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Dog Thread: Bummed...Advice?
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iWrite
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Feb 25, 2004, 09:31 AM
 
We decided to get another dog.

Went to the humane society and all of the dogs there were huge, so we decided to buy a dog. We wanted to get a small dog and since I'm a huge fan of the Jack Russell terrier, that's what we decided to buy. We researched several respectable kennels in our state and talked with several and discussed their dogs available. One in particular we really liked: A little female puppy, 8 months old, who had done well in shows and trials but because her bite had gone off slightly, she was going to have to go to a pet home. She was adorable and well-behaved and we got her on Valentine's Day and brought her home. She was $1000 -- a good amount for me to spend on a dog when I've grown up with farm dogs that are mutts and were awesome pets -- but because she was obedience trained, housebroken, sweet, we thought it was worth it. (And, she was cute as heck.)

On Monday (last Monday over a week ago) I brought her to our veterinarian for a check up. Well, I had seen some areas that looked like her coat was kind of thin, but because she is a wiry broken-coated dog, didn't think much of it.

The vet came out and said, "Your dog looks good except we're going to have to do a skin scraping because the dog has a skin problem." I said, "Fine, no problem." An hour later he comes out and says, "I have some not-so-good news: Your dog has demodex mange and it looks like generalized demodex mange even though she's young." I just sort of sat there and thought, "No biggie." I said to him, "So, it can be treated, right? A lot of animals get mange if I remember and you wash them in sulphur soap and it goes away."

So, then he proceeds to tell me that the kind of mange that I was thinking of is sarcoptic mange that is caused by little mites that live on the surface of the skin, but demodex mange is caused by a kind of microscopic worm that lives under the skin and in the hair follicle and that topical treatments to kill it don't work because it is protected by skin and hair as it lives inside of the skin and hair and not on it.

Then he proceeds to tell me that the reason that the dog has it is because her immune system is damaged in some way because healthy dogs never get demodex mange; they are exposed to the same parasite (which, incidentally, also lives in our human eyelashes and eyebrows and can also cause problems for humans with deficient immune systems -- it is seen in people with AIDS for instance), but because they are healthy their immune systems fend it off and it never becomes a problem. He tells me that the way most vets treat the problem of demodex is to spay or neuter the dog, because 1) Sterilizing the dog helps the dog's immune system and 2) Because it is an autoimmune-related disorder the correct and proper and recommended thing to do is to sterilize because the dog has health issues that should not be genetically passed on.

I said, "That's fine. Her teeth are off and we were going to spay her anyway, so that's fine."

So, he took the dog and they spayed her. We also had to buy medications for the demodex treatment, antibiotics to make sure she doesn't get an infection from the surgery and from secondary skin infections, and I paid the vet bill: $514. Yes, it's a lot of money, I thought, but we're talking about a living animal that needs help and besides, we all love her.

We bring her home and she's up and around later that day and the next few days seem fine, except that as the week passes, an area on her back seems to grow darker and redder. On Thursday I look at it and it has grown into a visible festering sore about an inch across. I go back to the veterinarian and he brings her in for an exam.

He comes out and tells me that the dog has a staph infection and they will keep her through the afternoon and give her IV antibiotics and then I can take her home and give her more antibiotics. Fine. The bill? Another $238.

On Monday morning I called the vet to say, "Her fur is falling out in clumps and she's chewing and biting her legs and haunches." He says to bring her back in. He looks at her and the demodex mange is much worse and that is why she is chewing and biting. He recommends a cortisone shot to stop the itching and oral steroids to help her stop biting. The bill? $89.

Additionally, the vet told us that when her incision for the spay surgery healed, that she would have to start coming in to his office every other week for a medical dipping to treat the skin condition. Cost? $50 each time for 8 treatments, or another $400.

He pulled me aside and said, "Listen, I know that you are trying to take care of this animal, but you should really think about contacting the person you bought the dog from and returning it to him or her because this is a sick animal and you should not be going through this experience and paying these costs. I'm not only saying this as a professional, but as a friend."

Finally, yesterday, I was overwhelmed and decided that this was enough. I called the breeder and told her what was going on. She did not want to help, would not accept responsibility for ANY of the costs, even though we had almost $1000 into treating a dog that came to us with a preexisting health condition, plus another $1000 paying for the animal.

I had to call our lawyer and have him call her. He did. He read her the riot act, said he was going to file a suit in the morning to force her not to take back the dog, but to pay for the treatment of the preexisting health conditions.

