This weekend we are celebrating three weeks of life and love with our new family member Birdie Lou Ellen “Snakebite.”
This first set of photos below were taken at the Royaile breeder’s house in Tucson, Arizona, the day we brought her home. We had visited previously when the puppies were only about 5 weeks old. During that visit we met their mother, Twitter, and grandmother, Pumpkin. We also met many other adult and adolescent Welshie’s. The breeders show many of their dogs, and have been doing so for about 30 years. The day we got to pick up Birdie to bring her home, we met her Dad, Clifford, who by the breeder’s description is a chill “couch potato,” unlike her very busy mama, Twitter. Twitter was a very attentive mother and loved her babies, and it shows in Birdie’s nature. Clifford (pictured below) had just returned from a show in Seattle and is currently the #2 Welsh Springer Spaniel show dog in the nation…though you’d never know as humble as he is!
Twitter, Birdie’s mama, was bitten by a rattlesnake when she was pregnant with Birdie and her litter-mates. After coming across the snake in her yard, she grabbed it with her mouth and threw it clear across the yard, perhaps in part due to protective mama hormones. Before the snake became airborne, it whipped around and bit Twitter on the face. She couldn’t be administered anti-venom because she was pregnant. She was carefully monitored, luckily she pulled through, and the pups were born healthy. Perhaps they even have some immunity to rattlesnake venom due to the exposure in utero-though hopefully this is never tested.
Another little fun fact about Birdie is that she was born with a Llewellyn mark on her head. Dogs born with this mark can be traced back to a Breeder in Europe (his last name was Llewellyn), in the 1800s. We had already planned on naming our pup Birdie Lou before knowing this, so it made sense to add Ellen to pay homage to her heritage and special marking, with a female spelling. “Snakebite” is her nickname for when her wild comes out.
We are so grateful that Birdie had such a great start in life with these breeders, surrounded by generations of family and other wonderful pups. On the way home, we talked about how it was very sad that Birdie had to leave that first family of hers. My son Amos, broke down in tears thinking about how Birdie must feel being separated from everything she had known and loved up to that point. We talked about how we are going to love her so much and give her the best life we can. There are lots of adventures in hiking and camping in her future and we will go back to visit her first family from time to time.