The Pup That Almost Wasn’t
How many children have ever asked for that one simple thing?
Now, you may say “Well, its simple from a child’s perspective but dogs are a lot of work”. That much is true. There is the training and housebreaking, trips to the vet, the groomer and more. Play time, sleep time, time to eat, treat time and more.
But here’s the thing – the big payoff in the end – the undying, unwavering, unconditional love and loyalty from that furry, four legged bucket of love – something that once you have, you never want to lose. That is the one irreplaceable thing – the reason we dog lovers do what we do!
My first confession? I purchased my puppy. I didn’t go to a shelter and rescue – I walked into a pet store and paid outright for my pet. Maybe not the “politically correct” thing to do in this day and age, but you will soon see why it may have been fate that I did. Not knowing too much about dogs, I trusted the store owner and was surprisingly disappointed to say the least. After one week and an insane level of attachment to this puppy, he became violently ill. The largest animal hospital in Manhattan basically told me that he was in very bad shape and “needed to be hospitalized for a week or so”.
Here are the lessons learned from my experience: first, “buyer beware” – stand alone pet stores really are not “regulated” per se – with only themselves to answer to, cutting corners and shady practices with the care of their animals is a strong possibility. Secondly, if you choose to purchase a dog, do your homework – find a reputable and licensed breeder. Visit their facilities – make sure to look everywhere and ask plenty of questions. How many animals are kept at any time? How often is the facility cleaned?
Third on the list would be to bring your new puppy to a recommended veterinarian – one recommended by someone you know who has a dog – not one that the breeder recommends. Have the puppy checked for everything at that first visit – worms, parasites, deformities, etc. Not to say you wouldn’t keep the pet but it is good to know what you are dealing with.
Remember, this is not just another purchase or an investment – this is a living, breathing new member of your family. The level of attachment escalates very quickly – you fall in love before you even realize it. Take the time to insure that your new little puppy will be around for a long time.
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