Hi! As the thread title says, I'm a newcomer to both the breed and forum. So I guess I will tell you a little background, lol... I've had dogs my entire life. My first dog was a golden/border collie mix and afterwards my family decided smaller dogs would be easier to manage, even though my father was partial to large breeds having grown up with GSDs. We had a Lhasa and we still have a Shih Tzu (she's 15!) but I sort of always wanted a big dog to get out and do things with. Then when I went to college I became really intrigued by bird hunting and my best friend's father happened to be an avid hunter/shooting instructor who trained his own lab; I met the dog and she was fabulous! A couple of years later I started dating a guy who is from a hunting/military family and I started seriously thinking about getting a bird dog. After much research, I decided on a lab and the boyfriend agreed to foot the bill for a pup. However, the more I thought about it, the less I wanted a puppy because I didn't have the time as a student. As a compromise I began browsing local rescues for a young lab and found several. We went to visit one of the dogs but he got adopted out from under us; I was disappointed but I insisted we go to another shelter to look at this yellow male I had viewed. Turns out he was available and it was love at first sight! We adopted Teller (formerly Buster) that afternoon and the rest is history! We didn't expect much as far as hunting ability because he was a rescue and the shelter told us he wouldn't fetch. Fortunately we were incredibly wrong! Teller is currently being trained as a flushing retriever and doing great. Anyways, I fell in love with the breed over the past year and plan on adding another labbie boy to my family in the future.