Thank you for your reply. We are thinking (dreaming) of getting one close by so when we travel, maybe we could board the dog at the same place? That maybe too idealistic. But we are trying to minimize the sadness for the dog.
Some breeders will board the dog back, but many won't. Also, I travel frequently, and I think you will quickly find that several hours round trip, in the midst of trip preparations (or just after you get back!) quickly becomes a very poor option. I have a good friend who is a trainer, and actually went with me to help pick Kodi out. In the beginning, I left him with her when I traveled. But she lives about an hour from me, and even that 2 hour round trip became onerous when I had to do it a few times. I now use a lovely woman who lives closer, has a couple of small dogs that Kodi enjoys playing with, and (bonus!!!) is a groomer, so knows how to properly maintain Kodi's long coat. (my trainer friend didn't, and I came back to a matted mess!)
As far as minimizing sadness... I truly don't believe the pup has any idea how far they are from home, and very little concept of time, except in the very shortest periods. My personal experience is that how well they separate and settle in is largely related to two factors. First is the puppy's inate personality, and second is the time and care that the breeder has taken in preparing the pup for the transition. By the time I picked Kodi up, he had been on car rides, slept in a crate overnight, met and played with many people, knew how to use a litter box, etc.
Taking Kodi home was pretty much a non-event for him. He charmed everyone in both airports and slept in the plane. (and during the lengthy car rides on each end) He played with my sons as soon as we let him out of his crate after getting home from the airport. Either my son or I slept beside his crate for the first two weeks, but there was never a peep out of him. I have friends in MA who have gotten puppies in California (obviously a MUCH longer trip than Kodi had) who had no more problems than we had with Kodi.
I'm certainly not telling you to avoid local breeders. If there is a GOOD one, with the RIGHT puppy local to you, by all means go for it! But if not, don't limit your options!