It sounds like a normal thing, you decide you would like to have a dog. You just have to know where find one. I did not. We had an Alsatian border collie cross growing up over the years and I decided that would be a good breed to go for as I was familiar with them.
I started looking through papers and on the internet. I think I eventually found one on TradeIt. It was in Kettering which was quite a distance from where I was in Gloucestershire, but it was a male puppy, exactly the colouring I wanted. I called and made the arrangement.
Now, my inexperience and desire for a dog completely clouded my judgement. I didn’t really know much about the dog market and hadn’t even heard of puppy farms at this stage. When I arrived, I was given a story about the parent dogs being in kennels as they were going away, so no I didn’t get to see the parents. Just a few bundles of fur, and my quiet looking little puppy in the corner. As she handed me my puppy, she said “Oh by the way, he’s been a little unwell from his worming tablets, but he’ll be fine”. He was quiet and not very puppy like, but adorable and I wanted to look after him. So we left.
It was not a good 24 hours, upon getting home, he wasn’t well at all, being sick and unsteady on his little feet, I had already named him Victor after my childhood dog. But I could tell he wasn’t doing well, I was trying to give him water and keep him warm, but I didn’t understand how fragile puppies are. I took him to the vets within 12 hours, they booked him straight in. And within another 12 hours he was gone. It was an incredibly heartbreaking situation and I was devastated. I called the woman I had brought him off and told her what had happened. She text me back to say they were away – but that she knew someone with some more puppies that would be ready in a couple of weeks when she was back. Still, my brain didn’t flag up anything to say, hang on a minute.
I was very down for a couple of weeks, but trying to focus on feeling positive and trying to look forward to actually being able to have a dog. The next time came. Funnily enough she still didn’t have the previous puppies parent dogs anywhere, but I didn’t think. Instead she had 3 more puppies, who all looked tiny and cuddled up together. And then I did think they all looked a little small, and identical. I hadn’t really ever seen mongrel puppies all looking the same. But she assured me they were crosses and I picked mine. He was covered in fleas and had the tiniest little face, but was adorable. After a few days, he actually got sick too, but with tonsillitis and needed to be put on antibiotics. This was a brief but stressful time as I was convinced he was going to die too. It was a strange beginning for us and one that probably paved the way for what ended up being a very strange dog – but that’s a completely different story.
Also turns out he was a Saluki, a breed I had no experience of, and nothing like the dogs I had ever had before. If you know of them, you will know what I mean. But I believe now on reflection, that he came from a puppy farming environment. When I decided to get a companion for him, that was also through advertising, but such a different environment, family home, all the puppies playing together, parent dog on hand and owners who looked liked they cared for their dogs. It makes all the difference.
One day I will write the story of Kody.
(c) K Wicks