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Boundary Waters Labradors, Ely, MN


Boundary Waters Labradors is The Home of The JOLOR Lab

BWCA Labs is located on the edge of the BWCAW
(Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness)

AL & Margo Penke
1405 Hwy 120
Ely, Minnesota
Labrador Retrievers with wonderful temperament, good hunting instincts and fire, fire, fire!
established in 1999
Joe DeLoia and Missy Bell have referred clients to us.
Dave Rorem bought a pup from us.
Vickie Lamb has two “FC AFC Carbons Blue Pursuit ex Jolor’s Sunshine Splendor” pups of ours.
In 2001 we had 2x NAFC Candlewoods Ramblin Man pups.
In 2010 we had NAFC Fourleaf’s Ice Breaker “Buster” pups.
Tellus Calhoun placed a pup for us.
(just a few of our many puppy testimonies)

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“Sold Out” ru

229470_1056253125390_8813_nSome are asking so I’ll make it public: Our current litter is all spoken for. They have ~ Amazing and wonderful ‘forever homes’. Folks like you are all a part of that…plus time and effort on adoption agent granny go-go’s part…whom apparently also has dectective-like blood running through her veins, lol. References are so nice….and seeing as we’ve been at this since 1999, with a strong Joe DeLoia foundation of Labrador people to begin with….it’s been almost-always a positive ride when it comes to puppy placements. By His grace. We have fortunate Labs who are created, formed and adopted, with loads of blessings, through many loving prayers. I should mention we are now taking deposits on our yet un-created upcoming litters. It’s what we do to establish a ‘line up’ of committed folks to our dogs and their bloodlines prior to a breeding. I love it when a litter is ‘sold out’…it shows me I am ‘on track’.
To me, these pupsters are nothing but wonderful; and I can say that, without personal bragging; because it truly is “all Joe and Missy Bell’s fault”. They are the 2 sets of wings I have tried to stay under. They are my mentors, my teachers, and my friends. (Joe, the former co-owner of my AKC registered kennel name JOLOR, who was ‘like a father’ and Missy is my sister – the best in the world, and an AKC FT Judge (inc the 2015 NARC), and she, too, is an all around Lab expert! ~~~ both of whom could be in the Retriever Hall of Fame for People!) How fortunate for me, in my hobby of choice, that I gained not only one, but two, altruistic experts who took me under wing. After our home burnt to the ground, on 11/30/2014, just over a year ago….I wanted to quit. But encouragement – and donations to rebuild came in from community, family, friends, strangers and hundreds of puppy placement BWCA Labs’ families; that basically ‘wouldn’t let us quit’. This was my husband’s hearts desire all along: to rebuild and carry on. Praise God. The willingness to do so was still debatable, for me, however. I still felt the trauma, the heartaches, and the desire to quit as we bred our 1st litter of 2015…even still on Nov 14th while Keeper brought them into this world, and a strong deposit list in my hand; I still debated within…but that’s when the ‘magic’ happened, again. Fifteen days before my 61st birthday, the 1st anniversary of losing our home to a devastating fire; my beloved Mr. Joe DeLoia sadly passed away. He left us during the early morning hours on Nov 15th. He would have been 98 tomorrow, as I type. Losing Joe was and remains bittersweet; as he had wanted to ‘go home’ years ago. If you can grasp this; Joe’s parting was ‘God’s Kiss’ goodnight, to me. For the experience occurred on the first night of sleeping in our new (yet unfinished) home. As we both rested on our camping cots, with heat lamps brightly shining over a whelping box full of puppies and noises rustling loud enough to keep anyone awake; I mentioned to my husband, in my best ‘Laurel & Hardy’ style, “Here’s another fine mess you got me into.”….when an impressive HUSH swept over the room. For a good moment ‘all was silent and peaceful beyond my comprehension, or ability to explain the moment with mere words. “Did you hear that, honey? Can you feel that peace?” And we slept soundly. The morning brought the sad news; and it dawned on me that this experience and the time of, or very near to the time of, Joe’s passing were synonymous. Mr. Joseph Samuel DeLoia died (or as I prefer – went from life to Life) on my birth father’s birthday and his son’s day of passing just 3 years earlier. The experience left me knowing, once again, that God is still in control and He has me on the right path, through the people around me, especially through the yielding to my husband’s lead…and so many others. After all “No man is self-made.” right, Joe? ‘God’s Kisses’ or ‘His signature’ regarding anything in our lives is a good thing to notice, worthy of looking for and delightful to find! May you see this in your lives and I continue to in mine. A story almost always goes beyond it’s own words and here are more ‘kisses’: The last pup I retained was born on the day Mr. Joe DeLoia was moved out of Duluth, her name is JoJo. His last personal hunting dog, JJ, that he and his wife imparted to me; sadly passed away on Father’s Day (2005). Plus Joe and I had a relationship much like the Bible; in that it was full of statistics, stories and reports…Joe saw to that. He would call and give me research projects weekly, if not daily, when he still used a phone…which I gladly obliged. It’s what we did. Now he and his son, Gary, and so many others are together again; and If one can see earth from heaven, we’re convinced Joe and Gary had a good hearty laugh if they peeked in on Boundary Waters Labradors that night and heard: “Here’s another fine mess…” Oh, you know, Joe would always tell me; if you can’t have any fun with it – don’t do it; life’s too short…and my response was one of agreement; but often I would say. “Yes, but no matter what we do – there remains, within it, a higher calling.” In lieu of that, I will conclude with: Merry Christmas ~ Let our heart’s rejoice this season as we celebrate our King ~ Who is coming again, soon!