She called about an hour later and said, "I shouldn't do it, but I'm giving you back your money, all of it, and I want the g-damned dog back. Meet me at my bank in an hour and I'll give you your money."

So, I packed the dog in the car and went to the bank and she gave me back all of the money and she took her dog and proceeded to go on and on about how, "She's never seen anyone make SUCH a 'big deal about a little mange' in her LIFE."

I don't really know what the "lesson" in all of this is, but I'm really bummed about it.

Even worse is the fact that our kids are now moping around because we don't have the dog. I was thinking I should get another one, but I have no idea what kind to get and I'm freaked out about the prospect of having something similar happen.

Well, that's my rant and experience. Any advice or ideas is, as usual, appreciated.
     
andi*pandi
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Feb 25, 2004, 09:41 AM
 
Do something to blacklist this woman from breeding lists. Send the freaking SPCA down to her house and inspect ALL the dogs.

She took the dog back because she was scared. If one of her dogs has this, it's likely a lot more do.

Poor puppy!
     
hostvisions
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Feb 25, 2004, 09:42 AM
 
iWrite, I'm sorry to hear your story. It really hits home with me as I had to put down my 10-year old Golden Retriever (Lady) last Friday afternoon. She was 'my little girl' and it hurt something terrible (still does).

I am glad that you at least got your money back, and that your time with her was short as hopefully that will ease the pain a bit. It's amazing how attached you can get to the little critters.
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 25, 2004, 09:51 AM
 
andi*pandi:

When I saw you browsing the forums I thought, "andi will, as usual, post sage advice," and you lived up to my expectations.

This person is a "respected member" of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, or JRTCA, which you can see at www.terrier.com to browse. She's listed there as a "recommended breeder" or kennel.

The veterinarian said the same thing that you did, andi. Actually, the vet said that because her dog is whelping puppies with bad teeth and demodex mange that she should spay the female mother also. But, the mother is, apparently, one of the top JRTs in the United States. Fat chance she'll do that, right?

hostvisions: Sorry to hear about your dog. That's a real bummer too --->
     
brapper
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Feb 25, 2004, 12:33 PM
 
that's really sad to hear..
I dunno, but I wish everyone would buy their dog's from the Humane Society though.
I mean mutt's are great dogs - smart, and usually more healthy - plus they cost one tenth of the price of a pure bread.
Though I'm sure you know that already - but i guess there's just something about pure breads. My dad is actually looking into Belgian Sheppards and is thinking of getting one for Xmas. Me, I don't care what it looks like, as long as it has personality...
When I'm done university, one of the first things I'm going to do is head down the the H.S. and get me a mutt!

oh, and yeah, I'm down for any raid of her kennel you want to organize...
     
olePigeon
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Feb 25, 2004, 03:36 PM
 
Get a cat.
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you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
mitchell_pgh
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Feb 25, 2004, 05:18 PM
 
I paid $400 for a wire hair dashound and the thing is amazing... she is the best, and I don't know what I would do if she was ill.

That being said... if this is a "reputable" breeder, you should get the doctor to sign that this was a preexisting condition and take the person to court. You should also go to the AKC (american kennel club) and have her license revoked.

I'm 100% serious. It would have been one thing if she said that there was something wrong, but that's crap. The person we purchased our dog from made us sign a thing saying that we could return her at any time (in fact, if she ever found out that the dog was being abused that she could take her back!) for $1.

It's all about reputation... where did you find this "breeder"?
     
fireside
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Feb 25, 2004, 05:36 PM
 
     
AB^2=BCxAC
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Feb 25, 2004, 05:44 PM
 
Wow. That was a very dramatic reading.

I've never heard of anyone spending that kind of money on vet care before, but I know that my parents spent hundreds when my sisters cat was hit by a car and had to have one of her front arms amputated: it adds up quickly. I suppose the hard thing to understand here, for me to understand, is that after spending all that money and time on vet care, you didn't argue further to not give the dog back. I can't imagine it's any better off where it was before and that your family's emotional and financial investment didn't make it more of a family member. I hope I don't sound harsh. I think you probably did the best things given the awful circumstances. I wish I knew of a way that the outcome could be less of a loss for you. I'm very sorry to hear of your experience.
"I stand accused, just like you, for being born without a silver spoon." Richard Ashcroft
     
mitchell_pgh
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Feb 25, 2004, 05:48 PM
 
Yah, I would have been calm at the start of the conversation, and after the breeder didn't offer to give me my $1000 back, I would have asked. And if he/she didn't give it back, I would have demanded.

