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Welcome to our Love Page #8, where you can read comments from some of our puppy families and meet their precious ones. Enjoy!

This gorgeous boy is Mack, a PoncaXThistle son, older brother to our Mango (same breeding earlier litter)

Wow, what a beautiful photo - what a blessing to me to see my babies so happy with their families!

You can really see Thistle's grin on Mack :-) Thanks guys, for sharing your photos and family!


I just thought I would attach a photo(s) of Mack. He was known as Shamrock when he was with you. He is absolutely the best dog ever….hands down!!!! You don’t know how many people’s lives this dog has touched, they love him but not as much as our family. He is a little over three years old now.

I know his dad is Thistle, I just can’t remember his mom’s name I know that she is retired.

Thank you again! We love this dog with all our heart.

Amy Pruitt



Bryan here,

Yes, please use the pictures.

I have been around a lot of labs in my life and had and lived with five others. However, I am not sure what it is, but Mack is the best lab I have ever seen or been around. He lives for our kids. He will go outside with them and watch them like a true guardian. He will just sit in the yard and watch them. It is great. I have had so many compliments on him, even when we go to the vet, they tell us they can’t believe his mannerisms and that they wish all dogs were like him. What I am more impressed with is that when we were trying to buy a dog from you, you told us that you had the perfect dog for us. I was a little skeptical, but man were you right.

I have nothing at all negative to say about this dog, extremely intelligent, protective, calm, loving and one of the family.

Thanks again for everything and we would be honored if you used the pictures.

Thanks again,


Baby Barkley right after he went home, sigh :-)

Sporting a new Cubs collar! Barkley is a 2008 JoyXMaize son.

Aww - what a face! How can you help but laugh at him!

What a big boy he is now all of one year old!

Why dogs hate halloween - ha ha - he's actually looking pretty patient, must be the banana cake!

Dear Chris,

Here are a couple of our favorite pictures of Barkley. (1st picture is on Christmas Eve when we got him, he fell asleep on a piece of ribbon and it was just too cute; 2nd picture is to show his obsession which I discuss later; 3rd is my favorite tilted head; 4th is the most recent one we have outside our condo--such a handsome 1 year old!)

It is so hard to believe he is 1 year old now! It seems like just yesterday we were waiting anxiously for your updates as Joy delivered all 10 of the little polar bears on Halloween, 2008 :-) Barkley is the perfect addition to our family. He is SO goofy and is constantly making us laugh and smile. What a personality those Maize*Joy babies seem to have! For the most part, he is very well behaved---he does have an ongoing obsession with laundry (clean and dirty) as well as fabric softner sheets and dish towels. He has the most adorable "guilty as charged" look though and it is hard to stay mad at him for long.

He adores other dogs and plays SO well with them. People are often amazed at how well behaved he is for still being so young. His looks are incredible--we have had people pull over while driving to tell us how gorgeous he is! Barkley absolutlely loves to swim. We recently took him to the "dog beach" in downtown Chicago. There were about 150 dogs there PLUS all the lake he could handle, and if he could talk, we are pretty sure he would have been repeating "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, is this heaven? is this heaven?" over and over again. He had the time of his life and then slept for the next 24 hours almost forgetting to wake up for dinner.

Thank you so much for giving us the chance to welcome Barkley into our lives. What you do is so much more than breed labs, you complete families. Any family/individual who comes to you is undoubtedly made better with the addition of a Cricket Hollow lab. We could not have asked for a better experience working with you. You truly have a gift, not only working with dogs, but working with people too.

We will be in touch. Maybe we'll be back for another one when we have a yard someday

Angie & Steve Fiala (and Barkley)
angie.fiala @


Thank you so much for the Barkley birthday wishes! Here is a picture of him as "Barkley the Big Daddy Pimp Dog".....I think he looks more like a scholar than a pimp, but whatever. Ha. He actually didnt mind the costume much which we thought was hilarious.

Steve made him a banana cake (got the recipe from Doggy or something). It has cream cheese frosting and sliced bananas on it.....needless to say, the drool was being produced by the bucket load. Ha. What a spoiled little guy. We sang to him and kept reminding him it was his special day. He just looked at us wondering if special day meant lots of walks....he loves walks.

