After many years, our desire for a puppy has finally been sated. We could have gone to any number of inappropriate vendors and secured an inappropriate puppy on the very day we found we were approved. The honeymoon period would've likely been short in this scenario, as I've never met an owner who was happy with their impulsive purchase of a pet, let a lone a happy pet who was the result of an impulsive purchase. My wife and I being about as spontaneous as a mortgage plan, we're going about all of this is an incredibly boring, infuriatingly long, technically correct way.
The large portions of research will tell you not to buy from one of the thankfully decreasing pet stores you find in shopping malls, as almost all of the animals found here have come from disastrous situations that will almost certainly lead to behaviour problems later on. And we can't afford the risk. We're in a first floor apartment and if we receive a complaint about the dog, we'll no longer possess the right to own it. Our dog needs to be well-behaved, demure, and controllable. This is also why we haven't gone for the noble path of a rescue dog. Sadly, we just can't take the risk.
And of course it's our first dog that we've owned as adults. It's a potentially expensive and exhausting exercise to shape your pet into a desirable companion. You want to give yourself the best chance possible, therefore, we've been reaching out to breeders.
Dog breeders are interesting. For one, a single litter can mean many thousands of dollars in income, so there are countless openings for money-grabbers to take advantage. We've already been asked for a hefty holding deposit on a pup that may or may not come out of a possible-but-not-certainly pregnant dog that, mysteriously, refuses to be photographed.
Also, despite the fact that their jobs entail up-to-the-minute changes and often long waiting lists of owners waiting to be updated, no dog breeder knows how to build a website. The ugly, exclamation-mark ridden HTML atrocities that one can find plunge me back to a simple time where we said things like 'World Wide Web' and found Flash sexy.
The whole point of going to a breeder is assurance. You want a dog with a healthy pedigree, which will theoretically save you money further down the line. You want a dog that has already been raised around humans and is social, and may have even begun basic training in its earliest of days. You want a puppy that comes with a novella of information about its parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and general information about the breed. Finding breeders who do all of this, who take on the business full-time, seriously, and earn the substantial amount of money you hand over, is rare.
When you do find them, the waiting list is often massive. Our impatience is growing. Our first preference, a female Cavalier King Charles, has already been compromised. We're now willing to have a male, and are looking at other breeds suitable for apartment living, such as a Boston Terrier or a Dachshund. Everyday, the process seems cruelly longer and unreasonable. Our research promises us that waiting for the right breeder, and therefore the right puppy, is worth the wait and will eradicate a lot of health and behaviour headaches in the future, but that does not help the idea that we currently DO NOT have a puppy living within our house and that is CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT for wanting to do the right thing.
Still, patience is a virtue. We can only continue to read our training manuals and start making trips to Bunnings to puppy-proof the house. And, of course, sit tentatively by our e-mail, hapless slaves to nature, waiting for the next litter to be born and hoping that one of the creatures within can finally be ours.