Then I would have gone in to freak out mode.

I'm calling the police... I'm calling the AKC, I'm calling the BBB, I'm calling an lawyer...

I can hear myself saying "This is NO WAY to run a business!!!" and "I'm telling everyone I know NEVER to buy from you." etc. etc.
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 25, 2004, 06:22 PM
 
mitchell_pgh & everyone else:

Thanks for the good vibes and advice.

Actually, we did have an attorney call her after she blew me off. Initially, I called her to say, "Hey, this dog is sick and this is the scoop. Then I was going to request that she help pay the veterinary costs. "HELP PAY" is the operative here. Instead, she says that she "didn't sell the dog with a guarantee, etc.," that it isn't her responsibility.

That's when I was really shocked.

She went from being very amenable and ladylike and poised to sounding like a female Russian drill sargeant yelling at me about how the dog was OUR responsibility, yada, yada, yada.



That's when I just said, "WHOA. This is a situation for a professional." I called our attorney and he is SO smooth and cool. He called her up and was very nice and simply asked for her kennel and business licenses. She was taken aback -- and doesn't have them. He said, "So, you're selling dogs without a health certificate, which is a state law, and you do not have a kennel license, because apparently you are running a dog kennel, and you also do not have a business license? I also understand that you did not collect sales tax at the time of sale for this dog?" She tried to worm her way out of it, but he said, "Well, you know, my clients are out almost $2000 for an animal that was sold in ill health and they have a right, under state law, to seek compensation through reimbursement due to preexisting health conditions, but when I'm filing this paperwork for the court, I need to have your licenses or else the court might cite you for criminal issues when reviewing the paperwork. I'm SURE you don't want criminal issues, right?"

At that point she buckled and said that she would just take the dog back, that "it isn't worth her time to deal with such 'nonsense' over such a minor issue."

Then she called us and said to meet her in one hour with the dog and the receipts for veterinary issues.

We met her and made her sign something saying that she has the dog back and all liability between ourselves, jointly, is null and void. We just don't want to have anything to do with her. We got our $2000 back for dog and vet bills and she took the sick dog back.

So, we got the money back, but the emotional toll on the family is hard. We sure loved that little dog.



I also felt like a sh*thead for not keeping the dog because I'm not so sure that going back to that woman was the best thing either. But, I am also not prepared to put my kids through emotional trauma as the animal gets sicker and sicker and might have to be put down.

That would be even worse.
     
lil'babykitten
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Feb 25, 2004, 06:39 PM
 
Shall I send the killer kittens after that evil biatch? I don't know that they have healing powers but they sure can cheer up the lil'babypuppy too. Evidence:

     
fireside
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Feb 25, 2004, 06:51 PM
 
if she doesnt have a kennel license or breeding licenses, etc, you should defiantly file up a lawsuit or something. well, thats what i would if i had a cool, smooth lawyer like you do.
     
::maroma::
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Feb 25, 2004, 07:25 PM
 
I agree with the general consensus here, that you should follow up with this woman. I'm sure you just want to wipe your hands clean of the whole thing and move on, but if it were me, I'd have this woman's ass in a sling. It sounds to me like this wasn't the first time she's dealt with this. If it were, she would've been accommodating and helped you solve the problem. Instead she was quick to place blame elsewhere and try to get out of dealing with it.

This tells me that she will do this again. And if it were me, I wouldn't allow it. I'd spend even more of my money just to get her out of the business she's in. It's one thing for a company to sell you an inanimate product and treat you like crap when something goes wrong, but when it's live animals you are dealing with it's a different story. I would think all you'd have to do is report it to the right agency, and they'd deal with it. But then again, it could get hairy for you.

Anyway, I hope this woman gets what's coming to her. I hope she gets some sort of skin disease and ends up chewing her own arm off or something. Friggin biotch!!
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 25, 2004, 08:26 PM
 
You guys all make me feel better -- THANKS A LOT/

As the oldtimers here know, I'm of the feminine gender and yesterday I was bawling my eyes out all day. It was really upsetting.

LBKitten: LOVE that picture! I downloaded it to my computer -- it gives me warm fuzzies.

