In all fairness I should tell you just a little about our first dog who we lovingly call “Harley – Darley.” In September 2008, I drove north for over four hours to a teeny tiny town in PA, with only two traffic lights, two 7-Eleven’s and one Burger King, to sit with a breeder for another two hours talking doodles!….
I met the pregnant mother; beautiful Golden Retriever, and the father; the largest standard copper red poodle I had ever seen. After playing with them both and looking at various doodle dogs (poodle and retriever, poodle and doodle, retriever and doodle – you get the point by now I’m sure), I decided on a male from these two parents,. As head strong and determined as I was, because of the distance, I was not interested in coming back to PA 8 weeks after the puppies were born and then return the following week to bring Harley home. I had spent quality time on the telephone with the breeders for them to get to know me, and was sure they would select the specific wonder pup, that I had described over and over again.
On November 26, of that same year, nine puppies were born, and four were males – yippee! When the breeder called in December and told me they had selected just the right puppy for me, I was elated. She said (and I quote) “he is just a little lover-boy.” I couldn’t wait. January 31st finally arrived and Harley was home! Just like in the Disney movies, when they brought him out, he leaped in my arms and we’ve been thick as thieves ever since.
At 9 weeks old, 10 lbs soaking wet he was very lethargic. He slept all – the – time. On day four it was time to meet the vet, which turned out to be a most depressing and expensive day. Harley was a very sick little puppy. His body was laced with a nasty parasite, quite common to new puppies, however, Harley’s case was rather severe because there were so many – ugh! This “bug” would take him almost 8 months to beat, with med’s and vet visits on a regular basis. In the middle of those months, on NBC Nightly News no less, I watched in horror as Tom Brokoff talked about an arrest at a PA Puppy Mill, while the camera showed Harley’s breeder handcuffed and escorted to a patrol car! I cried. But in spite of… my little buddy overcame his challenges.