He has been turning into quite the gentleman. He still doesnt like to cuddle which annoys me (and I tell him that often), but maybe in another year he will want to be closer to his momma. Ha.

He is the best dog ever and by far the most handsome guy I've ever seen. We love him to pieces and cannot remember or imagine life without him. He makes everything more fun. We are looking forward to his first real romp in the snow as a "big dog" :-) We think he is going to love it.

Great to hear about Mango! Someday when we have a house and a yard we will be in the market for another addition to our family :-)

OH! I forgot to tell you there is a great family in town who bring their 3 labs to the dog park and there big black male is from Techumseh Labradors in IL!! Isn't that where Maize is from? They look VERY much alike. It's so funny! Barkley is ENAMOURED by him. He follows him everywhere he goes at the dog park. It's like he knows they are kind of related!

Talk soon!

Scout is a BiscottiXBoone son and what a lovely boy he IS :-)

This was my Christmas Card from Connie and her family last year - I told you she was amazing!! Go on, you know you want to check out her photography, website is linked on the right :-)

Connie took photos of the boys as babies here at the Hollow - wow, I wish I could take photos like hers!

I just love this one! I really need some chocolate babies around here and soon!!

Here's Scout - all grown up!

Lovely - look at that muscle!


Hi Chris,
Yesterday I took some photos of Scout and his best"est" buddy Kona, a female american chocolate, that lives two doors down from us. The dogs have daily romps in the front yard and have taken to "knocking" on each other's doors to see if the other can come out and play.
Scout is doing awesome. We had him neutered earlier this month (at 14 months) and he recovered beautifully. He is a wonderful running partner with me for our 3 mile run on a pea gravel path every morning. He is a great buddy and listens wonderfully. Really such a joy to have in our family.

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween.


Connie happens to be an amazing professional photographer in the Chicago area - check her out!

Connie's Photography Website

Merry Christmas!

Hi Chris,
We thought you might enjoy seeing some updated pictures of Scout. He has grown so much you would hardly recognize him! He goes on lots of adventures with us and is doing very well. He is truly a member of our family. These photos were taken during our annual Christmas tree hunt. Scout LOVED prancing around the tree farm in the deep snow. Such a sweetie.

Scout graduated from puppy class about 2 weeks ago and we will start up again for more lessons in January. You would be proud of him. He is a good boy. We still have lots to work on (especially that pesky desire to jump up when greeting people), but he is a joy to have around.

He is busy losing lots of baby teeth. His coat is shiny and absolutely beautiful - people comment about it all the time. He even has a "wave" of fur that goes down his spine (I think Biscotti has this also??) and a tiny little white patch of fur that has emerged on his tail.

If you cannot tell by the photos, we adore him. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

The Tameling Family
Connie, Chad, Dakota and Hannah


This is Cooper - he was the bitty brother in a litter of 11 babies Ms. Bumble had with Thistle - lovely puppies this little guy included!

Drinkin' from the hose :-)

Getting bigger all the time! What lovely lines he has!

A retrieving fool, just like his mama :-)

Mr. Cooper, all grown up and close to 100 lbs now - see, size at 8 weeks means NOTHING :-) Fetch that birdie Cooper!

Chris (& the girls)-
I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you again for the wonderful puppy. I think we told you before that we would be calling him Cooper, and after 10 days he's still doing great. He was a little bummed the first couple days to not be around his friends, but he has since perked up. He spends a good chunk of time here at our house, while he's still fairly small, and some time down at the farm. We can't believe how fast he's growing...sometimes while he's sleeping I could swear that I'm watching him get bigger. :-) At any rate, he's a beautiful pup with a great demeanor and is very smart. We feel so lucky that we "fell" into this opportunity and just wanted to thank you again. Hope things are going well there.
Amanda (& Lance)

Just wanted to send you a few updated pictures of Cooper. He's amazing! He's mastered sit, shake, high-five, down, roll-over, retrieve (most of the time) and we're still working on stay, release, and drop it. I can't believe how fast he's grown! We can't thank you enough, we have been bragging you guys up at every chance we get. My only regret is that I want to play more with him than study for my tests, but Lance keeps him entertained while I study. I think he's still got a little too much energy to ride in the combine this year, but maybe by next year he can take his post in the buddy seat. Thanks again!
Lance and Amanda Setterdahl

Here's the latest pic of Lance and Cooper.....not too bad for a "runt". :-) I think he's got to be getting close to 100 lbs. Thanks again for everything.
Amanda (&Lance) (&Cooper)

A young Buttercup - the original Buttecup, we loved the name so absconded with it :-) She's a 2004 GennyXMaize Daughter

Gotta love that swimmin'!

