So we did. We left Friday afternoon and traveled to Hickory, NC, a short distance from the breeder's home that we covered this morning. First impressions: a beautiful spread (turns out they have a landscaping business, so party of that beauty is an occupational bonus). Second: adorable pups! Third: A wonderful family, and Sonja, the breeder, is, in Junior's words, "one of the nicest women I have ever met."
There are three females in this litter and, alas, Junior couldn't quite decide! He will return next week for pup pick-up, and go a day earlier for more firsthand observation to aid him in his choice. It was a treat to share this time with him, to meet Sonja and learn more about retrievers and their training, and to enjoy some absolutely beautiful country on our travels.
Lucky Junior, whichever pup he chooses (her name is already selected: Emma), his dog comes from excellent stock. Both parents are five and six time grand champion hunters. Kind of makes this grandmother proud!