Yeah, maybe I should send the information into the JRTCA? They'll probably kick her out or something. The thing is, I just feel really bad doing things like that to people -- even after I've been taken advantage of or wronged. It's REALLY hard for me to be mean to people. I usually just avoid them after a bad experience, that's all.

But, I'll think seriously about seeing what I can do to put the hurt on her.

     
AKcrab
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Feb 25, 2004, 08:31 PM
 
Don't support breeders. Get your pets from the pound or a shelter.
     
Face Ache
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Feb 25, 2004, 08:48 PM
 
My dog became very sick and required bowel surgery a week after we brought him home. The puppy place* that sold him paid for the surgery and follow-up care (which ended up costing more than the dog). They were most apologetic for selling us a sick dog. Nicest people ever.



*Went shopping for a table - came home with a puppy.
     
wyattburp
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Feb 25, 2004, 08:55 PM
 
The way I look at it is this...

That lady is going to keep breeding and distributing these poor unhealthy puppies. If you don't report her, then someone else will go through the same thing you did (but most people don't have the energy/time/patience to hire an attorney as you did)

Breeders like her are evil, and they only degrade the breeds gene pool even further. I used to have two pure-bred Rotts. They had all the show lines and such. They ended up both (brother and sister) passing away quite early due to serious health problems, that I believe to be due to inbreeding.
     
olePigeon
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Feb 25, 2004, 09:37 PM
 
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ironknee
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Feb 25, 2004, 09:39 PM
 
iwrite

sorry to hear about the puppy.

definetly report the person...take her to judge judy and expose her to the nation
     
fireside
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Feb 25, 2004, 09:43 PM
 
Originally posted by Face Ache:
*Went shopping for a table - came home with a puppy.
heh, reminds me of when we got our dog. went there to look our mom said, we aint buying nothing. came back with a down payment on our little puppy.

are you being serious iWrite, or being sarcastic when you said that we make you feel better?
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 25, 2004, 09:46 PM
 
Yeah, I'm 100% serious.

Yesterday I was REALLY sad about it. I felt terrible for the dog (being sick), I felt terrible because of the mounting vet bills with no end in sight and maybe no cure, and I felt terrible to return the dog to the breeder and who knows what will happen to that dog, you know?

I just felt like I was between a rock and a hard place with this situation.
     
waxcrash
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Feb 25, 2004, 10:35 PM
 
I'm sorry about your situation.

You said that you researched several respectable kennels in your state. Did you ask any veterinarians to recommend any breeders? A good veterinarian will also recommend the best dog breeds that fit your life style?

The breeder you dealt with was unprofessional. As sad as it sounds, a good breeder will euthanize any pup that has any severe health issues or defects. A respectable breeder is in the business to produce quality show dogs. My sister is a veterinarian and she deals with breeders frequently. Two years ago, a breeder brought my sister a puppy Golden Retriever to be put down because it had a heart murmur. The breeder couldn't sell the dog. My sister asked the breeder if she could save the dog and find it a home instead. My sister gave the dog to my dad.

This is the golden that my sister gave to my dad.



My advice is, before you buy a dog, talk to a vet. I wish you luck with your next dog.
( Last edited by waxcrash; Feb 25, 2004 at 10:40 PM. )
     
wolfen
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Feb 25, 2004, 11:25 PM
 
Originally posted by AKcrab:
Don't support breeders. Get your pets from the pound or a shelter.
BINGO

I feel bad for iWrite -- I really do. Nobody likes to see an animal suffer. I wish you the best in getting justice served and finding a suitable pet for your home. I've lost animals before and it's a horrible experience.

That said, we sometimes let our egos and vanity get the better of us in choosing an animal. The bottom line is that a pure breed animal is a product. We should look at our animals as pets and companions, etc...not as the equivalent of a BMW or a Tiffany. The "My dog's an AKC" thing does nothing for the animals.

Mutts tend to be healthier and have fewer problems than pure breeds -- which are somewhat "manufactured" (genetic disorders and all) to suit the vain tastes of their purchasers. I don't mean to imply it's a sin to want a pure breed, only that it's a sin to support the often soulless distribution network. How reasonable is it to retain genetic disorders instead of letting the animals breed them out? All so we can say "It's a genuine German Shepard." Yeah, when his legs give out I'm sure he will be comforted knowing you have his credentials on file.

This is not a judgment against iWrite or anyone who has a desire for a fine animal -- only an argument for stopping and thinking about how insane the whole thing has become, and how animals suffer so we can feel good about their certified qualities and our "good" taste.

