How to buy a dog (the one where I tell you we’re getting a puppy)

We’re getting a dog.

At last!  (does several jigs whilst holding a glass of prosecco – opps, bad idea….)

After years of talking about it, tossing the idea about like a cat with a ball of easter egg foil, we’ve at last decided now is the right time (sort of).  The kids are old enough to be left behind if the dog needs a piddle and it’s peeing down with rain.  Most importantly, they’re definitely old enough to help with picking up the poo – even if they will moan incessantly about it.

Which one?!

Which one?!

We actually decided this about 6 months ago, and after settling on a breed that’d suit our smallish house, smallish garden and smallish ability to walk it during the week, we set about finding a really good, recommended breeder.  This was the sterling advice of a good friend who knows a lot about buying and rearing dogs: never find your dog first. Find your breeder, then choose your dog. That way, you’re less likely to hit problems should the breeder not be bone fide.

We’re not bothered about whether its a pedigree, ‘designer’ dog or mongrel, although we do love a mix of a dog, so if anything, we’re the latter.  We had even planned on getting a rescue dog until we were advised against: apparantly there’s a risk of a rescue dog being unsociable toward children.   My husband’s not even a smallish dog type of person. He grew up with an Australian Blue Heeler (think smaller, more temperate, greyer Alsatian) and so anything that “fits in the BBQ” is too small in his estimation. Typical Aussie.  Ours is quite a big BBQ so I there’s hope…..

We’d sort of settled on either a Malti-poo (no, not a cross between a small round chocolate and an unmentionable) or a Miniature Schnauser (you know, those ones that look like old men who’s eyebrows haven’t been shaved).  But then a friend got a Schnoodle who is a perfect combination of cute, friendly and intelligent whilst also being a bit ragged and not too designer-ish.  She could also recommend a breeder and so that was it, we knew where to look.

Now, before you ask what a Schnoodle is, let me clarify that it is not the latest dish on the menu of your Chinese takeaway.  Rather, it is a rather gorgeous combo of miniature Schnauser and poodle. Unlike the Maltipoo, the ShihPoo (I still cant say that seriously) and the Cocker, Cava, and everything else poo, it’s not got poo in its name.  Whoever name it dropped the ‘poo’ bit and used the ‘oodle’ instead.  Guess they’d run out of Poo combinations….(sigh)

To give you an idea of the two breeds, here’s the mum of the litter (who looks more like a male):

Mum the Miniature Schnauser

Mum the Miniature Schnauser

And here’s the dad (who looks more like a girl!). The chances of this puppy being gender-confused are rather high……

Dad the mini poodle

Dad the mini poodle

Once settling on this breed, I wondered if my nine yr old son would be rather miffed that he could not legitimately and liberally use the word ‘poo’ every time he introduced the dog to someone.  But just getting a dog, after years of nagging and us discussing it somehow has made up for it I think.

And so at last, we went to visit the newborn pups just last weekend up near Thetford Forest, at just 4 weeks old.

They were adorable.  And the breeder was impeccable.

Here they are, all 8 of them packed into their dog bed (that shows you how tiny they are).

Puppy litter

But could we choose?!! After an hour of chatting with the breeder who gave us every piece of advice we could wish for, and hanging out with the sleepy pups and protective mum and dad, we whittled it down to two. We’d wanted a boy, but loved the coat of the girl (she’s on the left).

Which one?!

Which one?!

In the end, and after a bit of fun Facebook consultation with friends, we decided on the boy.  Why? Because he looked more mongrel-ish, less perfect, more our cup of tea. Plus we had wanted a boy in the first place.

And so at last, we’ve found our puppy.  We’re all feeling more than a tiny bit excited, whilst I’m feeling more than a tiny bit nervous about how I’m going to have to adapt my routine around this little pup in 4 weeks time…..lets just say I’m doing as much work as I can now before 1 May!

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