Monday, October 3, 2011

How to get a puppy

I am NOT getting a puppy any time in the foreseeable future but it’s always fun to dream. Several friends have gotten puppies this year and I got to thinking about all the different ways dogs come into our lives.

Even when we don’t have immediate plans to add another fur-kid, it’s fun to play the “next dog” game and explore all the possible combinations of breed, age and gender that intrigue us. I’ve always felt that dogs come into our lives for specific reasons. In other words, we get the dog we are meant to have.

When all is said and done, there are a number of ways to acquire a dog.

1) The Great Plan — doing research, getting references, choosing a breeder, waiting for the desired breeding to take place, waiting for confirmation the breeding took, waiting the litter to be born, waiting for the litter to grow up, waiting to be sure the breeder feels there is a puppy in that litter that is a good match for your criteria. This is how I got Phoenix.

2) The Great Plan Gone Awry — you ricochet from one breeder to the next in an agony of decision making when planned breedings either don’t take or only produce litters of one or two. This is how I got Jamie.

3) The Great Plan On Time Delay — you choose a breeder and/or a line and you wait. And wait. And wait. Two years later, you get a puppy.

3) The “I wasn’t looking for a puppy but now I’ve got one” plan —this happens when getting a puppy is absolutely the last thing on your mind but you see a litter a club meeting or a friend says, “I know of this great litter . . .” and before you know it, you’ve got a puppy. That is how I got Connor.

4) The Sunday night surprise — “Honey, I’m home from the trial weekend and guess what, I got a puppy!” I have friends who have done this. They’re still married. Or whatever.

5) The “Here, foster this dog for awhile” plan. The alleged foster dog moves in and never leaves.

6) The “I found her in a ditch” plan. Seriously.

7) The “Screw good sense, I’m buying a dog from a newspaper classified.” And it seems to be working out.

8) The pet store puppy. Not going there.

9) The rescue/animal shelter dog. I cannot say enough about the truly beautiful relationships I’ve seen develop from difficult beginnings.

10) The “inherited” dog who comes to live with you when a relative/friend/neighbor can no longer care for it and trusts you enough to give you their precious best friend.

Oddly enough (I’d say great minds think alike but that may be pushing it), over at her blog, Denise Fenzi has a very well-written post about what to consider when picking a puppy. I need to print and post it on my fridge because I know, too, that what I WANT in my next dog may not be anywhere close to what I NEED.


  1. Let's see... Holly was the Shelter Dog Plan Gone Awry. Went to the shelter with several dogs in mind, none of them her. I wanted a GSD. Somehow, each and every one of the candidates I was looking at didn't work. Holly did, and here we are today!

    However, (knock on wood) Newfie pup is working out according to The Great Plan.

  2. Plan 1 is how I got Via. Picking the puppy is where I went awry. I stuck my hand in the puppy pile and took home the one that was attacked to my arm when I pull my hand back...

  3. Sophie is plan number 9. The shelter puppy that had crazy amounts of energy. I flip flop between plan #3 ( I already picked the breeder) and plan #9 for my next dog. Pros and cons to both.