Get an animal who needs to be loved. Love it. End of story.


wolfen
(who has an AKC Shih Tzu and a mutt from the pound...and would never buy a certified pure breed animal again.)
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Tulkas
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Feb 25, 2004, 11:39 PM
 
Both my dogs I found on the street. One had been severely abused and now has a collapsed trachea. My other dog was let loose because the husband just didn't want the dog and figured he could just shoo it away. Both are great dogs (except the former makes and insane amount of noise when she pants due to the trachea), and oddly enough house trained. One even obeys hand signals. Oh, and both purebred.

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iWrite  (op)
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Feb 26, 2004, 12:05 PM
 
Well, I did go to the SPCA/Humane Society/Dog Pound. I totally agree that getting a mutt is great. I'm all for giving homeless dogs a great home.

Every dog there was full-grown and extremely large for our household. (We want a dog >30lbs.)

Also, we have an infant and a toddler in our house and I don't think it's a good idea to be bringing a dog into the house that we don't know anything about, you know? What if it hates little kids? And bites one? You can't tell that from looking at them and interacting with them there at the pound. Heck, they might even BE there because they didn't get along with kids -- you never know. It's just not worth the risk.

Anyway, now maybe you folks can recommend a good breed for kids.

     
Gee4orce
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Feb 26, 2004, 12:25 PM
 
I would never pay more than 50 for a dog - I would always get one from an animal shelter, and they normally ask for a donation of around that ammount.

There are hundreds and hundreds of dogs and cats in need of good homes - and in my experience these animals tend to make much better pets than their highly strung, inbred kennel-club cousins.

I have a wonderful, gentle dog that melts peoples hearts - she was a rescue dog.

Just last week we rescued a cat - he's absolutely fantastic, the friendliest and most playful cat I've ever known.

Sadly, there are lots of people breeding dogs for the money - and when they can charge hundreds of pounds/dollars per pup it's no wonder. Don't be tempted by by fancy kennel club breeds. Mutts are best !

For the record, we had a Jack Russel when I was a child. We rescued him from a farm, and he cost 10. He lived to 16. Paying $1000 for a Jack Russel is insane

Edit: I don't mean to be critical or judgemental - just throwing my hat into the ring, that's all.
( Last edited by Gee4orce; Feb 26, 2004 at 12:31 PM. )
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 26, 2004, 12:38 PM
 
Yes, I agree that a grand for a dog is really insane -- I have no problem with anyone saying that because I agree with that assessment.

I am going to watch the local dog shelter and see if they have any small puppies show up. If so then we'll probably adopt one.

I just do not want to buy a dog that is full grown that I have no idea if he or she has a screw loose with respect to small children.
     
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Feb 26, 2004, 12:44 PM
 
iWrite, it is a very sad to hear about the problems that you had with your dog. I have had dogs all my life. Since getting married, all of our dogs have been purchased from a breeder. They were healthy at the time of purchase. It does seem that pure breed dogs are more vulnerable to illness because of inbreeding. You should look at the AKC site to read up on the characteristics of various breeds. I pray that you will have a successful adoption.

http://www.akc.org/

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." Winston Churchill
     
mitchell_pgh
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Feb 26, 2004, 12:52 PM
 
I knew it!

I knew this lady didn't have a license or something was up. Out lady called a few days after we purchased her and asked if everything was OK with the dog. She then said "Give me a call if ANYTHING goes wrong with the dog"

why you ask

Because if there was something wrong with the dog, she would have taken her back and given us our money back (and probably have put the dog to sleep.

Our lady was a pro.

Our dog was great.

And only $400

Side note, I think you should go to the pound next time. The next time I get a dog, it's going to be from the animal recovery people. They are all over the place.
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 26, 2004, 01:18 PM
 
Yeah, she keeps emailing and saying how sorry she is for the "problems" and "misunderstanding" and if our family is "doing okay" and that as soon as the dog recovers (under her care) that we can "have the dog back for half price."

Anyway, I don't even want another dog right now, really. The kids are REALLY bummed out, though.
     
palmberg
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Feb 26, 2004, 04:18 PM
 
Originally posted by AB^2=BCxAC:
I've never heard of anyone spending that kind of money on vet care before...
My beagle, Maggie, got a systemic blood infection a couple years ago at about nine years old. At one point my local vet actually told me there wasn't anything more he could for her, and that if I wanted her to live I'd have to load her in the car -- right then -- and drive her two hours to one of the best animal hospitals in the country (in Ames, IA). Of course I did. Her white blood cell count was almost zero, and she was serverly dehydrated (even after the IV my vet had had her on for the last couple days). Needless to say I got my ass in the car and drove, tears streaming down my face, to the hospital with my near-comatose dog in the back.

