Join Date: Aug 2018
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I think it's easy to get caught up in being angry over things not going as planned. We all want that perfect puppy. Everybody knows my story at this point. I picked the "perfect puppy". I did all the research. I even talked to people that had dogs from the breeding line that were actively competing. My puppy's parents were both AKC Chic Certified, the breeder was a Breeder of Merit, one of the females he produced was given an award for producing an outstanding litter..... (I can't remember the exact name of the award by AKC) I don't feel like looking it up. I spent way to much of my time researching dogs from this line.
My little guy was doing great and at 7 1/2 months old we found out he had congenital malformation of the sesamoid bones in both front feet, along with the possibility of elbow dysplasia. I spent a fortune and took him everywhere I could to look for answers. On the worst night, in February, the breeder called. I e-mailed him copies of all of the vet records and he said "I think you should put him to sleep".
That did it. I cried and thought about it all weekend. On Tuesday of that same week I went to a different Ortho Specialist and got a much better idea of what I was really facing. I also decided that day that there was no way I could put my little guy to sleep.
We had bought him specifically to be our entry into the field trial world. We've always had hunt trained dogs, and my husband felt he finally had the time to travel and learn to handle well enough to give it a try. My 8 year old would have been the perfect dog for him to do it with, but the timing was wrong in our lives.
We suffered through his feet healing. It took months. We started training again and his limp came back last week. It's his left elbow. It's not bad, but enough that we needed to dial back the training and take it slower.
One other puppy in this litter was unhealthy. It had pituitary dwarfism. I had no idea the puppy existed. It would have been an immediate red flag to me. I've heard rumors that there have been others with sesamoid issues, but I can't verify those claims. According to my contract I can get a replacement puppy when mine is 2 years old. I could keep my puppy and have him neutered. I don't want the replacement. In my opinion I'm asking for a repeat. (more my luck then the breeders)
I've never heard from or contacted my breeder again since the night he told me to put him to sleep. I've let it go. I don't honestly believe he was breeding to sell unhealthy dogs. His family has been active in the dog world for a long time. I believe he knew of problems that he hid. I believe somewhere along the line he started breeding because that's what he did, and not what was best. I believe that maybe they needed the money from a few more litters. It doesn't matter now. I have my puppy and I love him. He's the most sensitive Golden I've ever owned. He's everything he was suppose to be if we can overcome these elbows. He's made my husband and I both better pet owners and trainers.
I've entered my guys info on K9Data and have done what I can to inform people to be careful. I do feel like I stopped it from being a repeat breeding. I also feel like I'm the reason he tested his line for NCL. Him doing that showed me that he does care for the breed still. Me being mad and investing more time and money in trying to prove he's a bad breeder is just wasting time I can spend enjoying my puppy. We will try again in a few years to get a dog for field trials. We are hopefully going to hunt train Moe, not sure he'll be able to. We took him dock diving last weekend and met some nice people. He did great, and we would've never done that if it wasn't for his health issues.
I don't know why of all the people I got Moe, but somehow he was meant to be mine. I didn't pick him, he was the breeders pick for field work. I wasn't ever mad at the breeder until he told me to put him to sleep. That was when I got mad. I wanted nothing from him but guidance and information....
I've learned one lesson. The clearances are very important, but I will also only buy from a breeder I feel like I could have a lasting relationship with next time. I knew the day I went to pick my guy up that the breeder and I cared for our dogs differently. Maybe that was my walk away moment?