So I have heard from some of you that you are curious why I did not mention Encore in my two posts last week about how I picked my puppies. It was for no reason in particular other than brevity, just as there was no reason why I didn’t mention how I selected my first dog Shelby either.

I have to admit though, that neither selection was very scientific for me. Shelby, was the first dog I ever owned, but far from the first dog I ever trained. It was July of 1988, I was looking for a Jack Russell puppy and I saw an ad in the newspaper for a litter. When I arrived Shelby was the only one left from the litter of 8 puppies. I didn’t stay long because when I saw her and instantly decided I didn’t want a JRT with prick ears (and at 8 weeks of age hers were on the way up) so I left without hesitation. That was Saturday afternoon. I walked out the door of the breeders’ home and never gave that pup  a second thought, really I didn’t, until the next morning. It was Sunday morning, I was getting ready for church and I suddenly had a strong feeling that I needed to call the breeder and see if I could still get that puppy.

Eight week old Shelby . . . oh the indignities our first dogs have endured.

Eight week old Shelby wearing my Cabbage Patch Doll clothing . . . oh the indignities our first dogs have endured.

When I called I was told the puppy had been sold to someone else but that if I got over there within the hour they would give her to me rather than the other people. I did and she was Shelby. She was a gem, lived to be almost 17 years old and one of the most amazing Jack Russells ever.

Encore was different than any other puppy I selected. The selection process is not something I would not recommend for anyone and often if you do what I did with Miss E,  it WILL backfire terribly on you!  I had last pick in Encore’s litter. I didn’t get to see the puppies until they were 3 weeks old as I was away but when I did I instantly told the breeder I had to have “that one”. She thought I had lost my mind. The breeder had known me for years and knew how specific my approach to puppy selection had been in the past. Up until Encore, I had always done various puppy “tests” at 5, 6 & 7 weeks of age. I studied the litter a lot before I chose the one I wanted. Picking a puppy at 3 weeks, based on markings and being so adamant about it?  That just wasn’t me.  However it wasn’t just markings, Encore had the look in her eye as well, the one I always “know”.

You see when Encore’s litter was born I had just found out that Stoni was in kidney failure. It was feared she wouldn’t live out the month (she ended up living for  18 more months but that is another story:)). I picked Encore mostly on her markings because she resembled Stoni so very much.  Terrible isn’t it!  Encore was closely related to Stoni’s dam so there were a lot of physical similarities.

Stoni left and Encore right both show at 16 weeks of age.

Stoni left and Encore right both shown at 16 weeks of age.

As Encore grew older, so did my obsession to have her and no other puppy in the litter. Even though I had last pick I just needed to have THAT puppy. In the end as luck would have it, I got my pick!  To this day I still occasionally call her “Stoni” when I am talking about her (did so just today as a matter of fact).  However honestly, I never compared Encore to Stoni as she grew up. That would be unfair to the puppy. Even though Encore got her name because she was an “encore” of Stoni, Stoni was one of a kind, no other will be like her, but I am just as crazy about Encore, but for different reasons entirely.

Today my puppy selection process is quite simple, I will go into more detail tomorrow and then have a cool surprise for those that want more information on puppy selection.

Today I am grateful that Buzz is home from the vets, safe and sound with a few less lumps and nice shiny teeth:)