Two weeks and $1,500 dollars later, she was back at home, still frail, but recovering. And she's still going strong today. That money was, without a doubt, the best $1,500 I've ever spent. Even more worthwhile than my graphite iMac DVSE.
I keep the Bible in a pool of blood so that none of its words can affect me.
     
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Feb 26, 2004, 05:20 PM
 
My wife and I got our golden retriever about two years ago. Her name is Kodiak (Kodi). She is amazing. She is very obedient, amazing with people, especially children, and is very lovable.

We got her from a very reputable breeder in NJ.

I'm sorry things didn't work out well with your dog. Don't give up, the rewards are too great!!

Pictures of Kodi
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Joshua
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Feb 26, 2004, 05:37 PM
 
Originally posted by iWrite:
Well, I did go to the SPCA/Humane Society/Dog Pound. I totally agree that getting a mutt is great. I'm all for giving homeless dogs a great home.

Every dog there was full-grown and extremely large for our household. (We want a dog >30lbs.)

Also, we have an infant and a toddler in our house and I don't think it's a good idea to be bringing a dog into the house that we don't know anything about, you know? What if it hates little kids? And bites one? You can't tell that from looking at them and interacting with them there at the pound. Heck, they might even BE there because they didn't get along with kids -- you never know. It's just not worth the risk.

Anyway, now maybe you folks can recommend a good breed for kids.

Poodles are a great breed for kids; they don't shed, they're clean, very intelligent, and they aren't aggressive at all. A miniature (not toy!) would fall into the size range you're looking for, too.

My family has had some bad luck with "show dog" breeders in the past; you're better off finding a breeder that raises puppies mostly for pets and occasionally shows. Those breeders are usually more concerned with raising healthy puppies than making sure the puppies match the AKC standard.
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wyattburp
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Feb 26, 2004, 06:45 PM
 
Originally posted by Joshua:
Poodles are a great breed for kids; they don't shed, they're clean, very intelligent, and they aren't aggressive at all. A miniature (not toy!) would fall into the size range you're looking for, too.

My family has had some bad luck with "show dog" breeders in the past; you're better off finding a breeder that raises puppies mostly for pets and occasionally shows. Those breeders are usually more concerned with raising healthy puppies than making sure the puppies match the AKC standard.
I read an article the other day stating that poodles had more reported attacks (bites) than any other dog...I've heard from friends who owned them that said they sometimes have a tendancy to be "nippy"...though my personal belief is that the each dog is different and the owners training of the dog determines his/her behavior...
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 26, 2004, 06:47 PM
 
Poodles are highstrung, IMO. I'm sure that there are some great poodles, but I'm really not a poodle person. I can't see myself at the beach or hiking or mucking around the Florida Keys in a kayak or boat with a poodle by my side -- all things I like to do.

     
lil'babykitten
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Feb 26, 2004, 06:51 PM
 
Yeah, ugly things those poodles:



Pathetic!

(don't save that one to disk iWrite!)
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 26, 2004, 07:11 PM
 
Kitten: That's the only dog I've ever wanted to kick!

JUST JOKING.

(It really IS FUGLY, though.)
     
C.J. Moof
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Feb 26, 2004, 07:26 PM
 
Originally posted by iWrite:

I just do not want to buy a dog that is full grown that I have no idea if he or she has a screw loose with respect to small children.
As if you get that guarantee from a breeder? Hardly. I'd put more faith in the shelter staff's observations of a dog's temperment than from someone who has a personal financial stake in selling a product, which is what the dog is.

Don't loose faith in the local shelter, but use the power of the internet to cast your search wider: www.petfinder.com .

I really hope you'll end up with a shelter dog.... I just plain think it's wrong for someone to profit from selling a pet when so many perfectly wonderful homeless pets are put to sleep every day. My dog was in and out of the shelter 5 times and lived with a rescuer before she ended up in our home. Those 5 others missed out on a dog overflowing with personality and charisma... and that's not just my biased observation.
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iWrite  (op)
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Feb 27, 2004, 08:31 AM
 
No, I don't get the guarantee from a breeder/kennel that the dog won't be mean to small kids...

