Storm Warnings

After the first breeder turned me down, I was discouraged but not about to give up.  I was concerned that no one was going to sell to us because we had kids (gasp!) but more importantly because we lived in a Townhouse with no backyard.

That weekend I received an email from a breeder as well as a call from another one.  Both sounded promising and both breeders were fairly local (did I mention that the breeder that turned me down was 5 hours from my house?).

I made back to back appointments to go to their kennels to meet the dogs and see what they had available.  Breeder 1 was just an amazing and a very knowledge and pleasant woman to talk to.  She was absolutely thrilled to hear that we had kids!  My past experience was a plus.  She had two puppies that she thought would be perfect for our family.  The best part was that she lived in the same town we did!

When I started looking, I was looking for a pet for the family.  The last show prospect that I purchased was $5,000 (yes, 5k…no zero error here) plus I had to co-own.  I didn’t want to go through the hassle of finding another show prospect, nor did I currently have that sort of money.  When I talked to Breeder 2, she had two litters coming up but she also mentioned she had two older pups that were show prospects that she might be willing to let go to the right home.  Needless to say, I was instantly intrigued.  My husband was less than thrilled over this development; we were getting a pet for the family, not a pampered show dog.

I was beside myself with excitement and made a checklist so that we could compare all the dogs systematically and compare them side to side after we visited them.  The researcher in me would allow no less.

Saturday my husband had to make the 2 hour drive north to go to Cabella’s to get some fly fishing equipment.  Our appointment with Breeder 1 was at 4:00pm and I feared my husband wouldn’t make it back in time so my son and I stayed home.  It was a good bet.

Upon arriving at the breeders we were in for a treat.  The constant northwestern rain had made for a nice muddy mess in the best of yards and this place was no exception.  The breeder started out introducing me to all her dogs; all 30 of them.  They were all in great condition but I was in dog overload before I even met the pups.  Once the pups were out, the “cute factor” kicked in and my overload capacity was reset.

The breeder presented me with 2 options.  Option 1 was a cute little boy who was an amazing show prospect while Option 2 was another cute boy (seriously, what puppies aren’t cute?) but he only had one descended testicle so he would be staying out of the show ring.  We played with the pups and I decided to wait for my husband to arrive to see what he thought.  As I was waiting, I noticed that while I liked the look of option 1 best, he was aloof and could care less we were there.  I wasn’t thrilled with option 2’s head but he was loving and stayed by my side the majority of the time.  I really wanted a dog that looked like option 1 but had option 2’s personality.

As if I wasn’t already having decision issues, she then brought out a litter of six weeks old pups and informed me she still had a male if I wanted a younger puppy.  Oy!

After an hour, I was at puppy/dog/cute overload again as well as nothing but mud from head to toe.  I was feeling unsure and told the breeder that I needed to sleep on it.  This was a big decision and I didn’t want to make a rash decision especially considering I didn’t feel like I just “had to have” any of the puppies I had just seen.

Complicating the entire decision process was the fact that Breeder 2 had sent me pictures of the older pups and I was already starting to fall in love with one….

Up next: Eye of the Storm!

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