Tuesday, May 25, 2010


There was one very crotchety Angus here last night. After Sunday's unexpected delay in seeing the kennels ( and the puppies ) I telephoned the owners yesterday afternoon to check that everything was going to be fine for our visit. A man answered the phone and said that his wife arranged the viewings and she was out at work, could I call back in an hour ? An hour and a bit later the phone was answered by the same man who now informed us that his wife was very ill and it wouldn't be convenient for us to come. I bit my tongue and growled out a quick ' thank you for letting us know' before curtly putting the phone down . This was presumably the same wife who called on Sunday and who had been out at work when I'd phoned earlier in the day. Why not simply say they couldn't be bothered ?

'The font' pointed out that it didn't take a great psychologist to work out why I was so grumpy ! Someone in the family had clearly begun to think about bringing a puppy home with them. My mood wasn't helped by the sad news that Max in South Africa had passed on. He'd fought long and hard . Over dinner we toasted him, his adoring family, and all those canine companions who become such an integral part of life. Whether we like it or not they become fully enmeshed with our routines and lives and we with theirs.

This morning the search for a new puppy starts all over again. 'The font' thinks that for practicalities sake we should stick with the breeders outside Toulouse despite their strange behaviour. Even after sleeping on it I'm not convinced. Are they trying to hide something or is there a genuine reason for delaying twice ?. A major problem if we look elsewhere is the logistics of bringing an eight week old puppy across the border from Belgium , Germany or Switzerland - a full ten hours drive away - and a mass of additional paperwork.

Wilf had a bath yesterday and for a while his level of grumpiness matched mine. He gave me his best ' I am not happy' look. As a treat he had a long sunset walk through the next village, christening the plants as he went - the more observant villagers may notice that their roses seem to be growing remarkably well. Wilf seems to be in no rush to change his increasingly sybaritic lifestyle. He doesn't have to share tickles with anyone else, meal times are quiet and decorous, and he has undivided attention at rug surfing and swing biffing time. But sometimes at night when he's nestling into me I catch a quick look in his eyes that say's 'why must things change ?'. Good question . They just do.


  1. Mmm I think those breeders near Toulouse are sending you a very clear message, albeit one you may not wish to hear. My first thought is that you should perhaps be patient and look elsewhere?
    Cheers, Gail
    PS Bertie's breeders were quite happy to spend literally hours on the phone with me discussing every possible thing about their dogs before and after money changed hands (despite the fact that they are a young couple with five apparently well cared for children under the age of twelve also running around the house!) I always felt this was a good sign.

  2. The breeders do sound a bit suss, but persevere. Maybe they really do have problems at the moment.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  3. Well dayum. I'd be crochety too Angus!!! I wonder the same things you do, so be careful with these folks.please. You do not want to have to do what I had to do with Shamus, put down at 1 week short of 9 mos of age....6 weeks ago today and it still just makes me sick.
    Maybe there is a logical reason, maybe she too is a character(who seem to be in abundance there!)
    Just "watch your bobber" An old saying that means pay attention to detail. I am sure you know all this, but be careful.
    I raised a glass to Max as well. He and Digby are forever young. Sadly, Shamus went young, but would love to be playing ball with them.
    Ahhh, dogs.
    Hugs and remember we are thinking of you and will pray for your search.(and I do think the "font" has you well read! ha)
    Enjoy the day and I know you will keep us posted as to the puppy hunt.
    Dadburn it, and mutter,mutter. More waiting.
    Jamie and the Texas Sundogs

  4. hmmmm-do you already have directions of how to get to this kennel? If so a surprise visit might give info you'd want, just a thought.
    Guess I'll go to sleep now that it is 3:15 am and I have no PONS pup pics to look at. hhmmmpphh.
    Jamie and the Texas sundogs who just shifted and looked at me as if to say "DO YOU MIND TURNING THE LIGHT OFF??? PLEEEEEZ!"
    ok bye

  5. Well, it's true what THEY say...Breeders are a breed of their own!

  6. Hey there Mongoose
    ...life goes on! As doors shut, others open...we just have to find them!
    I just wanted to pop by and say thank you for all your support and encouragement over the past gruelling months. Your posts have enabled me to nip despair in the bud and leave refreshed and ready to face what is. Thank you for that strength that you imparted...even if you might not have realised it yourself.
    As for grumpiness...Well, we can allow ourselves a day or two.
    Your pup will find you! Hang in there.
    With love and thanks

  7. strange about the breeder...i would be crotchety too, and Wilf could be the poster child for crotchety! :) lovely images....
    "the only thing that is constant is change"
    "everything works out in the end, if it hasn't worked out yet, it is not the end!"
    Maxdog will be missed....but he and Digby have finally met.....

  8. As a breeder, I can not tell you how many hours I spend on the telephone with prospective puppy parents. And the countless number of emails that I send - and questions that must be answered. Even thought I primarily take care of everything concerning my dogs, if I'm not home, my dear husband takes care of the puppies and will very kindly talk on the telephone and answer any questions that he can. I guess what I'm saying is that you might want to look elsewhere. There is a bit of paperwork to travel internationally with a dog, but since you would be driving it would be much simpler than flying with a dog.

    Best of luck - your puppy will find you.


  9. Our alarm bells went off too -- knowing from experiences in this part of the world that not all breeders are as competent and conscientious as one would hope.

