Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another Crazy Offer

So I think I may have mentioned in the past that a couple months ago I contacted another breeder just on a gut instinct. It was Lynn's breeder actually. She sounded like a really sensible breeder, and she was having a litter in November. It fit my timeline, so I shot her an email, just to see what would come of it. Yes, I know, I'm cheating on my breeder. But my guts said to go for it, so I did. After exchanging a few emails with her I figured nothing would come of it because she didn't like the fact that my husband and I would be gone all day at work (even though for the first few months I would come home in the middle of the day, that wasn't good enough). Well I just got the most unexpected email from her.

Apparently she has a one year old gorgeous black headed tri named Murphy from a past litter that she is trying to place in a good home. Murphy and one of his litter-mates are living together with a family, and since they're not getting along (read: being aggressive toward each other), they are willing to place Murphy "with the right family". I guess the breeder thought I would be a good fit. She said that she thought this dog would be better for me than a puppy because of the not being home all the time issue.

What should I do? Before I read her email I would have said that I wanted a puppy period. But after reading her email I'm having second thoughts. This dog is friendly, house trained, has had some obedience training. I wouldn't need to deal with puppy neediness. But at the same time I would miss out on a puppy and all the good things associated with that! I would miss out on shaping my puppy into the dog s/he'd become. After everything I've read about puppy development I don't trust some family to do the things that I would do.

Hi, I'm JuLo and I'm a control freak.

Hehe. But of course, on the other side, this family has socialized Murphy in ways I would have trouble with in my own house. This family has kids and cats, Murphy has been back to the breeder's house to play with her dogs. That means this dog is already socialized with people, kids, and other animals. That's a pretty important step in development.

But then again the bonding experience would be totally different. With an 8-10 week old puppy I'd be taking home a baby who would experience homesickness, but then would bond to us and be part of our family. With Murphy I'd be taking him away from his family that he's already bonded with and loves very much. I feel like I would never have the same relationship, or at least I would wonder.

I talked to Husband, and he's just as puzzled. His first concern was that Murphy was an aggressive dog, but according to the breeder that's not the case. Murphy is a needy dog that always took up a lot of the family's attention. The other dog would get jealous and pick fights. According to the breeder, Murphy never started these fights, but he wouldn't back down either. So that makes me feel like Murphy wouldn't be dog aggressive, though we'd have to be very careful if we ever decided to get a second dog.

I think I'm leaning towards no...but I'm just not sure! I think I could be convinced either way. I'm going to tell the breeder that we'll think about it a bit more, but if i had to decide right now I'd say no. It's too bad too...he's so pretty! I'll see if I can get a good picture to post so you can see him.

PS: I actually love the name Murphy. It's a little boring, but it also reminds me of Murphy's Law, which has been my good (not) friend these past 25 years. If you look at the wikipedia entry there's probably a picture of me next to it. Hehe.


Manda Girl said...

That's a tough decision but I don't think you should worry about the bonding part. Dogs adjust so well and quickly and will know that you will be his loving family.

I think that missing out on puppyhood (crying at night, diaherria, peeing on the carpet or the bed!) is something to really miss out on... but it's a big decision.

Can you meet him first? Before deciding?

JuLo said...

See, it's advice like that that makes it such a hard decision. Hehe.

Yeah, I'm sure we would have to meet the family before it was a done deal anyway. They're in the same state, sorta near Husband's parents, so it wouldn't be a big deal to go meet them, I'm sure. From the breeder's description of his personality, he sounds like a dream.

Well I'll wait to hear back from the breeder, since I asked her a couple more questions last night.

Thanks for the advice! :)

Lynn said...

The breeder had actually talked to me about Murphy, but since I want two dogs within the next couple of years, she probably thought to look elsewhere. Murphy does sound like a dream though. There's a video of him (and his brother, sisters, mom, grandma, and uncle) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0pitk1OR4&feature=related
I believe he is the tri with more white around his neck but I can't be positive. Good luck in your decision!

