Frank & Maxine Woelfling, Lancaster, Pa.
In retrospect, I suppose we were extremely fortunate that we were permitted to care for our first Newfoundland for thirteen plus years. That wonderful experience started in 1982 and marked the beginning of our continuous relationship with Newfs. Unfortunately, our first male managed to outlive our very well known breeder and we found ourselves facing a crisis. My goal was to duplicate Pellinore but my trusted breeder was gone. Luckily, within a few phone calls we were in touch with Deb and even though she had no pups to offer us at the time, an initial visit was quickly arranged. You see, we were suffering from "Newfie withdrawal" and Deb recognized the symptoms. The moment I met Deb and caught a glimpse of her dogs I know the search had ended. Even though it meant a bit of a wait, it surely would be worth it. Now, if only we could convince her that we were deserving enough to care for one of these magnificent creatures. You see, Deb is very fussy and insists that every one of her dogs be placed in the proper care. From our initial meeting she reminded me of our first breeder who had bred over 1000 Newfs by the time we got Pellinore and who cried when we drove off with him.
Let me share some other insights about Deb. We were desperately lonely following Pellinore's death. As I already mentioned, Deb had nothing to offer us immediately. Of course, with a breeder of her stature, there were others ahead of us when the litters finally came but Deb sensed our needs and opened her kennel and home to us when we needed a "Newfie fix." We became frequent visitors. Deb even invited me to meet her at the Harrisburg show and to care for one of her young ladies. My family will never forget her kindness in our hours of need.
Well, sooner than expected we had our replacement boy and he has grown into the most beautiful and magnificent therapy dog I could ever have hoped for. Uther is becoming a legend at Hospice of Lancaster. That young lady I cared for that day in Harrisburg soon became ours as well. Uther had grown lonely. Once again, Deb came to our rescue.
But, the story doesn't end there. Tragically, Uther's steady companion was lost to us after only a few short years and Uther was devastated. Sounds like the same tale but, Deb to the rescue yet again. There were no litters to be had after Lacey's death and I am well aware of Deb's superhuman efforts. The Newfs were not cooperating. So, Deb "loaned" us Norma Jean, a gorgeous and gentle girl, to comfort Uther. That was three years ago and Norma Jean is now a permanent member of our family.
Already it has been six years since we first met Deb. I would be embarrassed to think of her as only "our breeder." She is a friend and a trusted advisor. Obviously, we are diehard Newfie people and wouldn't think of having any other breed. Newfs are inherently wonderful if properly bred. That's where Deb comes in. Every dog of hers that I have known has exactly the same characteristics. To me, the breeder is all-important. My only hope is that she manages to outlive me and continues to share these wonderful creatures with such an undeserving lot.
Oh, I might also add that we learned just a week ago that our next boy was born and should be under Norma Jean's and Uther's tutelage by September. That makes three and we plan never to be without our beloved Newfs--hopefully all supplied by Deb."