Hinckley, 3 year old Portuguese Water Dog – 
“I live in Swampscott, MA but previously my fiancee and I lived in Providence, where we met and where I grew up. Our four-legged loves are Hinckley and Henley. Here I will share the story of Hinckley as she is the oldest and before her, I had never had a dog in my life.
Currently she is 3 years old and has been with us since was a wee little puppy at 12 weeks of age. My fiancee and I had been dating and living together for a little over two years when we decided that something was missing. Having grown up in a pet household myself, I was yearning for a fuzzy family member and coincidentally so was he. Thus my fiancee and I began discussing the addition of a pet to our dynamic.
My fiancee’s parents own a house on Martha’s Vineyard and one summer day while we were there a neighbors dog came wandering through; he was enticed by the burgers we had cooking on the grill. This little guy, Paco, captured our attention and amused us to end. The question was, what breed was he? As it turns out he was a Portuguese Water Dog and from there we knew we had our breed pinned down. At the time we were living in an apartment complex and a hypoallergenic pup that doesn’t shed was just what management would love to approve and add to our lease. We searched high and low for breeders and were having little luck, until we were having lots of luck. I emailed a few and expressed our interest in adding a dog to our family and then waited for responses. At the time it seemed like forever, but a few got back to us right away and we made arrangements to meet with them. The first breeder we met with had puppies that were ready to go to home and a few that were not spoken for yet. We absolutely fell in love with one of those puppies but it wasn’t meant to be. The breeder offered us the puppy that we had fallen for but under a co-ownership agreement. We were not interested in being co-owners to a show dog so sadly we passed on him. The next breeder to get back to us was expecting a litter in a few weeks but suspected that the litter was going to be small, regardless we met with her, her family, and the dogs she owned. We fell in love once again and decided that whether or not her dog had a large litter, she would be the breeder we wanted to get a dog from. Somehow fate stepped in and Dory (Hinckley’s mom) had a larger litter than expected. We received an excited phone call from the breeder the night Dory had the puppies, exclaiming that we would definitely be getting a puppy from this litter if we were interested and ready. We were all in and excited to meet the puppies!
For me, Hinckley was going to be my first dog as my mother is a cat lady. For Neil, this was going to be his third. The following Saturday we drove out to the Cape in order to meet the litter of puppies. The first visit and all subsequent ones it seems were engineered to steer us towards Hinckley. Hinckley was the first born in the litter but the smallest puppy, and the breeder paid special attention to her. Being the runt, at mealtimes her siblings just pushed her out and she was always the last to eat. Whenever we came, the other had just eaten and fallen into food comas, and Hinckley was the only one awake and ready to go. The weeks passed and we watched the puppies grow and change and start to develop little personalities. The day came when we were asked to give preference to which puppies we thought would be a good fit for us and form there she would do her best to pair us up with one of them. Initially Hinckley wasn’t on our list, but as we drove home that day we realized that she should have been on the top of our list, our first choice in fact. We called up right away and told Gail (the breeder) that we made a mistake and wanted Hinckley to be our first choice. Apparently it was relief all around as we were the only single couple without children, and Gail felt that Hinckley would do best with us and get the attention that she needed.
The day we brought her home, it was perfect. She was ours and we were hers; she had us wrapped up in her paws from day one. The name Hinckley comes from our shared love of boating and the sheer fact that we will never be able to afford a Hinckley sailboat. So, when we meet other boating enthusiasts and they ask us If we’ve got a boat of our own, I reply that we have a Hinckley…black and white…a cruiser for sure. Hinckley is way better than a boat and the money that we sink into her has a much better return than a boat. A boat would never love us back the way she does 🙂 She loves the beach, to swim, hike, and anything else outdoors. She also loves picking on her little brother, Henley. I lived many years without a dog but now that we have two, I can’t imagine my life without them. They are extraordinary! “
-Kelly, MA

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