Since my last post, things have been pretty busy around the Bondie-Lybrink apartment. Austin starts a new job on Monday, I’ve gained several clients in the past week, and we’re bringing a new member into our little clan.
In my last update, I mentioned our interest in getting a puppy.
After researching several breeders, shelters, and cities, we found a five-week-old miniature schnauzer ready for adoption.
Before meeting her, we talked names. We came up with half a dozen crappy ones like Fluffy. We came up with some semi-decent ones like Bailey. But we came down to a couple great ones – Oreo and Peanut. Considering the puppy we wanted was black and silver, we went with Peanut.
We weren’t sure it was going to fit but, after meeting her, it felt right.
Adopting a puppy from a breeder can be difficult. If you’re willing to wait, it’s usually better to adopt a puppy from a nearby shelter – if one becomes available. That way, you can save a life and gain a companion at the same time (not to mention save hundreds of dollars).
Unfortunately, this wasn’t an option for us. A puppy is a huge time commitment. By the time we decided the timing was right, we had a matter of months before our schedule became impossible to warrant a baby. Because we needed such a specific breed for our apartment complex and emotional therapy training, we chose to go with a breeder.
If you have to work with a breeder, be cautious. The practice of inbreeding for show quality animals is still alive and thriving. While you want an AKC-registered animal to guarantee legitimacy and safe breeding practices, you don’t want to work with a breeder who only cares about the show quality of your pet. You need to be more concerned with health and overall happiness.
Some warning signs of bad breeders?
- They don’t ask many questions about your home, your plans, or your experience.
- They don’t answer your questions.
- They don’t have proper documentation or a contract.
- They don’t keep their animals in a safe environment.
- They won’t let you visit your pet regularly.
Luckily, we found an experienced and welcoming breeder in Onsted, Michigan. She and her husband keep miniature schnauzers as pets and genuinely love the breed. She was happy to answer all of our questions and asked a few questions of her own. We felt comfortable and prepared.
We also felt lucky. The vast majority of miniature schnauzer breeders have waiting lists for their litters. It could be months, or even a year, before an AKC-registered puppy is available for adoption. Our breeder is less experienced with technology and doesn’t have a professional website – meaning my hours of research digging through the depths of the web gave us an edge.
On our way to meet Peanut for the first time, we were nervous. We had just decided to get a puppy two days prior. I had only spoken to the breeder once before deciding to drive to Onsted to meet her (and her puppies). It had been a long weekend of discussing finances, responsibilities, paperwork, and registration. We’d spent several days justifying our decision to loved ones and friends.
To be honest, we were still unsure ourselves – as anyone is when making a huge (and life changing) decision.
But, when it comes to Austin and I make big life decisions, we have a tendency to get “vibes”. The first time we looked at a house, we felt physically nauseous. It was too much, too soon. The first time we saw our apartment complex, we were overwhelmed by how “right” it felt. We trust those gut instincts, especially when they match (which they usually do).
So, we told ourselves, we would go with our gut.
When we met Peanut, all of our fears and worries and doubts disappeared.
She was precious and adorable. I was worried I would cry, thinking about Mitzi and what I went through last year when we lost her. But, somehow, it felt okay. I couldn’t stop smiling, and neither could Austin.
We felt comfortable with the breeder, who was happy to hold Peanut for a deposit. We were told she could come home with us in three weeks – on April 1st.
We placed the deposit, chose a blue collar, and fell in love.
Two weeks later, we went back to visit again. This time, Peanut was up and playing with her siblings. While she was still sleepy (like before), she was much bigger and walking on her own. She played with a few toys, but mostly sat curled up in our arms.
In four days, we go back to visit again. But, this time, we get to bring Peanut home with us.
We have so many questions and so much to learn. We’ve shopped for a hairbrush, a leash, food, toys, a crate, dishes, and treats. We’ve spent hours talking about training methods, puppy classes, and doggy day care.
This is going to be one hell of a misadventure, readers. A puppy, a wedding, graduation, and a family vacation all in one year.
You’re going to want to stay tuned for this.
Until next time,