But, c'mon, there's a huge difference between raising a dog from a puppy around kids versus picking up a full grown shelter dog. That's what I'm talking about. Full grown dogs that weren't raised around small kids and may not like having their tails yanked on, their ears pulled, etc.

It's not worth the risk.

Case in point: Two years ago we had a little black Brussels Griffon toy dog. A friend of ours was on the Akita rescue list. He was about 2 hours south of us (where he lives) and the dog that became available was 2 hours north of us. He asked us if we would help him out and meet the rescue person halfway (1 hour north of us) and pick up the dog. Fine. Picked the dog up: BEAUTIFUL dog. His name was Bear. SO friendly, absolutely gorgeous, big tail wagging. Hopped into the back of our car and just sat there quiet as can be.

Took him home and called our friend and said that we could drive an hour south the next morning and meet him to get his new dog. I went on and on about how beautiful he was.

Well, we have a big family room that has all the cool family toys in it (big television, PS2, ping pong table, fuseball table, Bowflex, workout area, etc.) It is separated from the main house by big double french doors that swing open. I put this Akita back there and he could look out at the rest of the house, but it kept him separated from the kids. It was perfect for him to hang out in there.

My older son, 10 at the time, is standing in the kitchen with our little Brussels Griffon in his arms talking to me while I'm cooking dinner and all of a sudden there is a HUGE boom and crash and glass breaking EVERYWHERE: Next thing I know, the Akita is on my son, my son is on the floor, and the Akita has the Brussels Griffon in his mouth -- the Akita had broken down our french doors to attack my son and the little dog. These were double-paned reinforced wooden and steel-accented doors and it just busted through.

He shook that little dog and bit it in the chest. Blood was everywhere. My husband ran in and grabbed that Akita (130 pounds big) and wrestled him off and got him to drop the small dog. The small dog was bleeding everywhere and the Akita was out of control. My husband hauled him outside and put him in the back yard. My son's arm had a big bite in it and the Akita had a huge gash in its shoulder from broken glass.

We had to call Animal Control (SPCA/Humane Society) because of the dog bite and attack. They came an hour later and took the dog. On Monday (it was Saturday) they called us to tell us that the dog was up-to-date on vaccinations (they had checked with the Akita rescue people), but that the reason it was AT Akita rescue was because it had escaped the owners yard numerous times and that it was killing neighborhood cats and had attacked a neighbor's dog where it had come from.

Our little dog went to the animal emergency clinic that night and $800 later and the next day, it had to be put to sleep for massive internal injuries.

So, am I about to just go adopt a full-grown dog that I don't know what the history is? NO.

In fact, our local Animal Control/SPCA/Humane Society won't even let people adopt certain breeds if the application says that people have small children or infants: Any pit bulls or pit bull mixes, rottweilers, doberman pinschers, akitas, any dog that might have an aggressive nature.

I'm thinking that we need to get a golden retriever or something similar. Actually, another breed I had a long time ago and loved is the Portuguese Water Dog, "Portie."



     
mitchell_pgh
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Feb 27, 2004, 08:36 AM
 


Here is my little girl... such a good dog!
     
iWrite  (op)
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Feb 27, 2004, 09:00 AM
 
AWWWWWWWWW!

Riding shotgun through the ATM, no less!

     
waxcrash
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Feb 27, 2004, 11:10 AM
 
Originally posted by iWrite:
AWWWWWWWWW!

Riding shotgun through the ATM, no less!

I think it's a gas pump.
     
C.J. Moof
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Feb 27, 2004, 11:15 AM
 
So you think getting a puppy is a guarantee? Nope. Here's my shelter puppy adoption experience (abbreviated version):

Wife and I decide it's time to get a dog. We read up on behavior training, get toys, crate, all the proper stuff. Visit the humane society for a few weeks, never meeting the right dog. Then one weekend, a litter of mutt puppies is there for adoption, and we decide one of them is the right dog for us.

We take this pup home, and from the very start, she's nippy. No big deal, she's a pup, and needs to learn when she can use the teeth and when she can't. So we try to teach her. She won't learn, and and always determines when she can be agressive, and gets very possessive of toys. Time goes on, she gets bigger, but she never views humans as authority- more than once we get bit trying to take a toy from her. We start to get nervous around this dog.

