Clearly been living in the new puppy bliss this past week. It’s taken me a full week to even get the chance to sit down and write this post. The news is out though friends! Our trip to Nashville wasn’t only for fun but it was a true puppymoon. We flew out to Tennessee so we could welcome home Gemstar’s Jesse Styles. Today I’m finally sharing our journey to get him.
It may have been a shock to many to see we got a Golden Retriever but this was sort of always the plan. Most of you know I’ve only ever had maltese for the past 30 years. Erik and I always said we get more of a family dog, a bigger dog once Benny and Emma passed on. While my love for maltese is the deepest kind of love there is, it was really time to think about Erik and Summer. A bigger dog is something they have been wanting and with Summer turning 10 this summer it just seemed like the right time in our lives. Erik and I always loved to see Golden Retrievers and we wanted a dog who would be a great family dog, good with the bunny and maybe even a maltese down the road. Although Erik says we are Golden people now LOL.
After Emma passed away in February I knew I wasn’t going to be ready anytime soon for a dog, but I also knew finding a dog from a reputable show breeder can take time so I started my search back in March. Both Benny and Emma were from 2 of the best show breeders in the country so I knew how to do my homework when finding the right Golden Retriever breeder. Believe it or not I couldn’t find a single breeder that checked off all my boxes in the tri-state without a year to 18 month waitlist.
And that’s when I found Beth of Gemstar Goldens. She was originally from Buffalo, NY but relocated to a remote area of Tennessee a few years ago. Personally, I fell in love with her breeding program. She did all the testing I was looking for. Plus with 30 years of experience with Goldens in and outside the showring I felt confident in her as a breeder. I filled out an application, had a long interview with her on the phone and just knew we found our breeder. She really got to know us and matched us with the litter she thought would be best for our family.
Our puppy would be born in April and we could fly out in June once he was 8 weeks old to come home. She sent us photos of his mom and dad. His dad is actually a Grand Champion. We also got health clearances, pedigrees and everything else I was looking for. Beth truly is a topnotch breeder who went above and beyond.
The best part? We were notified minutes after our puppy was born. He was 1 of 10 in his litter. We were sent almost daily photos and videos of his litter from the day he was born all the way through his first 8 weeks of life. Beth had all her families of the litter on a group text. We all got to be part of their first milestones. It truly was so special.
Gemstar’s Jesse Styles was born the morning of Good Friday, April 15, 2022. One of the happiest texts I got was when his litter was born on such a holy, meaningful day. I ran outside telling Erik and Summer that he is here! Baby puppy is born!
The 8 week clock begun and like with any newborn we started to prepare. First was to come up with his name. Erik and I loved the name Styles (a nod to House of Leo) and while I liked it I wanted something a bit softer for a big dog. We also liked Theo and Levi but I felt those might be too common. One day when I was driving the name Jesse just came to me. Jesse Styles. That had the softness I wanted but really made a statement when paired with Styles. Ironically the name Jesse means “God’s gift” and with being born on Good Friday that just seemed like a sign. A strong, meaningful name for our newest family member. We found our name.
The 3 of us planned a little getaway to Nashville for 3 nights. While we had a blast I think we were all just counting down the hours till we could go bring Jesse home on the last day. We woke up early on June 10th, rented a car and drove 2 hours into the deep country woods of Tennessee to Beth’s house. Our drive brought us down remote roads, dirt roads and up a mountain to arrive at the beautiful country house that Jesse began his life.
We had the choice of 3 male pups which was so special. Out of all my maltese I was never given the chance to pick our dog or for the dog to pick us. Beth sat us with the 3 boys and Jesse sat himself right next to Summer. So calm, so sweet and even Beth said she loved how he was with Summer. He left for a bit and then came back to all of us and it was pretty easy to know he was the one. We chose him but truly I think he chose us.
After meeting his mama, his littermates and getting a bath we were on our way home. It was a long car ride back to the airport with no less than 5 puppy throw up incidents and then a flight home with long delays but after about a 14 hour travel day we came home with the best souveneir from Tennessee. Our Jesse Styles was home.
I’ll never forget when I was 12 years old and my parents got me my first maltese. The love affair I had with that breed spanned decades. I hope this is the beginning of Summer’s own love affair with a breed. The beginning of her own love affair with her own dog. Sure I was close to getting a maltese again. Erik even said to go ahead and get one right after Emma passed away. However, this is something I have been wanting to do for both Summer and Erik. I want Summer to always remember how special this journey to welcome Gemstar’s Jesse Styles home was. The miles we traveled to get him is all part of this special story, the next chapter in our life.
Jesse Styles you have big paws to fill. You are different in every single way possible from the dogs I raised in the past. However, I know deep in my heart you will fill those paws with your own joy. You will bring love into this house that has been quiet for far too long. We have been waiting for you since before you were born and we couldn’t be happier that you are here.
Our little lion cub — you are going to love life with us. Welcome home Gemstar’s Jesse Styles.