Too Sad to Post My Own

Here is a link to our current news:



My Love for You

Finley: From Nose to Tail…an all BWCA pup

Finley: From Nose to all BWCA pup


Hope all is well up in Ely. You can never send me too many pictures. Diana and Will seem to have another BWCA home-run puppy. You and Al do marvelous things up there . . . in the woods.

A while back I called Diana to tell her “your going to have to spank your dog. It is a necessary part of raising a mature, responsive friend.” To further explain myself, I wrote her the e-mail, “Corporeal Caveats.”

Thought you would like to read her response. Seems that you and Al have delivered another amazing puppy. We will get to see Finley this fall.

Boggs and Ben are close, personal friends. At age 7 both are getting a bit grey under the chin and between the paws. Yet, both are most athletic and show no signs of sluggishness . . . unlike myself. Late spring mornings, we confine ourselves to the gravel road around Eureka’s West Lake . . . which means Canada Geese and goslings. Yea, they’ve munched down on a half dozen so far . . . but there are plenty left. The other morning, Boggs sprinted out behind an acre sized pond adjacent to the road . . . and dove in for a clutch of twelve or so. As he swam toward it . . . the clutch spread out and started to dive and swim away. It’s amazing how far they swim . . . underwater. Boggs kept at it for while . . . before conceding defeat and exiting the water. Goslings outwitted him. Next day, if he noticed the clutch . . . he didn’t do that again. He kept to the path.

This morning . . . they smelled and pursued one gosling in the grass by the cattails. The “boys” spent more that a few minutes crashing the place: last years cattails . . . burrowing through them . . . coming out . . . diving back in . . . running up and down the grassy bank, nose to the ground . . . crashing through and coming out the water side to swim for a while . . . get the view from the other side . . . come back through . . . crash and burrow some more. Then . . . finally, after more that a few minutes . . . we were back on the gravel and on our way . . . back to the truck.

Looking forward to summer. It has been a long, cold winter. Once the weather warms a bit (again) I’m taking the ‘boys’ to the beach for a spring bath in the lake!! They don’t protest much. And it leaves them feeling fresh and clean . . . for a while.

Peter Ostrowski Jr (used with permissions)

Pale Pondering

IMG_5263As time fades pondering enhances summer days by the water.

Generation to Generation

Generation to Generation

Our pups and our people go from generation to generation. For this we are thankful!