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  • Writer's pictureShayna Gaman-Bean

Road Trip from CA --> OK: The Story of How We Found Our Puppy, Kylo

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

"Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

(Links to some of my fur baby favorites at the bottom of the post!)

About 3 days before the great quarantine of 2020 hit (3.10.2020) we had to put our one and only pet, Jake, the sweetest cat, down. He lived an awesome 18 years, but it was devastating saying goodbye to him. We were kind of of the mindset that we should take a break from pets because we were so busy and wanted to start traveling more...

Fast forward 3 days later and suddenly we were all stuck at home quarantining and missing having the love of an animal. We quickly decided that we wanted 2 cats. Unfortunately, all the shelters were shut down and we couldn't find any pets to adopt anywhere despite multiple attempts. So we started looking for breeders. In the meantime, we decided it was time for us to get a dog. After quite of bit of research and searching we found the breed we wanted and a breeder who had a litter coming when we were ready for the pup.

We decided on the Dutch Shepherd for several reasons:

  1. According to Google they make great family dogs. **Disclaimer: now that we've had a Dutchie for a couple years we can say, thanks to experience, while they can be great family dogs, they take an immense amount of training and are definitely not your average family dog.**

  2. We wanted a dog with a bigger purpose. Our intention was to do search and rescue or protection work or something along those lines and Dutchies are perfect for just that.

  3. We wanted a medium-large sized dog, one that would be big enough for protection, but not too big to travel with. A lot of hotels have size limits and some as low as 80 pounds. Dutchie males get to about 55-65 pounds, Perfect size.

  4. We love the look of the shepherds with the big ears and slim physique. In addition, the brindle pattern of the Dutchie is unique and we just fell in love with it.

  5. They are super smart and easy to train. Even crate and potty training was super easy.

  6. Great protection dog.

  7. High energy. Very high energy, but that's another quality we were looking for because we wanted a dog who could keep up with us.

  8. No known significant health issues.

  9. Not too much shedding- ok this one we were WRONG!! They are also known as "Dutch Shedder" for obvious reasons.

Dutchies are a rare breed and, as you would imagine, it's challenging finding a breeder. We found one in Southern California, but they had just had a litter and weren't expecting another one soon and we were quite ready at that moment for a puppy, we still needed a few weeks to prepare. The next closest we found was in Oklahoma.

Luckily, they accepted our application and had a litter they were expecting soon!

Then we got the exciting news on 4.27.2020 that Kylo had been born! There were 12 puppies in his litter (4 males, 8 females), so they tried to convince us to choose one of the females, but we really wanted a male. We stuck with our gut and chose Kylo.

Fast forward to July when Kylo was ready to be sent to us: The plan was to have him flown out to us, but the airline kept canceling his flight because it was too hot. I had planned to have a week of work off to adjust to the new puppy so I had this crazy idea: why don't we make it a family trip and drive to Oklahoma!?! Now, normally this wouldn't be such an issue, but remember this was in the thick of covid! So the thought of traveling was daunting!

Then that Sunday morning, I woke up and said let's pack our bag and just go...

We were on the road at 5pm that night.

We started out heading towards Route 66... and we were gently reminded how big California is!

We literally drove through the night and finally made it to Arizona:

We caught a beautiful sunrise in Arizona.

We kept plugging along and up next was New Mexico.

And then Texas:

And then finally... Oklahoma!!

By now it was the night (about 8pm) of the second day and we had literally driven for 27 hours straight, so we found a hotel and crashed for the night.

The next morning we woke up early and headed to the breeders house in Noble. Noble is a beautiful countryside they had had a very wet spring and it was incredibly lush.

We made it to the breeder's house at about 9am and they quickly brought out Kylo. We were shocked how tiny he was! I'm pretty sure he was the runt of the litter, but nevertheless he was adorable and it was love at first sight!

We instantly fell in love! But then I did something weird, that I kinda wish I hadn't done, but I asked to meet his parents. Bad idea. He was so sad when he saw his mother and his father was acting crazy. Oh well, I learned my lesson.

We hung out just chatting for about an hour and then hit the road! Our goal was to make it to Arizona by that night.

After another long day and late night, we made it to a hotel in Arizona not too far from the Grand Canyon. It was a fun sleep over that night. Actually I don't think we slept well because Kylo kept us up all night!

Then. next morning, we ate breakfast on the go and headed to the Grand Canyon.

After a few hours of exploring the South Rim, we decided it was time to hit the road and start the final leg of our drive home. We made it home very late that night. It was an exhausting 4 days (we drove about 3328 miles in total!), but what a fun adventure we had!



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