So we call a trainer to our house. She says that she'd never seen a dog make eye contact with a stranger for so long. She analyzes the dog, advises how to change it's behavior, and warns we have our work cut out for us. We don't give up, we try all her advice, and it doesn't work- more than once I had to come home from work to rescue my wife from the dog, who'd laid claim to some section of house. At this point, we're now intimidated by the animal we brought into our lifes. She could be sweet and loving, but turn on a dime into scary. She's now grown into a legal liability- I could never let her near a child.

We talk to the humane society, who puts us in contact with the adopters of her littermates. "Do you have messed up dogs?" we ask? Nope, completely typical dogs, they all say. As soon a she's old enough, we get her spayed- no behavior change.

We talk to our vet, who says that if all the behavior modification advice has failed, they can try canine prozac. No- I'm not going to spend my money doping up an agressive animal in the hopes she'll not be a danger while perfectly loveable dogs are put to sleep every day.

The straw that broke the camel's back was the day we turned the corner to walk up the stairs, and the dog decided that was unacceptable. I'm now looking at a 25-30lb dog standing at the top of the stairs growling and bearing it's teeth at us. I ended up using the vaccum cleaner as a shield, which it attacked voraciously. We couldn't go on like this.

We took a long, tearful walk and determined that enough was enough- we'd tried *very* hard to solve this problem and couldn't, medication was not sensible, nor was passing an agressive dog off to someone else. She simply was miswired and not fit for living with humans.

I took her to the vet and had her put down that afternoon.

So... raising a dog from a pup isn't a guarantee of anything. For us, it was one of the crappiest experiences in our lives..... I wouldn't have wished that on anyone. I'm sure some will say that we failed, we didn't do things right, but we put a lot of time and emotion into solving this. Our vet said we went beyond the call, we defied the university behavorist who told us to put the dog down 3 months before we did, we brought professionals into our home. Yes, it's exceptionally rare that a story like this comes about, but we lived it.

The upside is that while seeking solutions on rec.pets.dogs.behavior, I met someone who worked at my local humane society, and told me about the 1 year old dog we ended up adopting, who's been our best friend for years. It ended up being a rough path to a good end.
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iWrite  (op)
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Feb 27, 2004, 11:51 AM
 
I don't think getting a puppy is a guarantee, nope.

But, you kind of made my point with your story about *SOME* shelter pets, you know?

They CAN have some serious behavioral issues.

There is no guarantee with ANY pets, be they hamsters or cats or ferrets or dogs -- or parrots. (We have parrots also.) Even our horses had behavioral problems at times. Humans have behavioral problems also!

Anyway, there is no "one perfect answer" for guidelines when getting a dog.

The way I see it at this point, it's a crap shoot. I think we'd just better lay low on the dog issue and not get a dog again right away. If a situation arises wherein we can offer a great dog a great home then we'll go for it.

Until then, I'm happy with things the way they are.

     
wdlove
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Feb 27, 2004, 12:01 PM
 
Originally posted by mitchell_pgh:


Here is my little girl... such a good dog!
That is really a precious picture. What is her name?

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." Winston Churchill
     
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Feb 27, 2004, 02:25 PM
 
Doesn't anybody have a bird?

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
voyageur
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Feb 27, 2004, 04:29 PM
 
Originally posted by mitchell_pgh:


Here is my little girl... such a good dog!
Mitchell, I concur. Love your photo! We have two dachshunds, now 3 years old, who are terrific family dogs. My sister was the breeder.
Our previous dog was a small pound hound, also healthy and loving. But as iWrite said, it can be hard to find small dogs at shelters. What you can sometimes do is put your name in at several shelters and have them call you when they get a small one in. Last year there was the dearest dachshund named Angel at a local shelter; if I didn't already have two, I would have taken her home. Somebody else took her in a very short time, I'm happy to say.
Good luck. I'm sorry about the little Jack Russell, iWrite; they're great little dogs too. Stubborn but smart.
     
lil'babykitten
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Feb 27, 2004, 04:45 PM
 
iWrite, Labrador Retrievers are brilliant cute lil' things! They're really good with children too. Just look at them:

     
Face Ache
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Feb 27, 2004, 06:49 PM
 
Originally posted by iWrite:
I'm thinking that we need to get a golden retriever or something similar.
We have a golden retriever who takes some real abuse from our (dear) children. Smart, lovable, loyal to anyone with food, as long as you have a good vacuum cleaner to deal with the hair, they're a good dog. They like the water too.

But my next dog will be a labradoodle. Non-allergenic and they won't shed all over the house.
     
 
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