Well, tonight I met my husband at a good friend's house where the DH had been helping shingle a roof. Our good friend has five kids, and lives in a busy development where there are tons of families with kids who all hang out together. I brought my two bumpkins and of course, couldn't leave home without my "baby" Posh.
We haven't seen our friends since we added Posh to our family. They were ver excited to meet her. The wife of our friend told me that their neighbor had just added a cute non-shedding little white puppy to their household that looked similar to Posh. Havanese are not common in this area at all, and I really assumed it was probably some sort of Morkichonpoosheparddoodle. I will admit I can be, okay am, a snob.
Anywho, our friends' house is basically "kid central" for all the neighbors, and the "have a new puppy" kids came over to play. Meanwhile, as soon as they saw Posh they asked me what kind of dog she was. When I told them she was a Havanese one boy said, "Our puppy is too. They're really rare."
Well, I was definitely excited for Posh to meet their pup. The little boy went home and brought him over, and sure enough he was a cute little cream Havanese boy. Posh had a blast playing with him. He is about four months old and super soft, but full of matting on his back legs and hips. He seemed pretty healthy, but had very pink eyes (not staining). Is this normal for some of the white dogs not to get all of their pigment at 5 months old? I think I remember something about this with those of you who have white or cream dogs.
After my initial shock and excitement that Posh was actually playing with a local Havanese, I began wondering where the family got him. I was crossing my fingers that they got this little one from a reputable breeder. So, I asked the boy. "Did you have travel a long time to get your puppy?"
"No. We got him at Amaze N Farmyard."
My heart fell into the pits of my stomach. Amaze N Farmyard is an obvious puppy broker/pet store/"farm" and no reputable/responsible breeder would allow their pups to be placed here. Here is a link.
They have mostly "designer" breeds here which we all know is a big pile of ****. My mom thinks she may have purchased my grandfather a dachshund from this "farm" and that puppy died within two days of being at my grandpa's. This was a long time ago, my grandfather is now deceased, but I'm pretty sure the place hasn't "improved" and that they would still sell sick puppies to people who don't know any better.
Eventually the boy's mother came over and she was just so amazed to meet Posh and see an adult Havanese "in the flesh." She asked me about her coat, and if I brushed her a lot, as they never brush their puppy. I told her I brushed Posh usually every day, especially when she was losing her puppy coat or she'd get terrible mats. The lady at this time showed me all of her pup's matting. I had my greyhound comb and showed her how to take out the mats. I was as gentle as possible, and the poor guy still cried. I gave him a little kiss and told the woman she might want to think about giving him a shorter cut if she doesn't want to comb him out or deal with him "blowing coat" which I also explained to her.
Before the mother came over, I was using the neighbor kids as agility obstacles, lining them up to be jumps, using hula hoops, lining kiddos up as weave poles. The boys were loving this and wanted me to show their mom. So Posh did a little "show" and this woman's comments were. "I had read they used to be circus dogs. When we got home I came home and started doing research, the guy at the farm talked us into getting him so I didn't even know how to pronounce 'Havanese'." She went on to ask me if Posh was fully trained by six months, and I told her that she still has accidents but that it comes with the territory of having a small dog and that usually the accidents were because of my lackadaisical behavior. At this time she told me she had first crated the dog, at 8 weeks old, for 8 hours while she worked as a teacher everyday, and he only had one accident. I know many of you work 8 hours or more, but I also know you don't crate your dog for this long...I told her I was glad she was home for the summer, and that maybe she could gate off an area for him during the day when she goes back to school, or get an exercise pen, or something. She thought this might be a good idea anyway, as now he is able to do stairs and investigate more.
After this women left I looked at my friend and said, "Please promise me you will never buy a puppy from Amaze N Farmyard." I went on to explain why as nicely and calmly as I could because at this time I was heartbroken. My friend just looked at me like I was some crazy person. These are friends that went to college with my husband, so, I "inherited" them and sometimes it's very difficult for me to connect with especially the wife.
This is the second time I have met someone and have had mutual friends with that has procured a puppy from this crap-hole. Each time I literally bit my tongue not to go off and "educate" them. I try to give them training suggestions, because both of these people bought a puppy for their very young children on a whim, and usually this leads to bad news for everyone. When the woman made the "circus dog" comment. I said that yes this breed is very intelligent, but her tricks are also a result of over thirty weeks of dog school. I encouraged her to take the pup to some sort of local classes.
So I guess I'll end this novel of a post by just asking you to send that little pup good vibes for a happy life. I'm going to mail my copy of "The Havanese" to my friend, hoping she will give it to her neighbor, who did actually seem to think I might be a resource for her. I will also give this family my contact information. I have a troubling feeling that this pup might end up as a "problem" for the family.
I guess this is my greatest fear with the future of this breed. That more "breeders" with absolutely no scruples will keep seeing Havanese as big buck tickets and these amazing dogs will end up more and more with people who are getting a dog on a whim and filling up the shelters, even here in "middle of the backwoods central Minnesota."