of the big, handsome dog he'd grown into.

Last fall, I had a chance to co-own him to carry on my Lab line since his dam retired, and I jumped at the opportunity (thanks, Bruce!). Seeing the big, handsome dog he'd grown into was a rush, as was continuing his training. It took awhile for us to get in sync since Billy felt that guys throw bumpers, girls feed cookies. His way of thinking was adjusted soon, and we had a blast training. He marks really well, handles great, but short breaking birds were his undoing, so we tuned that up. Was looking forward to trying some quals this summer, too...but his main purpose here was to be a sire. And to my great disappointment, he turned out to be sterile, after two unsuccessful matings and $$ with a fertility specialist. So, with a heavy heart, I knew my Lab program was at the end of the line unless I started all over from scratch....and so I decided to stick with just my Chessies. But what about Billy?

After numerous calls and inquiries, the right call came. A young man called, and had just lost his ten year old Lab. It was hard for him to even talk about, but the thought of facing another hunting season without his dog was worse, and as he told me of his old dog, his voice kept wavering and I could feel the raw emotion. I had made my decision...this was meant to be Billy's new person. So, this morning I said goodbye to my Billy boy and put him on a plane to the east coast, where he will be a duck dog on the Chesapeake Bay and a new best friend for a very deserving owner. It was bittersweet, saying goodbye, but I know this is the perfect spot for my boy, and I've been promised lots of pictures and continued stories. So...while it's the end of part of my dream, it's the beginning of a great partnership and years of wonderful memories for Kevin and Billy. Wishing the two of you all the best, and give the big lug a hug from me every now and then.
 

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Awesome Sharon! Some things are just meant to be....
 

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very nice post... and very sweet DREAMS on the east coast tonight - a heart will be filled with a new love!
 

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Nice story but as you said, Bittersweet.... always hard to say goodbye to the ones you love-no matter how they leave.
 

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Sharon, I know and understand the hopes you had for Billy. But somehow, after meeting him and being around him, I can not imagine a happier situation for him than hunting ducks with a good buddy on the Chesapeake. I do believe he will relish it! What a great choice you made.
 

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Great story, enjoyed reading it.

Keep us posted on Billy's hunting season!
 
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