Going into our purchase I spoke to Derek on the phone at least twice as I was over-analyzing things, mostly which parents would yield the best pup for our lifestyle at the time we got him. Derek admitted he sometimes obsessed over the genetic aspect of which breeding pairs would yield the most balanced pups. But he assured me not to get too caught up in that as the breeding pair we selected (Willy and Kite) would have a spectacular litter. And they did. I’ve also called/texted Derek a few times with observations/concerns since we got Oakley home and he has been super patient and helpful every time.

We met many of the dogs when choosing Oakley as well as the day we brought him home. While playing fetch with Willy, a pup walked up to me. I greeted a (probably) six month old Valic. I loved on him for about 10 seconds and stopped. Then he leaned against my legs with what seemed to be all of his weight. This is something I had never experienced with any dog, let alone one I had just met. Valic is such a sweet, loving pup and we would choose him as the father of our next pup should we decide to make that commitment.

We left Oakley for crate training and leash breaking (a worthwhile investment!!) and picked him up two weeks later. He whined a couple of times when we put him in his kennel at bedtime the first night and did the same a few other times, likely to test our resolve. But Oakley quickly adjusted to his nightly sleeping schedule and arrangements.

Oakley is an eager and quick learner, a total people pleaser. His leash manners are great and I can put him in any public training situation without worrying about his behavior as he stays focused on me. Once our backyard was too small for it, we moved to the greenbelt behind our home to play frisbee when I felt he was ready for it. Now we’re probably using a spot 75 yards long. We play for extended periods and he has never strayed or run away. At just over a year old, he will occasionally still bark at distant thunder and video/audio on the television, but he’s calm throughout the most intense thunderstorm and 4th of July fireworks.

I’m Oakley’s favorite human, but he is equally loving and loyal to the rest of our family. We look forward to many years of his unconditional love and companionship.