Subject: Piper at 11 mos. (Princess X Goose born 8/15/14)

Dear Lloyd, Jessica and Edna,
It is hard to believe that Piper will be 11 months old on Tuesday. She is just the most wonderful dog and all I can say to you all is THANK YOU!!!!

I have attached some recent photos -- to show you how beautiful she continues to be and how well developed she is muscularly. Everyone remarks that she has a beautiful head but also a great rear end! She weighs about 63 pounds and is all muscle from swimming and running. She also has a big "ruff" around her neck which I think she inherited from Goose. She seems to have his eyes, too,  -- or at least that mesmerizing look in them! She can be kind of serious but also loves to play and has a great sense of humor.
Everywhere I go, I get numerous compliments about her. People think she is really cute and also incredibly calm and well behaved for a lab puppy. She also has tremendous focus and attention. She is really strong and the thing we "struggle" with most is pulling on the leash. She can heel beautifully but outside when left to her own devices, she really can pull.
On the training front, we are doing:
•   Agility -- mostly to keep her agile and flexible and also to keep her brain engaged.
•  Obedience -- she just passed her Canine Good Citizen test and we are planning to enter a trial in August to test the waters.
•  Tracking -- we haven't been doing this as much as I had planned because we had a terrible tick season this spring and Piper did end up with  two ticks but luckily she has been tested negatively for Lyme disease, which didn't use to be a big deal in Vermont but is turning out to  be a big deal this year. But I plan to enter her in a test at the lab Nationals in gettysburg PA this fall.
•  Field work -- She is an awesome retriever -- still working on a reliable return to me and she has a good mark. She loves the water but enters  like a lady as opposed to her best buddy Silas who enters like a champion! Unfortunately, we don't have any real training opportunities  near by so we are doing it on our own and since I really don't know what I am doing, it seems hit or mis.. If only I was closer to  Colorado or Texas, I would come train with you!
Piper has a very interesting learning style which is somewhat hard for me to explain -- but I will try. First of all, she is incredibly willing to try anything. And she is willing to keep trying and trying -- not like a border collie though -- she is much more thoughtful about her learning. She doesn't always get things on the first or even second try. but then somehow, just magically, it seems to sink in and then the learned behavior is just there. She does watch my older dog a lot and many of her learned behaviors come more from Ellie than me.
Again I thank you for breeding such nice dogs and allowing me the privilege and pleasure of having a Princess x Goose puppy! I know that she will do you proud.
With love,