Beware of backyard breeders, they’re out there and they’re bad news. Because of them, Harley’s life could have ended months after it began…
ALMOST HEAVEN –
They had the audacity to call themselves that #farfromit
For years I wanted a Goldendoodle. I knew to stay away from puppy mills. But to me, puppy mills were pet stores in the mall, or individuals on Craig’s List.
I had absoDOODLEtutely no experience in selecting a breeder. #notproudjusthonest
For weeks I surfed the net “interviewing” breeders over the phone. This particular breeder was always courteous, friendly and patient with my incessant questions. Almost a month later I decided to pay them a visit.
A FIVE HOUR DRIVE –
To make a five hour drive – each way, round trip, in one day, requires a dawn departure. As ridiculous as it sounds, I elected to travel alone (hindsight can really work your last nerve).
I spent hours there. Hanging out in their lobby/waiting room area. I met Harley’s pregnant mother, and his super long legged “copper red” poodle father.
They brought out Goldendoodles of various ages, sizes and colors. But I never left the lobby area. It never dawned on me to demand a tour of the living areas of the dogs and puppies. I didn’t know, I just DIDN’T KNOW!
Looking back I still cringe because they fit the backyard breeder definition in capital letters –
Backyard breeders are typically small-scale operations. They may post classified ads in the newspaper, or they might be your next-door neighbor who decides to breed his Golden Retriever every year just to make a few bucks.
Backyard breeders typically don’t adhere to standards for the breed, may inbreed, and don’t perform genetic screenings. They often don’t provide adequate veterinary care for their pets. Because they’re unlicensed, there’s no way to ensure whether you’re bringing home an animal who’s free from illnesses and genetic conditions. Source: Dog Obsessed – The Honest Kitchen
To this day, I cannot be 100% sure Harley is the offspring of the Golden Retriever I met. After she delivered, I was unable to travel back there again. Harley was chosen through Skype with the breeder.
As soon as the breeder placed him on the counter top – Harley leaped into my arms like a rabbit. #Ikidyounot
I cradled him in the car as my daughter drove us home. His first poop on my front lawn was loose and bloody. We were at the vet’s office the next day.
Harley’s new vet came into the examination room and said Harley had the worse case of Giardia she’d ever seen. She instructed me to contact the breeder ASAP so he could start treating the other puppies.
I called – hysterical. He wasn’t that interested. For over a year Harley battled with intestinal/digestive issues, and reoccurring bouts of Giardia.
When he was six months old, I saw this on NBC news…
For a long time…
..because I realized – my incredibly sweet and loving Harley would never have lived to see his 4th month if I (or someone) hadn’t been there to take him away.
BONAFIDE BREEDERS –
I look at Harley as my purchased rescue. I hope to rescue a third doodle soon through IDOG (Sshhh – don’t tell Doodle Dad).
If you’ve checked out shelters and rescue groups and still haven’t found “the one” and you decide to go through a breeder, please don’t make the mistakes I made –
- find a responsible breeder – they’re out there!
- avoid the pitfalls (here’s a PDF “How to Identify a Responsible Dog Breeder“).
- get a referral
There ARE bonafide breeders in this world. After I learned the correct way to locate one, both my experiences have been positive.
Harley’s story has a happy ending. Many do not. It is my understanding that Almost Heaven is permanently out of business, and due to the severity of his crimes, this despicable human is behind bars.
But there are others out there, so be careful, ask somebody, do your research.
ONE MORE THING –
You may remember Jaxson’s fascination at the Christmas Parade last year…
Well Doodledreams do come true. Monday at 11:00am he and Harley will be “marching in” the MLK parade. #collarusflattered
Monday is the pawfect day to correct last weeks mistakes ❤️