Friday, June 27, 2008

350 miles

This puppy-finding thing has been one of the harder things I've had to deal with lately. Obviously not in a super horrendous way, but since it's such a permanent thing - adopting a puppy - it has to feel perfect to me. And because I'm my father's daughter, I think things through once, twice, three times, worry about my decision then think it through again and again... it's been so stressful!!

Apparently yellow female Labradors are in HIGH demand and LOW supply in Northern California. I have contacted something like 23 breeders (I'll explain later why I'm going to a breeder and not to a shelter/rescue facility) and the best prospects I have are 3rd in line on a waitlist (bad odds) and near the top of another list but not even sure if the mother is pregnant yet! Sheez! And this is very typical - if anyone wants a purebred dog, they typically have to be on a waitlist before the pups are even born... possibly prior to them even being conceived!

So why am I going to a breeder versus rescuing a poor doggie from a Humane Society or other rescue organization? Well if I was at home all day every day and had a lot of time on my hands (wait...? that sounds familiar) to train/re-train a dog who is older than 8 weeks - sure I'd certainly look into it. But a good breeder knows their dogs very well and can give me a lot of consistent, historical information about a dog's temperament and ability to calm down and learn. My dog will have to deal with "parents" who work all day long, will need to get comfortable in a relatively small home and also one day (hopefully) will need to be comfortable with young children. I want to be able to train and socialize my puppy from the day she can come home from the breeder and never stop! So I want a "clean slate" with which to do this. It's perhaps a selfish thing - but it's also what's best for us and the dog... she'd be happier and we'd be happier.

So, like I said - the hunt has been rough. But it appears this "demand for yellow females" is only crazy in Northern California. I found a breeder south of Santa Barbara who has a couple... and they'd be ready to come home NEXT WEEKEND! My brother and I are doing a sibling road-trip tomorrow to go take a peek. Gotta meet the parents to make sure they're sweet and friendly and all of those important things... and then we decide. And if all goes well - I will return next weekend to bring home a little baby puppy.


I didn't want to rush into this but logistics on the other potential litters make bringing one home a lot easier now than in the Fall. Stay tuned - and until then, enjoy some adorable pictures of the pups we're gonna visit tomorrow!

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