Previously… all the backstory on getting to our decision of getting a bichon.
So, we knew we wanted a bichon. I still wanted a rescue dog, and so we started looking around. There are a couple of bichon rescue groups in the state, but they never seem to get puppies in. We even looked up to Georgia and Alabama. Nothing. I finally accepted that we weren’t getting a rescue dog. It just seemed like we’d have to wait for years for the perfect one to come along. And I’m impatient. Think what you will of that. We started searching for breeders.
We asked Scott and Ashley for the info on their breeder, but they’d lost his phone number. They had a name and that he lived near Ocala. We
tried googling, but it was fruitless. Next, we tried googling the breeders in Florida, but we were really wary of them… I mean, we knew nothing about them. Feeling overwhelmed, we went to a local pet supply store and they suggested we speak to their sister-shop groomer’s. I went and spoke to the owner and she sat down with me for about 20 minutes, calling one of her clients the get the local breeder’s name and giving me tips about what a breeder is looking for in a buyer and a warning that all breeders are “kooky.” She also gave me the heads up that we’d be looking at spending $800 to $1000 for a pet-quality puppy from a reputable breeder. Now, we started out our puppy search looking for rescues, ready to drop $200 or so on a pup. We got a very generous Amazon gift card from Chris’ mum for Christmas, and we’d saved that to use for puppy supplies when the time came, so we had a sizeable budget for that. When we switched to breeders, we knew we were looking at more. We figured we could do up to $600. Now, having that bumped up to $1000? Yikes. I emailed with the local breeder, and while she didn’t have any available at the moment, she still gave me a ton of information about her and about the breed in general. Also, she informed me that her pups started at $1200. Double Yikes. We even went to a dog show, but got there too late to see the bichons. And then, we found out that I’d be losing my primary source of income… down to one, 20 hour a week job for me. A puppy seemed impossible.
On January 20th, Chris was taking a really long time to get the mail. I looked outside and he was on the phone. I was a little concerned… was it his sister? Was everything okay? A work call? This was just weird. After he was done, he came up and let me know what the phone call was about. He’d still been keeping a casual eye out on some local listings for puppies. Because he knew that I was down and needed something to take care of. And so he’d emailed a few. And one of them called him back.
And we were meeting the breeder and the pup on Saturday.
We were meeting a pup.
The pup was a girl, 12 weeks old, last one left of her litter. She was crate trained already, but was a little vocal. This is what made us pause a little. We live in an apartment, so we didn’t want a loud dog that would be barking all the time. We focused on this so that we didn’t get too excited about something that might not be happening. On the other hand, we didn’t want to be completely unprepared if we did get her. So, Wednesday night, we had an Amazon shopping spree. We ordered a crate, a baby gate, a bed, bowls, travel bowls, a carrier and some toys. Chris signed up for Amazon Prime trial so that we could get it (mostly) before the weekend. We slept with one of the toys, a duck, on Friday night, so it would smell like us (that was my idea). The best part that got us *really* excited? The breeder… turned out to be the same breeder that Scott and Ashley got Buddy from. This puppy was Buddy’s SISTER! It seemed too good to be true. I tried to hold my excitement in check, but it just wasn’t working.
On Saturday the 23rd, we headed down to Ocala to meet the pup.