Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Land of the Chupacabra
Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?
1. In my 20's, I looked in the newspaper and found shepherd/lab mix puppies for $25. The person selling the pups had allowed her dog to go into heat and roam around, "...and a big German shepherd came over and was in the back yard."
Result: I had the smartest, most even-tempered, child-loving, bad-guy hating, healthy companion for 14 - count 'em, 14 - years.
2. When the one above was 7, I looked in the paper (again) and found German shepherd puppies "champion lines," (American lines)and drove over to a...eh hem...breeder's and spend a few hundred dollars on a female GSD. She was NOT "supposed" to be a good dog by all the rules and the books.
Result: She was a FANTASTIC watchdog, very aloof, so many good old GSD qualities -- so much of what I wanted in a GSD. She died at the age of 10 of CES.
3. When the above two were still alive, I educated myself further and decided I wanted ANOTHER GSD. This time I did my homework. I researched. I learned about good breeders vs. backyard breeders, different lines, etc. I wanted good German working lines. My Jasmina's lines were German schutzhund/police dogs. Hips & health guaranteed. I knew I had a QUALITY GSD on my hands. I spent a lot more $ on her.
Result: Well, uh, yea. I love her to death. She would have made a great family dog, as she loves kids. She loves people. She can recognize a bad guy. A real sweetheart. I wouldn't trade her for the world. But at the age of 4 she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, spondylosis, bone spurs, and ... well, arthritis. She is 10 now and having health problems.
I'm not arguing for buying puppies out of the paper.
I often wonder, though, do we ever know what we're getting?
Spending more than a few hours a day in a forum is unhealthy and makes people mean
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