Almost six months ago we lost our fur baby to cancer. While losing an animal companion is always a sad part of being an owner, this time was especially hard as it was almost 5 years earlier than expected for a small breed — she was 11.
The hubby and I allowed ourselves the time we needed to grieve her passing. A practice that I wholeheartedly believe all pet owners should observe, and take a pause before rushing in to get something new. It’s an important step in order to avoid “replacing” the animal because, no matter what, the new pet is going to have its own personality and idiosyncrasies that will be unlike your last beloved pet.
While the length of time for this grieving process is different for everyone, about a month or so ago we decided that we were ready to bring back the kind of joy into our home that – for us – only a dog can fill. First stop (it should be for everyone) the Central Alberta Humane Society website.
I checked the CAHS site many times while I was searching for the right dogs, but I knew it might be difficult to find what would suit our family. I love all sizes of dogs, but it is more important to find the animal that is a good fit for you, your lifestyle and living situation. Not giving this the proper consideration is one of the biggest reasons there are so many animals at the Human Society (aka. SPCA), as well as abused animals.
I was certain of the qualities I was looking for for in a dog: low to no shed, small breed (because I do not have the yard space for a large dog nor the desire to exercise one outside in the winter — minus 35 degrees celsius , no thank you), as well as no pinched faces as those breeds tend to have respiratory issues. Not an overly restrictive list; however, after researching appropriate breeds and combinations, once I started to search, I was completely astonished by what I found — the COST. Wowzah!!
The price range for pure bred and papered dogs didn’t shock me. Right or wrong, that’s how it has always been; it’s what people are setting their prices at for the mixes (aka. Mutt) that through me for a loop — $1200 to $3000. What the hell is that about!?. Multipoo, Goldendoodle, Pekapoo, Multishipoo…the list goes on. When did the mutt reach the status of a CKC/AKC animal? I need to congratulate the person(s) that came up with the idea to slap on the “Designer Breed” label to what was, traditionally, the kind of dog the average family owned and could afford. Nowadays, it seems, you need to take out a loan in order to have a pet.
I suppose dogs are no different in society than any other commodity — supply and demand. Over the last 10 years, I guess this is what happened with mixed breeds. Small and non-shedding breeds have become very desirable, and I can’t fault those who have chosen to capitalize on it. Knowing this, I don’t think I will ever buy into the hype of these marketed designer breeds or stop feeling like someone is trying to take advantage. While we could of afforded it, I nor my hubby are able to rationalize spending that kind of money for an animal — not for a mutt. I started to wonder just how long it was going to be before we would have that spark back in our home. Luck be a lady, not too long.
As I continued to search, I stumbled upon a post on a local website. The breeder had two girls left to go and they were pretty much — Bichon-Shih shu x Papillon — what we were looking for (Did I mention, we were looking for two..?). The price was also closer to, for us, reasonable. As well, since we were taking both, the breeder took off $100 from each which resulted (in comparison to other sellers) in us getting two for the price of one. As the final step, we needed to be sure that we were buying from a caring and responsible breeder (puppy mills are to be avoided and reported if found). Luckily, he was very receptive to us coming and checking things out, and allowed us to observe all of it. He also had all the necessary paperwork in order. We felt content and excited.
So once again I am a puppy mommy!! We are seven days in now and they are…super active?? Hahaha. The more they get comfortable with their surroundings, the more they tear around and find new things to get into and pee on. They are sweet. They are clowns. They are rascals. They are exhausting. They have brought back that energy into the house. I am certain that it will be an adventure and, dear reader, I expect that some of them will be shared here.
Two puppies…what was I thinking?!.