I got my new puppy and I am so in love, she is the cutest little thing in the world. But most importantly, she came healthy and well loved. My entire family is overjoyed, although she is a little pooper – potty training is whole other story! When I started my search for a new fur baby, I started looking at adoption sites, Craigslist and breeder sites but I was so uncertain as to what I would end up with – will she be healthy, well adjusted, abused? And there are A LOT of scams out there, I found one selling miniature tea cup Maltese puppies for $1000 and when I inquired they told me if I got two, I can get both for $1200 but I would need to wire the money within 2 hours and I would get my dog in a week. Uhhh, NO! Then I realized the picture they posted looked vaguely familiar so I did a Google image search and found it was a well circulated image!!
Then there are the crazies on Craigslist and I am telling you, I found the CRAZIEST!! Here is a text exchange I had with a breeder, which started out so normal.
So I let a few days go by because I couldn’t decide, maybe I had a sixth sense about this breeder. THEN I get this text out of the blue. Warning, the following is NSFW.
This is a REAL text from someone who is trying to sell me something!!!! I was so shocked when I got this text, it took me a second to process what was going on. So obviously, I did not drive to Palmdale to meet with this highly unstable person in their home!!! And I gave up on Craigslist altogether.
Then I came upon PuppySpot.com and started looking at cute puppy photos because who doesn’t love doing that when you have a few minutes to waste online? They have the puppies listed by breeds so I looked up Shihpoo because that’s the breed I’ve been wanting, and then I saw “Molly” (her name is now Cookie), her face was so adorable, there was something in her eyes that just hit me in the soft spot. I had no idea what Puppy Spot was, I have never heard of them before. I started clicking around and didn’t realized that I unconsciously clicked “Reserve Me Today”. I input my phone number and email address (also unconsciously?) but didn’t make any decisions, I just wanted more info on her.
The next day I got a call from my “Puppy Concierge” at Puppy Spot. When I heard the name Puppy Spot, I got excited, is it Molly calling me? She wants to go home with me!! My Puppy Concierge, Peggy, was the BEST. I said I was only inquiring but since I had her on the phone I barraged her with questions about the company, how do I know it’s reputable? How can you assure me that the puppies are healthy and come from a safe environment? How do you monitor the breeders you work with? Who is your CEO? What’s his background? She answered all the questions to my satisfaction and then she started asking me questions. What is your lifestyle like? How much time do you spend at home? Are you active? Do you have kids? Other pets? Do you know the personalities of a Shihpoo? She wanted to make sure we are making the right decision about this breed.
I won’t bore you with the entire exchange of questions and answers but I will tell you how the purchase and handling of the delivery went, which says everything about how they work. And it’s impressive.
After hanging up the phone with the puppy concierge, my husband and I discussed this for 20 minutes, basically oohed and aahed over pictures of our to-be puppy and I basically said, she will be mine, oh yes, she will be mine. And he said, OK. I called back and said, “TAKE HER OFF YOUR SITE NOW, SHE’S MINE!!”. The purchase was done online and I checked to make sure my puppy is now marked “reserved”.
The next step was working with their travel department. They are incredibly communicative and sent detailed information about exactly how the travel arrangements will go. They only work with American Airlines, Delta and United because of their safe animal handling protocol. The travel department called to make sure the flight that was arranged works with my schedule and once all was agreed upon and arrangements made, a very detailed email was sent to me with instructions on how to pick up my puppy, as well as everything, I needed to bring with me (harness, leash, water, Nutri-Stat, etc.).
I could not wait for the 4 days to pass until my puppy arrived. The day before my puppy arrived, I received a call from the breeder. She wanted to make sure I called her the second I got the puppy to let her know that everything is fine. We chatted for a bit and I can tell she really loved the puppies and spent time bonding with them, this was definitely no puppy mill. The puppies were in the house with her and she knew the personalities and behaviors of each puppy. She told me what to look for (that her pee squat is super subtle so I might not even know she is peeing; this was a helpful tip!) and what to expect (very spunky personality; oh yes she is!!). This eased my mind tremendously because this was obviously a well loved puppy.
Then there was my angst over the health and trauma of my puppy getting on a flight by herself, but once I arrived at the cargo handling terminal of the airport, I could immediately tell they are animal lovers and she was well taken care of. As soon as I gave them my papers and ID, the lady at the desk said, “Your puppy is so cute!! We all love her!!” The crate was supposed to be cable tied shut but obviously the handlers opened it and gave her some cuddles and love, which I was grateful for. When I got her out, my heart absolutely melted. She is soooo much cuter in person and so tiny and fluffy. I had a posse with me and we all screeched like little kids over her.
Along with the detailed information about what to prepare for the arrival of my puppy, they made sure I had a veterinarian appointment scheduled within the first 3 days of her arrival. Puppy Spot has a health guarantee and this coverage only kicks in once you send them a signed certificate from your vet. The puppy, we named her Cookie, was 8 weeks old when we got her and all her shots were up to date up to that point. She came chipped and AKC registered. The cost covered all of that plus the travel. Cookie was $2000 and although it is more than I wanted to spend, at the end of the day, the fact that we got a new family member who is safe and healthy was well worth it. I’ve heard of horror stories of getting sick puppies who don’t make it – no amount of money can make up for that kind of heartbreak.