But how do you make that judgement? What about those 8 homes from Deuce's litter was better than the other 126? Were there any toss ups? That just seems like an incredibly daunting task. My breeder is one of the nicest people in the world, and she rejects people all the time. Do you just develop this extra sense about people and how they really are?
Of course there are always certain things people say that can rule them out immediately, but when you have 134 excellent candidates, it would seem impossible to choose. I think I would have to develop a matrix or rubric for rating people... Some sort of tangible system.
There's nothing magical about it. There is no set of requirements that, if we tick all the boxes, you get a puppy. There is nothing you can say, do, or be that will automatically qualify you (though there are things that will automatically disqualify you).
So, these were 134 applicants who passed an initial evaluation and were sent and returned a puppy questionnaire.
The 8 homes who got a puppy from Deuce's litter simply stood out. One was someone we knew who has a history with performance Goldens and provides a great home and life. If I'm reincarnated as a Golden, I want to be one of her dogs. Another was an active couple who work at Google, which has its own doggy day care at their campus, so the dog comes to work with them every day in addition to all the other things that made them a good candidate. A couple families live on big property and take their dogs on all sorts of fulfilling adventures so we knew the puppies would have fulfilling lives. The puppy they got is the center of their lives. One family was so excited about the puppy that they visited the litter several times and stayed a long time each time. Their kids made things for the puppies. They brought toys. Another buyer was a referral from a breeder friend of ours, who vouched for him, and he had had one of her dogs for 14 years. Stuff like that.
Yes, there were some toss ups. So, we just made a decision, likely on some little thing we liked about them. Trivial things. Maybe one lived close to us, or we knew they would send us pictures and keep us updated throughout the puppy's life. One got our attention because they were gay, as are we, of course. At some point it becomes a gut thing. Frankly, there were probably dozens of homes we would have been comfortable putting puppies in.
Of course, we investigated each person on the list. One guy said all the right things and was on the list for getting a puppy, but we discovered some information that made us uncomfortable, so we moved on from that guy to one of the many other qualified people.
It's more an art than a science.