I (Natalie) received my first pet labrador retriever in 1997, from Kilbourne Farms Kennels in Bellevue, Ohio. Kobi, Kilbourne Farms Kobineshuwau, started our love for the labrador retriever. He was a very loving and good natured boy. Kobi earned his Canine Good Citizen certificate at the age of 7 months. In 2005, I met Scott, Kobi immediately won over his heart. At 12 years of age we lost Kobi, and we were devastated. This is where the journey of Fishpaw Labradors began.
We decided to research the internet to see if we could find a kennel that still carried the lineage of Kobi's ancestors as Kilbourne Farms was no longer an active kennel. Kobi's sire was Muskelunge's Solo Flight, which is where we started our search. During the search, we also learned that Muskelunge was no longer an active kennel, but we did find a kennel that carried Muskelunge bloodlines. That kennel was Joan and Jerry Saldana's Zinfndel Labradors.
We contacted Joan and Jerry to see if they had any puppies available for a pet home. Little did we know that we would be looking for a show quality puppy...haha. Joan and Jerry had recently had a litter. We went down to meet with them. After conversations about confirmation, we were interested in learning more about it. They encouraged us to go to shows, and would let us know when local events were going on so that we could go and watch. We got hooked almost immediately, and thus we began our first co-ownership with Wonder, Zinfndel's Wonder Bread sired by CH. Paradocs Delians Scrubbing In aka. Scrubs. Wonder clicked with us immediately.
At the shows we were attending, we began to see a yellow lab that reminded us of Kobi. Maybe not in looks but just overall personality. We were then introduced to the owner Judy Segedi of Devanley Labradors. The yellow lab was CH. Devanley's James P. Sullivan aka. Sulley. As we got to know Judy and Sulley, we fell in love with him even more. Since we were now entering into the world of confirmation and breeding, we were being encouraged to find a female for our kennel. Judy introduced us to Chris Kofron of Valleywood Labradors who had an upcoming litter sired by Sulley.
In December of 2009, we journeyed to Columbus, Ohio to meet with Chris Kofron and pick out our female puppy. The punch line to this story.....we ended up coming home with a male. He was the one puppy that just kept winning us over. That male is our CH. Valleywood Mojo DeMund aka. Mojo. We still laugh about how we went down with all intentions of getting a female and coming home with him, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Mojo has been a great addition to our family.
Now both boys were old enough to start entering into the confirmation ring. Our mentors, Joan and Jerry, encouraged us to find a confirmation class. After months of searching, finally there was a class in our area being taught by Carol Heidl. Scott and I have come a long way with what we have learned from our training classes and our mentors we have encountered.
During this journey into the Labrador world, we have made many WONDERFUL friendships and have, what we consider to be, the best mentors anyone could ask for. We are truly grateful to all of those who have helped us along the way.