While vacationing on Maui in October Betty and I did come to the decision to get another dog. Little did we know it would take nearly 5 months to do so. Because of my wife's allergies to most breeds and because we had them before, we decided on a cocker spaniel. Easier said than done. There are virtually no buff colored, female cocker spaniel puppies available in Arizona. We searched every on-line source we could find. We contacted the local cocker rescue organization. We looked in the newspaper classified ads. We asked friends. Nada. Cocker spaniels are scarcer than Democrats in Arizona.
We would have nothing to do with national puppy mills. The health and behavioral problems that often accompany puppies from mass breeders made than a non-starter for us. Plus, I was very hesitant to send hundreds of dollars to someone out-of-state for a puppy who we could only know by its picture on a web site. In fact, until the middle of last month I very strongly voiced my opinion against buying a dog over the Internet.
But, the search had finally reached the point where if we didn't consider out-of-state breeders we might never find a cocker puppy. So, Betty began an exhaustive on-line search. She did her homework to check on recommendations, records of problems...anything that raised a red flag. She e-mailed and called dozens of kennels all over the country. Finally, about three weeks ago she located a likely candidate. The puppy was 6 weeks old and would be ready to be shipped to us at the 8 week mark. Dozens of phone calls, pages of questions asked and answered and lots of prayers later, we decided to take the plunge and have our new pet shipped to us from a breeder in Missouri.
|Tired from a long plane flight|
Bailey is her name, and is everything we were promised and more. She is a total cutie and a complete people dog who wants to be at your feet. She started to learn about the doggie door within a few hours. She whines when she needs to go out, giving us all the warning we need until she is trained to handle her duties completely on her own. Her appetite is excellent and she is drinking plenty of water.
|Will Bailey ever be big enough to fetch a paper?|
How much will our satisfying retirement lifestyle change with this addition? I'll let you know.