The Puppy - Chapter 2

We visited a breeder the other day, and let me tell you, it was quite an experience.
I have been doing so much research online and in books over the past year. I’ve been trying to be sure that we don't contribute to a puppy mill while at the same time attempting to keep the adoption cost within a reasonable range. We don't plan to show or breed, but would certainly like to have a healthy puppy that hasn't been allowed to engage in behavior that will have to be "un-trained". This being our first puppy, it is going to be a project enough to feed, water and potty train him. Knowing this, the breeder isn't a decision we've taken lightly. I’ve spoken with several in our area, and we decided on one in particular that we visited on Sunday afternoon.

Karen and Billie (the breeders we visited) have 5 female Maltese and 2 males that they breed in their home. Combined, they probably have $40,000+ in those dogs alone. And it's breeding season, so all 5 of their females were in some stage of either heat, pregnancy or new motherhood. Her house was impressively clean in spite of all of that craziness. But it is definitely dog central. I couldn't believe all of her puppy stuff! Entire rooms devoted to playpens, grooming tools, puppy toys, puppy kennels, etc.

They are just as nice as can be, but she is a bit fanatical about her dogs. The dogs do not go outside - they are trained to pee-pads in the house to avoid fleas, ticks or other critters. They do not go to groomers (she does her own grooming - and it seems to be a never ending job) because of horror stories she's heard about unsanitary grooming conditions. They are not set down when they visit the vet - "they bring sick dogs there" so they stay in her carrier or in the vets hands the entire visit. The newborn puppies are kept in a playpen at the end of her easy chair and watched constantly for the first few weeks of their lives. This couple's life is these dogs.

Now, I would argue that this is exactly the type of fanatic, I mean, person from who you want to get a dog. It is obvious when interacting with the puppies that they are well loved and hand cared for. They are loving, adorable and apparently extremely healthy. I watched them use pee-pads and they were very happy to play with my husband and I as soon as we walked in. as Billie says, "they don't know a stranger." and I fell in love with one little boy in particular.

We had decided that we were not going to leave that day with a puppy and it took a lot of restraint to stick to the plan. They talked to us for two hours and we played with puppies the whole time. But in the end I did stick to the plan and we left empty handed. After much discussion and a bit of negotiating on price - we decided to put a deposit on a puppy. We get to bring him home next week!!!!!

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