As long as I can remember, I have always been in love with animals. My family had a toy poodle that I adored and my next door neighbor had two beautiful AKC obedience trained German Shepherds. I remember watching my neighbor train his dogs in his yard for hours when I was very young and I think that’s where my love for training began. When I was a pre-teen, I took care of my cousins new Cocker Spaniel puppy for two weeks and that’s when I got the chance to try out my training skills and I was hooked!
The next phase of my life was college and marriage. During our first Christmas together, my husband, Jeremy, bought be a beautiful opal ring but decided to return it before giving it to me after we spent one of our dates at a pet store and he saw how I fell in love with a chinchilla. He then surprised me with a rare, sweet, and fun little chinchilla. And his name? We decided to combine our names (Kathy and Jeremy) and he was called Karemy! It was at this moment when I knew this wonderful man knew me, my love for animals, and would support me in my passions.
At the time we moved to our first home, we had three children and went through the process of picking out the breed of dog we wanted our first family dog to be. We knew we needed a dog that would have the patience and the durability to handle our loud and rambunctious children. When it came down to decide, we decided on the Labrador! I searched the newspapers and found an all black litter of Labrador puppies that were selling for $50 each. I walked up to the playpen full of puppies and and picked the first puppy that walked up to me. Her name was Sabbie and she is where my love of Labradors began.
Not long after, I looked into showing her and having my own litter of puppies. However, she was not AKC registered. So about a year later we purchased our Lady, a yellow lab that had AKC papers. It was with our Lady, we had our very first litter. We had so much fun as a family looking after that first litter! Emma was barely able to stand, but would still spend many hours in the puppy box as we cared for the puppies.
It was from the experience of this first litter I decided I wanted to get serious about showing and competing with our lab. At this point, we knew we would not only need a lab or one that was AKC registered, but a lab from a good breeder who came from champion show lines. I happened upon a breeder who had just bred her female to one of the top stud dogs in WA. The breeder was planning on keeping the pick of the litter but her husband had recently broken his foot and couldn’t keep her. This is how we ended up with our Abby girl, who many of our dogs go back to.
I brought Abby home we had so much fun training, competing in IABCA shows, and hunt tests with her! She was a fantastic family dog and I spent more hours with her than any dog since. When it was time, I bred her to a proven stud who was a Jr hunter and Canadian show champion. From that litter, we kept Daisy and then the following Christmas Jeremy purchased a fox red puppy named Rosie from my friend and mentor Bob Morris of Cougar Mountain Labradors.
We competed with Daisy in hunting and conformation. My son, Jonathan, had a blast with her when we took her out to a training hunt days. There was one day when a dummy bird was left on a little island in the middle of a small pond and none of the other dogs were able to get it and had given up, but because of Jonathan and Daisy’s connection, he was able to get her to retrieve the bird. Daisy was his dog and now everyone in our family wanted a dog of their own! So our kennel grew. There was one day we had the dogs and kids playing in the backyard of our 1/10 of an acre home and my dear sweet hubby realized we were outgrowing our house.
Not long after, we purchased a five-acre property and built a home and then a barn. From then on, we were absolutely in love with our dogs and proceed to fill our lives with animals. Karemy was the name we chose for our kennel. Along the way, as the kennel grew we added stud dogs and worked in mentoring many others to become reputable breeders of quality Labradors, continuing the legacy of the most popular breed in the world.
We are truly honored to be raising the next generation of Labrador Retrievers. We strive each day to make decisions that will improve this breed through health screenings, having them evaluated through conformation shows, and challenging their minds through hunt training and therapy work. The Labrador really is the all purpose dog! It’s no wonder when I think of man’s best friend, I picture the Labrador Retriever!
Looking back on our story now, we have been blessed by each one of our wonderful dogs and have gotten to share that blessing with others. Each puppy is special to us and it has always been hard for us to let them go, but getting to see them become the reliable hunter, the service dog, the tracker, the therapy dog, or the beloved family pet that is what makes it okay for us to say goodbye.