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admire, Dr. Nancy Caven of Mississippi Veterinary Services, Pakenham. “She’s always there for us,” says

Laurel. “She reads all the notes we bring her from the seminars. She’s open to learning everything we’re learning, and to new ideas.” Ross and Laurel say a great dog has

“It seemed every five minutes we

had to pull over for a pee for either dog or child,” she says. Ross arrived home to meet his new

best friend. He liked Josie. A lot. But Josie, being a puppy, was a challenge, and training was in order, if only they could figure out how to do it. One day he and Laurel decided to

go to a competition for hunting dogs. That’s when they knew. Those dogs,

and their behaviour, and their level of excellence, was what they wanted. They began learning and training. They picked up two more dogs and

registered themselves as a kennel. And then they had a litter of pups – right in the midst of selling their house. “We ended up selling puppies to

the surveyor and a customer,” Laurel recalls. Then they discovered fox red labs.

They bought a pregnant dog and a puppy. There was clearly no turning back.

Now they are seasoned

professionals, and the dogs show it. Ross and Laurel say they are a “small” kennel, but it takes every waking minute, every single day, to manage and care for the dogs. They have a vet they trust and

three essential components: genetics, nutrition, and training. Each is as important as the other. From the time they are born, they

are part of Laurel’s domain. She does the essential introductory work that is so critical to the development of a dog’s brain. She uses the “super-dog program” or Early Neurological Stimulation. It is believed that, as with human babies, there are optimal times in a puppy’s life for maximizing its brain. Laurel uses all kinds of exercises, drills and puppy-play with tunnels, toys, pails, ladders, obstacle courses. She makes sure each puppy is introduced to at least 100 humans by eight weeks. If you visit the house during puppy time, even if you’re just there to deliver the newspaper, chances are you’ll be dragged in to let the puppies meet you. As a result, the grown-up dogs are lovely, friendly, calm, respectful animals. By the time the puppies are eight weeks old, they know and follow the

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