Monday, December 1, 2008
Here comes trouble
We all knew it was only a matter of time until this happened. I had been wanting a dog for YEARS, but my parents kept discouraging me (wisely) saying that it was too great a responsibility to undertake. Growing up with German Shepherds (GSDs) my whole life, it seemed only natural that i bring that breed home. My dad had all the right connections, but since he said "no way," I decided to get a dog from a breeder in San Diego despite his warnings that I was not ready. After all, I knew I was ready so thats all there was to it.
After poring through ads online detailing all sorts of different puppies for sale, I came across an ad for: "Golden Labradors" 10 weeks old, UTD on shots. $350. Hmm, the price isn't bad, I guess I'll just go look at them and see what I think. OK, so at this point in the game, you would think that I KNEW there was no chance of me "going to look" at an animal, especially a 10 week old puppy and come home empty handed. I even brought the $350 in cash "just in case." Who was I kidding?
I drove out to the barn that Google Maps led me to. The "breeder" ( i use that term loosely) led me to the pen where the puppies were kept. As we walked over he explained to me what a "Golden Labrador" was. He told me that the mother was an AKC Golden Retriever and that the father was an AKC Labrador Retreiver. Mix them together and you get a cool new designer dog known as a Golden Labrador. I was so naive at this point, that I ate that up with a spoon. He also added that by crossing breeds, you eliminate many of the issues you see in purebred dogs such as hip dysplasia. I thought" wow, cool!" I guess it goes without saying that anyone who knows much about dogs and breeding, that the above statement is a load of crap, but at the time it all made perfect sense to me, and I didn't care enough at the time to question it. I took him fully at his word. Very smart, eh? As I was learning all about my "designer dog" we came up on the pen housing the puppies. There were 5-6 pups left in the litter. 5 of them had distinct golden retriever features including the longer, feathered coat I was used to seeing in that breed. They were a bit smaller and lighter than the other dog in the pen, a sturdy, boxy looking dog with all the lab features. Yep, I knew right then that I wanted the "biggun." I climbed in to play with him and he sauntered sweetly over and plopped down on my lap. It was a hot San Diego day so these pups were all a bit sleepy in the heat. Truly, I had no idea what I was in for later. I looked up at him and said, " Ok, this is my dog. Tell me what I need to know and we'll be on our way." He was almost shocked at how few questions I asked, and I should have been curious as to why he answered with " really? oh... that was easy then." I followed him into the barn, he handed me the pups shot records, gave me some food, collected the $350 and sent us on our way. With 15lbs of yellow fur on my lap, I happily waved goodbye to this breeder and drove my new dog home to meet his new family.