Who is this - oh, baby Fezick - he is a 2006 FaithXTy son - sweet as the day is long, don't believe a thing Cuppy says about him :-)

There must be a cookie!

I think she likes having a brother!

Two labbies is definitely better than one :-)

What an expression :-)

Hi Chris,

I hope you are doing well. Bryan and I were happy to hear that you are
at the lodge full time.

Well, bryan and I have been talking and we think our pupological clock is ticking...Cuppy is doing really well and her baby brother clock is ticking too.

We were thinking about a few options, PLEASE guide us. Bryan and I were thinking a puppy to come home in the fall would be nice (a puppy potty
trained before winter would be really nice, but not essential). We are definately looking for a male, and hoping to get our hands on a choclate,
however we are flexable on color.

Here are some more recent pictures of Buttercup from this past Christmas and our trip to the cabin this past May. We included one of her actually sleeping for a change... She is finally starting to do that
once in while :)

we look forward to hearing from you,

Dear Gramma,

So sorry it has taken me so long to write. I have been very busy taking care of this puppy. Training a puppy is hard. Plus mom has been really busy at work. While she is busy working I have to watch this
puppy. Life is just so hard.

The puppy is doing well. We play everyday, he is very laid back. Not like me. He likes to love up on me which I let him know that is unacceptable. I will have no puppies bothering me while I am getting my beauty rest. He's an odd little boy, he actually will stop running around the house to get a pet from mom and dad. Doesn't he know life is just to busy to stop for a pet. Then I humor the humans and let them pet me too. OH, enough about me back to the puppy.
He seems to be having an issue where he likes to pee on fluffy things still. This includes daddy!! Mom took him to the vet, because she was sure her sweet boy had an infection, but the vet said hes marking. If he pees on me Im gonna kill him. Another thing the stupid kid does is
bark. I don't know why he does it but it gets on my last nerve. He is such a boy. He also looks very silly, when I roll him over on his back to bite his neck you can see two very little little lines of white on his stomach....I mean how ridiculous is that...he should be all white or yellow like me...Hopefully he'll grow out of it because he is ugly! I
must say he is pretty smart, he graduated from puppy class. Mom and dad say after the summer we are both going to intermediate training. How
embarrassing, they are making me repeat the class.

Dear Gramma,
Its me Fezick!! I am going to tell you all about my great sissy. She is my hero. I love her so much. She is my best friend. She lets me jump on her, try to hump on her, chase her, I have the most fun with her. Mom says she has grown up a lot since I have come home. She
hardly causes any trouble except the other day she ate a bar of soap....It wasn't good for her tummy. She gets into the garbage every now and then, but don't worry she will hand me a paper plate or something to chew through the cage so I am not left out. I don't know
why mom gets so upset about that...she tends to over react. Sissy is doing well, currently she hasn't been as much fun. Her one nail split right down the middle. Other than that she is perfect. Mom and dad went on their first vacation and left us at our other grandma's house.
I was fine because my sissy took care of me, sissy was sad. Oh great sissy is lying down, maybe she will let me eat one of those bones mom gave to us but she confiscated. I will let mom write.

Chris, It's amazing how different the two of them are. Cuppy is just so reliable, trustworthy, energetic, etc. Fezick is our little watch dog lover. He is pretty smart too, but I think he learns more from Buttercup then us. They make us so happy. They are our world. It's so nice to come home from a stressfulled day at work and have our babies to play with. We are sending some pictures of the kids playing in their baby pool and what not. Hope you enjoy them...Happy mothers day. I
will try and be better at writing as I only have a few more weeks of work and then I am out for the summer. Special ed land after January is just so hectic!!

Cuppy, Fezick, Bryan, and Jamie


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