Lynn said...

You know what, I posted the slide show. The video is here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UInBsykxgJk&feature=related

The Senakams said...

Wow, what a fantastic opportunity! You know we got Bryson when he was 2 1/2 years old when he retired from showing, so we're gonna be biased here...

I'll tell you that it's true that a lot of the dog's personality and habits are formed early in their lives, and we do feel like we "missed out" sometimes when we wonder what he was like as a puppy and how his experience shaped him (like when we found out he doesn't have any herding instinct, it made us wonder if it's "nature" or "nurture")...

HOWEVER- dogs DO live in the moment, and they will gradually "grow" into your family and trust me, they aren't gonna look back and compare you with their ex-family. And from the descriptions, sounds like he hasn't learned any "bad" habits from his last home, he's socialized and well-loved, which says he's probably going to be a great pet for another family. And even the mellowest corgi (aka Bryson) will try to protect their turf when challenged, it's just a corgi thing, so I wouldn't be worried. By the way, boy corgis are also less bossy than girls.

We love Bryson every minute since we had him despite of the "baggage" he came with (as a show dog he didn't know how to be a pet or even how to play with other dogs). The thing is once a dog comes into your lives, you'll love unconditionally and stop thinking all those "what if's" questions. Out little corgis just know how to steal your heart.

Sorry for the looooong comment, but I'd say if you get a chance to meet this pup, do that, and if it feels right, go for it!

Sorry if we confused you more... Bryson's responsible- he told me to write everything above so feel free to blame him.

Bryson (& Ivy)

flanthrower said...

I had a similar experience with a breeder recently. I was looking to get a cardigan corgi puppy from a litter in December. I contacted her about this in early October. Since I would be a first time dog owner, she recommended one of her young adult dogs. (She's about a year old so just past puppyhood.) Similar dynamics too where she wasn't exactly aggressive but would sometimes play too hard with the other dogs and didn't know when to back down. I went down to OR to meet her and was still a little unsure but the breeder said I could have her for a week and then decide. At our house she was the quietest, sweetest, mellowest dog I'd ever seen! An absolute DREAM dog.

The only reason I did not keep her was poor timing. I just graduated from law school and am looking for work and waiting to hear back from the bar. The dog and I bonded almost immediately but she did not mesh well with the rest of my family (none of this was her fault). Since I don't know how long this living situation is going to last, it just didn't seem fair to the dog or my family to force the situation. She may still be in my future if my living situation changes soon but it was a great experience with the breed and the breeder so regardless I know a lot more for next time.

Sorry for the epic comment (and if I've made this decision harder) but all this is a long, roundabout way of saying that bonding extends well beyond puppyhood. Dogs are creatures of habit and once they adjust to their new environment, they seem to figure the rest out very quickly.

Jenna Z said...

Wow, I know after seeing those puppy pictures you are probably set on one of the new babes but an older dog is really an excellent option. Bonding will not be affected, older dogs bond just as well and at his young age you can most likely correct any issues he might have acquired from he other family, if any. But I guess that's if you're willing to work on issues. Not to say he has issues. Or to say your new puppy WON'T have issues, dogs have minds of their own and just like kids, no matter how well you raise them, they will find something unique to themselves that needs resolving. Especially if you're thinking about dog sports! A puppy is a TON of work and I wouldn't say there are a whole lot of benefits to getting a fresh puppy other than the cuteness factor. She is right, an older dog would be MUCH easier if you are going to be gone during the day. Being gone during the day (unless you can come home a couple of times throughout the day) really makes potty training a bit harder.

JuLo said...

Well I appreciate everyone's advice. I hate making decisions, so I always love input. :)

I just emailed the breeder and turned down her offer. It all came down to timing. We're so close to getting a puppy, and my husband and I decided we wanted to experience that together. If the offer had come a few months ago, we may have decided differently.

While I feel so bad for Murphy, I'm sure he'll still find a good home. This is my first dog, and I felt like it was ok to be a little selfish.