At this point, if you are a long-time reader of our blog, you might think that we are headed to Stirling, Scotland. In fact, we are going on a much different journey. We are inviting you into our home and introducing you to our newest family member- Stirling- our Golden Retriever puppy!
To start the journey, we want to provide a bit of background on our family. For our entire lives, dogs have played a major role- from our own childhoods, into our marriage, and being there as our children grew into wonderful adults. We are now ‘empty nesters’, but it’s never truly empty because of our canine family members. If you have read some of our previous blog posts or followed us on social media, you’ve seen that our Black Labrador, Finn, and Golden Retriever, Sawyer, often travel with us as we visit beautiful and magical places around Scotland. Sawyer is also famous for being the leading tour guide of our Edinburgh walking tours.
Our journey now brings us to a few weeks ago when we came across information about Golden Retriever puppies looking for a new home. After talking it over for a day, we decided that it would be a worth a trip to the Highlands to see if Finn’s and Sawyer’s new brother was waiting for them there. On the eve of our trip, we pondered potential names for our newest canine baby. As we were going through possibilities, one stood out amongst all the rest- Stirling.
The following day, we anxiously made our way across the Queensferry Crossing, through the Kingdom of Fife, and eventually stopped in Perthshire to make a quick visit to the Crannog Centre. We then continued to a cottage in the Highlands where the puppies and their beautiful mama were waiting for us. As we stepped out of our ‘Wee Walking Tour mobile’, it almost felt surreal to see if we were going to find our Stirling in the Highlands; a Golden Retriever puppy- which is a breed originating from Scotland. As we met the wonderful breeders, we eagerly made our way to the puppies. Some of them had already been reserved for their forever homes, but our focus was on the two remaining available puppies.
All along we thought we had to pick the right pup for our family, but the truth is, it is always the dog that chooses you. Fair warning- you might want to grab the tissues. As the litter of puppies swarmed us with their rambunctious energy, out of the group came one wee pup that leaned on Sami (Wee Walking Tours’ human tour guide). Sami describes it as following, “I called him Stirling to see if he would respond, and he signaled that he wanted me to pick him up. I put him in my lap, he crawled onto my chest, where he rested his head and looked me straight in the eyes. While listening to my melting heart, he fell asleep”. That’s when we both knew that we had found Stirling.
Fast forward through all the puppy proofing of our house and garden, to this past Tuesday which was Stirling’s ‘Gotcha Day’- when we returned to the Highlands to bring him home.
Like the nervous, new parents we were- we excitedly made the journey back home to introduce Stirling to his new big brothers- Finn and Sawyer. While both a little trepidatious at first, they took to him magnificently and have already started to become best pals and role models.
The first few days with Stirling have been filled with excitement, joy, and wonder- not to mention sharp puppy nails, teeth, and stinky toots that can peel the paint from the walls! 😂😉🐾 As is the case with most puppies, Stirling excels at ninja-like moves. There is photographic evidence of this below when he surprised Sami late one night by climbing up into his spot on the sofa after he had only left the room for a minute. Sami was simultaneously shocked and amused that Stirling managed to climb that high and the innocent look he gave him when he got back in the room.
Stirling has already impressed us with his football skills and seems to have more step-overs than Cristiano Ronaldo!
Of course, Stirling still must wait a little bit longer before he can start his journey into the wider world, but for now, he is content on his own ‘explore and discover’ mission of his new home. If you would like to follow along with his puppy adventures, and as he grows (which seems to be an inch every few hours), please be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram. You can also follow Finn’s and Sawyer’s adventurers on our Wee Walking Tours’ social media platforms- Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Until next time- Explore & Discover!