Monday, November 21, 2011

How much is that puppy on the breeder's website?

It's been a rollercoaster ride, folks.  Exactly one week ago, we were all excited about the prospect of getting a precious little griffon pug cross.  I messaged the puppy lady several times last Monday... she had one left and it would be available the first week in December.  I emailed her one final time that we were very excited about the puppy joining our family and asked her to send me the address so I could drop a deposit in the mail.

Two days later, I get a new email from her saying she had just received my email from Monday.  I may be from Texas, but I didn't fall off the turnip truck and bump my noggin.  All I had to do was check my SENT box to make sure the email went out on Monday when she claimed she just received it on Wednesday.  (insert some cursity cursing here - use your imagination and let 'er rip)  Whatever... the bottom line was that she had promised the puppy to another family and she was waiting on their check.  Of course, she was quick to let me know that if the other person's check didn't show up by Thursday, then we could buy the pup.  As if I could believe that.  Obviously we passed on her offer.

Since the spring, I've been snooping through animal websites on a regular basis.  There was one kennel that caught my eye because the breeder includes in all her ads that she never turns her back on her dogs.  She says that she is always available for advice and will gladly take any dogs that can no longer be kept for any reason and find a good home for them.  

This lady has bred Cairn Terriers for 30+ years and really seems to know her stuff.  She has many sets of breeding pairs and potential owners wouldn't have to wait months and months for a pup.  I've returned to this breeder's website over and over again to admire the fine looking Cairns and wonder if it would be the right breed for our family.

In the past, I would never have attempted to raise a terrier.  With our work schedules and kid commitments, the poor little thing would have had to live most of its life in a crate.  No doubt it would have displayed all of the negative Cairn traits that would drive us nuts - jumping on folks, barking its fool head off, chasing anything that moved (including our cats), digging up our landscaping and trying to tunnel out of the backyard underneath the fence.  

Now that I'm a (reluctant) stay-at-home mom here in the UK, I have plenty of time on my hands.  Plenty of time to clean up poop and pee, plenty of time to let it drag me along while I try to train it on the lead, plenty of time to babysit it in the backyard so it doesn't make a break for it or bay like a hound at the local squirrels that frequent our trees.

We drove up north, not too far from Cambridge, to visit the breeder yesterday.  She was busy grooming the Cairns, so we got to visit with her daughter.  Honest to Betsy, you would have thought she was from Texas - the wilds of Hardin County - if she lost the accented English.  She was mucking around in her wellies with the dogs following her out to the paddock, all very down-to-earth and without a snooty British bone in her body.  She was extremely patient with our questions and brought out two different sets of puppies plus the parents for us to see.  

We ended up choosing the little guy on the right in this picture.  Thanks to my speed reading through Cesar Millan's How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond, we were armed with some valuable information about the puppy selection process.  It seems that if you don't select the "right" pup for you, then you're gonna be neck deep in puppy poop from the get-go.   

We decided the little fella needed to be called something quintessentially British, so Oliver Twist (and our surname) will be the official name on his pedigree papers.  To us, he'll simply be Ollie.

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