Our journey to our American Cocker Spaniel Bristol was actually a long, drawn-out one. As a military family, we were finding it extremely difficult to find a breed-specific rescue group to work with us. I had always adopted my animals from a shelter, previously-loved is the best kind! But this time ... after being ignored and otherwise run around the ringer over a period of 3-6mos, we decided to go with a breeder (this is likely the first and last time). In fact, the pictures below were the ones that convinced me we just had to have her!! She's just so ... unusual for a Cocker.
Those beautiful blue eyes aren't standard for this breed -- in fact, those blue eyes are clear indication that she carries the dilute gene for "merle" ... commonly seen in Australian Shepherds. The end result is usually a conversation, because you know? She is a pretty puppy dog.
We don't have children, so miss Athena and miss Sassy Pants Bristol are our furry children. If I can bring her along, I usually do. To the store, to the park, to the beach, to a friend's house. At 27lbs, she's perfectly compact. Not so small that I worry about killing her if I step on her accidentally... but not so large that I would worry about effectively having to man-handle her if the occasion called for it.
We've certainly had our fair share of issues to work out with her ... but we love her, flaws and all. Hopefully, we'll be running our first Standard Novice agility trial this summer!

Drew and Bristol at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, ME

Typical Bristol. "Smiling" her way through life

Hanging out at Casco Bay ... Yarmouth, ME