For as long as I can remember, I have had a love for animals. When I was 10 years old, my family moved back to the farm that my father grew up on. I was in heaven. That summer I had my own pony and bought my first chicken for a quarter. At age 12, for a job well done at school, I was given my beloved steer “Jack” to raise . I remember at 13, I delivered my first calf while my parents were both at work.
When I grew up, married and had children, I wanted to share my love for animals with them. When they were young we raised rabbits, chickens and turkeys. On Mother’s Day in 1984, I got my first AKC Golden Retriever puppy, Chelsea. Over the next few years I had an occasional litter of puppies. It was a whole family affair. Eventually we were able to buy our own small farm and expanded our animal family. We added sheep, pigs and started our own herd of Scotch Highland Cattle. As the years went by and the kids moved out, we downsized, until it was just me, my husband John and Buddy, our Border Collie.
There came an occasion when John got to witness a Maine Game Warden and his trained Chocolate Lab in a search and rescue mission. John was so impressed with the skill and expertise that the dog demonstrated, he couldn’t stop talking about it. He vowed to me that he was going to have a Chocolate Lab just like that someday.
In 2006, after Buddy’s passing at 16 years old, I surprised John for his birthday, with his own Chocolate Lab puppy that we named Moxie.
Our veterinarian had a beautiful male and asked us if we would be willing to breed the two. We did and we gave one of the puppies to our oldest son. After a couple more years when our two younger sons were both in a position to have their own dogs, they begged us to breed Moxie again so that they could each have one of her puppies. We did and that litter included the 3 Chocolate Labs in the famous “overall photo.”
The rest is history… From there, our love for the breed grew, as did our number of Labs...
We are at a place in our lives now where we can devote the time it takes to put into a small breeding business. We love pairing our puppies with prospective families, which has paved the way to many lasting friendships. We are still learning daily, and love what we are doing.
Our goal is to stay a small breeder with the aim of improving our breeding with every litter.
John & Terrie Kelly