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Hazel is the sweetest little Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy. I photographed her when she was around 16 weeks old in her apartment in downtown Vancouver.

She is currently learning a lot of tricks, begging, rolling over and pretending to be shy. Enjoy the extreme cuteness, and some stories about Hazel.

Hazel was adopted from Tollchester Tollers in Chilliwack by fur parents Carly and Will at the start of 2019.

A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy chews on an ice cube during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell

She was part of a litter of 6 – 3 girls, 3 boys. They were all named after Thanksgiving; Cornbread, Spud, Butterball, Autumn, Pumpkin and Cranberry.

We fell in love with Pumpkin because she was both playful and engaging, but relaxed and chill. We ended up renaming her Hazel.

We’d been tossing names around for AGES! We liked Hazel because Tollers have a warm caramel/ginger coat. I am also a huge fan of giving dogs human names. Other top choices were Archie, if we got a boy.

A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy looks at her dad during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell

Will was making funny noises for Hazel, and she showed him what she thought of his attempt. 

A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy looks at her dad during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell
A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy paws her dad's face during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell

We were very jetlagged having just spent 23 hours travelling home from the UK. Neither of us could sleep because we were so excited to pick her up. We met up with our breeder and drove Hazel home.

She was so nervous and shut down for a few hours. My heart broke a bit because she plastered herself on the far wall of the crate and wouldn’t leave if we were nearby. After two hours we coaxed her out of her crate with food and water. 

We played a bit but she was so shy. It took a few days for her to warm up, but we were patient and gentle.

A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy gets head scritches during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell
A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy begs for a treat during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell

She’s kind of like a cat. She loves walking around the back of the couch and perching on odd things. The first few weeks she was really clumsy and she almost fell face first off the coach.
She’s got better balance now. She’s so curious and loves to solve puzzles. She’s already figured out how to use tools to get what she needs, like pulling a table cloth over to get food closer to the edge of the table.

A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy pretends to be shy for a treat during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell
A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy snuggles on the couch during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell

The other night I was drawing a bath and I left the room to get a towel. I came back and Hazel was in the bath trying to bite the stream of water coming from the tap. 

There was dirt and hair in the water and she wouldn’t. leave. the bath. But it was such a pleasure watching her discover water, and discover that she can hold her breath to grab objects at the bottom of the bath. 

She also has a habit of sneaking out of her crate at 4am to jump into our bed for a quick cuddle session before going back to bed. It’s the one and only time I welcome being working up early.

A Nova Scotia Duck Toller puppy begs for a treat during a portraits for pets session by Vancouver photographer Angela McConnell

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