Friday, July 27, 2012

Puppy Pining

I want a puppy. This isn't an impetuous decision. I've wanted to show dogs for 35 years. I figure I should start soon, else I'll be going around the ring with a walker! About 18 months back Hubby and I were discussing the cost of a quality AKC papered dog. He was floored -- which is funny because the man doesn't even blink at thousands of dollars in drum and motorcycle purchases -- and he made a comment like "Well, you'd better start saving now." (In his defense, he may have been trying to be helpful. I thought he was being sarcastic.) The next day I went to the bank and opened a CD. Every payday the bank moves a little bit of money from my checking account to my puppy fund. The original plan was to make other deposits along the way as well, but that didn't happen often. I suck at saving money (hence Hubby's comment). Still, I should have about $1700 when the CD matures in February.

I've been researching this idea for a while as well. I've been to dog shows, I've talked to breeders, I've read a gazillion books and blogs. I still feel like an idiot sometimes, but I get the gist of how champion points are earned, I can decipher a pedigree, and understand OFA hip and elbow ratings. I think I can do a decent job choosing a puppy. We have a club member* who is planning to breed her bitch. She and I have had long conversations on stud selection, artificial insemination and puppy socialization. She's put a lot of thought into her decision. I like her early puppy handling practices (more on that later). At last month's club meeting I told her I would like one of her puppies. Now we're just waiting on Zasha** to go into heat. With all this planning, why am I now feeling so guilty?

Here are some of the arguments I'm wrestling with. Maybe they won't seem so troubling if I write them down. (Thanks Inner Dr. Phil!)
  • I'm still grieving and worried about "replacing" Logan.
  • $1700 is a lot of money. I haven't been to visit my family in California in 10 years. That money could buy plane tickets.
  • As an animal control officer I urge people to adopt shelter dogs daily. It feels hypocritical to do otherwise.
  • What if, after all this time and money, I decide that I don't like showing after all? Even worse, what if I do like it but fail anyway?
Apparently I have some issues to work out before bringing home the puppy. I guess it's a good thing Zasha's not pregnant yet. And don't even get me started on puppy proofing the house . . . I'm sure that will be a post all its own. Until then, -- K


*I joined the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida shortly after we got Logan. I'm on the Board. I'm dog geek.

**Zasha is the club member's dog (the bitch), not the club member (not a "bitch").

I don't why I'm clarifying since I'm the only one reading this!