We'd been planning on getting a second flat-coat for a little while. We love their personality (see under Cedar's bio), and after visiting with friends who have more than on flat-coat we thought both we - and the dogs - would enjoying our own small pack.
Where did he come from?
We were looking for a 2nd dog and had heard that Coastalight Flat-Coated Retrievers in Nanaimo, BC had just had a litter. Coastalight is a team effort by Judy Teskey and Wendy Tisdall. Judy is heavily involved in field training and her dogs have achieved the highest field training honours of National Master Hunter and Grand Master Hunter. They had just had two litters back-to-back, and Cosmo's litter had 2 girls and 7 boys.
This litter was out of Scout (Coastalight Mistaya Scout) and Flint (Dutch D'Votion Art of Being An Angel), and was born on 22 February, 2013. We were lucky that several people on Judy's list had specifically requested girls, so there was one puppy still available for us.
What particularly appealed to us about these dogs is the exceptional longevity and field skill of Scout's dam, Rip (Coastalight Wind Over Tide) who is now 12. We also liked Judy and Wendy's breeding philosophy, which aims for strong working abilities in combination with excellent structure for showing. Judy aims to breed dogs who want to work with you and enjoy working. Judy also promised they came with 'off-switches', an important trait for since Cedar's wasn't installed at the factory :)
What's in a name?
In the past we've named our dogs after imortant/meaningful things to us, such as the trees the grow in alpine regions of the coast mountains (Tsuga, Cedar) and places that have a special meaning for us (Jasper - where we were married). But given everything that has happened in the last few year we thought it was time for a change. Judy asked new puppy owners to select a name that would have a link to a mineral in it, to complement the sire's name of 'Flint'. For example, Cosmo has siblings named Carbon and Micah.
We hummed and hawed about a few names (including 'Coastalight Schist Happens'), but decided that this pup really represented a new chapter for us. It was time for a new direction: two flat-coats instead of just one, more field training, finding a small acreage out of town and looking forward to better times in general for our family.
We decided on Coastlight Carbonado Cosmic Gem (shortened to Carbnado CosmicGem to fit CKC length requirements). Carbonado is commonly called the "Black Diamond", with one of the main theories on its origin being that it originates from a meteor that fell to earth a few billion years ago rather than being formed on the earth surface itself. Given its extraterrestrial origin, our new pup quickly became our 'cosmic gem' - 'Cosmo' for short. And he truly is a gem!
When it comes to flat-coats, we feel we've had the whole range of personalities. Jasper (Blazingstar Agassiz) was our 'stoner dog'. Laid back, easy-going, and independent old soul in a young body. He was Tinbie's brother for those familiar with Blazingstar Tinbergen
Cedar (Eagletarn Dash Away All) is - just as her name implies - always dashing around and around and around. Rating at above very high drive, Cedar is all on all the time - except for the odd occasion when she crashes or hears a yoghurt container open. She's often the last dog standing when it comes to playing in a group. Perhaps Taz (-manian Devil) would have been a better name?
Cosmo, so far, falls somewhere in the middle. He's mischievous and loves to have crazies around the house, but he's also very stable with a good off-switch and he's already pretty good with the espresso machine. He's just as happy to lie next to you on the porch as he is to practice recalls and retrieves, and knows when he's tired and needs to rest (hint, hint Cedar if you are reading this). It's only since he's been here and comparing his puppy diary notes to Cedar's, that we realize just how over the top Cedar was/is!
They'll be a good complementary combination. Yin and Yang. Sun and Moon. Night and Day. Beavis and Butthead. Our 'pack' and we love 'em.
It's nice to have a balance in the house again, it's been a tough transition but we are so happy to be sharing life with these two wonderful dogs.