Apr 4, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

....can be forever changed because of the tears of a child.

The Plan: Buy and breed yorkie terriers!

The Lead Up: My wife started looking at small dogs last year. She was surfin' the net regularly looking at yorkies, schitzu's, and all the other small breeds. I could see it coming.

We had one dog, Lacy, for 16 years. She passed on about 5 years ago. We also had a large Golden Retriever. We gave him to my step-son's father last year when our step-son moved in with him - prior to him joining the Army. We vowed never to get another dog again..bought all new furniture and had the carpeting taken up and wood floors put in.

My wife found a local breeder of yorkies...she asked me if she could just go out and look at them! Me..what a dope..said..sure thing! Around 3:00 that day I get a phone call while I'm at work....

Mary: Honey?

Me: Okay...how much?

Mary: Well, Ryan started playing with this one puppy and that puppy followed him around everywhere. It's just so cute!

Me: Okay...how much?

Mary: Ryan named him Max..after Max and Emmy on Dragon Tales.

Me: Oh Great...you already let him name the dog? So..if I say no now..then I'm gonna look like a really bad guy! How much?

Mary: He's really cute and Ryan really likes him.

Me: Okay, seriously. How Much?

Mary: $850

Me: Really? That much? How can I say no now! You let him play with the dog and name him already. Guess you're gonna have to buy him now!

Okay..fast forward one year...

Where we are now: Max is starting to hump my children now every chance he gets. He's humping the kids, the furniture, the pillows, the small floor plants..you name it! So, we decide to get him a girlfriend. Now my wife decides...new plan..lets start breeding them. So..after several searches..we find a very cute little female yorkie...she's only 6 weeks old at the time we find her. We can't take her home until she's 8 weeks old. So...we decided to head over to Disney for the weekend...her 8th week weekend...besides...our annual passes were going to expire so we figured we'd get one last visit before they expire. We stopped by on the way back home and picked her up. Max was supposed to by Ryan's..and this new puppy would be Kylie's. My wife decided to name her Abby.

So...we've had the puppy for 4 weeks now. The entire family has become very attached to Abby..especially Ryan. Abby went for her 12 week check-up today. Did you know that AKC certified dogs come with health guarantees and vet certification? Well..immediately after the exam, the vet asks us...what kind of guarantee do you have? Do you have a contract? Were you planning on breeding?

Okay...we immediately knew there was something wrong. The diagnosis...she has bilateral inquinal hernias and a patellar dislocation. Both are congenital defects. She needs to be spayed and have the hernias repaired as well as the dislocated knee. The vet says she will never be able to breed and the surgeries are required. But, she could live a relatively normal life after the surgeries. We had a decision to make. We came up with the following options:

Read The Whole Thing!

1. Return her for a full refund and go to another breeder
2. Call the breeder and ask to refund half the price..because she's obviously not worth the full value now since she can't breed, plus refund us for the cost of the surgeries and we would just consider this an adoption and keep her.
3. Don't do anything and just accept we've shelled out over $1,000 for a puppy that can't breed plus whatever it was going to cost for the surgeries.
4. If the breeder did not agree to 1 or 2, then we would need to take it to small claims court. In the state of Florida, dogs are considered property and this was a business transaction involving damaged property.

So...here's how it went down. The wife calls the breeder and explains what happened. The breeder starts freaking out..not because of the proposals, but because this is the first litter from that particular female. She's used the same stud for years. She spent $1,800 on that female and now she's fearing that she too has a damaged dog and that she may be selling sick puppies..something she really does not want to do.

Her offers:
1. Exchange Abby for another one from another litter...from champion bloodline.
2. A full refund and we could go to another breeder.
3 Pay for the surgeries and give us a discount on another puppy..and we keep Abby.

Before we considered #1 or #2 we needed to know..if we bring Abby back..what happens to her. We were assured that she would have the surgeries performed and then give her to a puppy adoption home.

We still had a decision to make. Our hearts leaned towards #3 because we surely are not that callous are we? Just how committed are we really towards needing to breed the puppies? Besides, if the surgeries are successful, Max could still have a "girlfriend" and since the kids are already so attached to Abby how could we do that to them?

But..being practical...we paid $1,000 for the puppy. She's not healthy. Putting it in terms of "property" if we paid $1,000 for anything and it turned out to be damaged..we would surely either return it for a full refund or exchange it. Besides, she said she would take care of Abby and Abby would eventually go to a good home. The only thing we needed to do was prepare Ryan for what was about to happen. We decided on option #1. We just wanted assurances from the breeder that once the exchange was made, it would not be final until we've taken the new puppy to our vet to have her checked out.

The Tears: Okay..so, initially, Ryan just gave us the "booboo face" but understood what was about to happen. We would bring Abby back this weekend. The other puppies were only 4 weeks old. We'd have to wait another 4 weeks before we could get another puppy. He seemed to be okay with it...in fact..he stated he wanted a white puppy. We had to let him know that these kinds of dogs are only black and brown.

Well...an hour later...he's sitting on his Pooh fouton watching TV when he starts crying. I asked him what was wrong...here's the conversation...between the tears, the sniffles, and the heaving chest:

Ryan: I'm going to miss Abby.

Me: I know. But she's sick. We need to take her back and get a new puppy.

Ryan: But, I love Abby. I don't want her to go.

Me: I know. I love her too son. But, the puppy doctor says she needs surgeries to fix her. Do you know what a surgery is? Ryan nodded "no". Surgeries are when a doctor has to go inside of the puppy and fix things that are wrong with her. She has a bad leg so the puppy doctor needs to open up her leg and fix that. She also has a sick tummy so the puppy doctor needs to open up her tummy and fix that too. After the puppy doctor is done with the surgeries, Abby won't be the same any more.

Ryan: I love her. I want her to stay with us even if she's not the same anymore.

The New Plan: #3...but there won't be any other puppies!


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