    Knowing what it's like when a bit of grumpiness hits our household, I can easily picture you and Wilf harumphing down the road together!!

    xxx Joan

  10. Those breeders sound sketchy to me. Or just too lackadaisical. I hope they step up their game, and soon. It does seem like Wilf is enjoying his only dog status just a bit. I don't blame him there. It's got its good and bad points, but the perks of being the center of your humans' canine universe are quite seductive. Still, I wish you better luck and very soon. Some puppy would be very lucky to be in your family.

    wags, Lola

  11. I just know that the right puppy is waiting for you! If not with these breeders, than somewhere. Give it one more shot, then, I agree, if you've set up the meeting, just go and don't call ahead. If they aren't willing to meet you, well, what's a little paperwork when you think of the joys a ball of fur will bring?

    Oh, and Madame Bay singing would be a definite improvement over what usually turns up on the stage outside our house!

  12. Hi, I would keep moving forward...I would be a little afraid of the breeders too, but maybe she really is sick...Try back in a few days or just show up at the door. I would probably do that.

  13. It's days like this that make us look forward to the more carefree ones. Can't have on without the other. I'd stay clear of the local breeders.....if they are not able to be forthright with you, what does that say about their breeding approach?

  14. Dear Angus I just arrived from another blog. I am truly sorry for the loss of your beloved friend. I know it is very difficult!!! After I loss my 2 dogs, 8 months apart I was very depress. Almost 14 years together is not easy to pick up the pieces, so I started to volunteer in a shelter. What I understand with the kennel you are trying to visit is A COMMON SIGN…. There are not in a condition to accept visitors, may be filthy conditions, sick animals, the breeding conditions unacceptable. Please stay away and I hope someone will call the authorities to check them out (if it is exist such thing in France) you see I live in Canada. I do understand your frustration!!! Wishing you all the best, Liz.

  15. I can imagine your frustration with this breeder and the seemingly inhospitable attitude. If you are convinced that these folks produce good, sound pups then I would suggest to soldier on. I went through phone calls that weren't answered, less than enthusiastic conversations and an overall dismissal of a breeder some years ago. But, I continued on and persevered and ended up with a dog of immense patience and love and intelligence.

    I'll be thinking of you and knowing that what you are going through isn't pleasant and can cause a great deal of frustration. In the end, I am hoping that you will be as fortunate as I was when my pup was placed in my arms and we took that first journey to her new home.

  16. Dearest, if you ever figure out human nature, be sure to let us know. We're as confused as you about these people. Kind of makes you wonder how well they take of their pups...keep up the good fight. We're rooting for you!

    Love, Dozer, Dottie and Cooper

  17. well, that is frustrating! i would be feeling a little crotchety myself if that happened to me. :(
    i think houndstooth is right -- give it another go with those breeders and set up another time. then just show up for your meeting regardless. if they aren't accommodating, then they probably aren't the right breeder for you.
    and, wilf, i'm very sorry about your bath. you poor thing! ;)
    the booker man and asa's mama

  18. I luuuuved the first picture of Wilf. I could tell he was feeling his crotchety right down to his toesies. But then, I feel crotchety abouts baths, too. Oh! And change! Don't gets me started about change. I like everything to staythesameallthetime. I just haven't figured out why it can't but I s'pose sometimes we just gotta go with the flow.

    My mom says to listen to your gut abouts the breeder. Something most certainly seems off and you wants to make sure you brings home a puppy that will give you joy, not more heartache.

    I promise that the right puppy will find you!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  19. I suppose you've checked this list....


    Edward is in sympathy with Wilf over the bath. He just had his as well.

  20. yep Wilf, things just do have to change, but we don't have to be gracious all the time. it just makes it smoother if we are.

  21. I'd be grumpy too!

    I'm new to your blog. Really enjoy it. My dogs and my husband and I are relocating from the US to Switzerland for 3 years very soon. So your experience traveling with dogs is educational and entertaining. I must confess, I shared your Italy blog with my brother and his partner who lived in Italy for a year because I was so mortified by your experience.

    I'm so sad Wilf lost his buddy. I'm glad you're getting another! Two is always better than one, right?

    Cheer up. If it wasn't meant to be, it wasn't meant to be. If breeders don't act professionally then you do NOT want a dog from them. Right? To this day, I do not regret not getting a dog from a "dingo" breeder, though we were obviously interested in getting a dingo, because the breeder did not have any policies. I believe all breeders should have policies and a contract to ensure the well-being of the puppy/dog for a lifetime. So no matter what happens to me, my dog will have a safe home. She didn't have that policy or any for that matter, and I never looked back.

    Look forward and to a good breeder!

  22. Hello there Angus,

    Hang in there. You and your pup will definitely find each other... no matter how much trials you go through.

    Wilf sure looked a bit grumpy in the photos but he sure looks handsome still. We keep our paws crossed that you and your pup will be together soon.

    -Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & the Piappies

  23. Gwumpy? You should see Mommi undew those kind of ciwcumstances, heheh, gwumpy is mild by compawison.
    I think those bweedews awe not at all nice and I'd think twice about going to them..I was bown in nowf Cawolina and happily sat fow eleven houws in Mommi's lap while we dwove back to newYawk., of couwse we didn't have to deal wif the dweaded papewwowk.
    I hope youw Pup finds you soon. I know he's out thewe somewhewe
    smoochie good luck kisses

  24. I can completely understand why you'd be grouchy! I would be too! You get your heart set on something and you don't want to have to wait any longer than necessary for it.

    I think the issues with the breeder is just God's way of telling you it's not time for a new puppy just yet, no matter how much you may want it. It'll happen when it's supposed to happen.

  25. Aggh. Poor Wilf. A bath and what looks like a bad furs day too!

    Paws crossed for your Pom puppy search.

    Wiry wags Eric

  26. Went through something similar as I contacted 3 Golden rescue groups on the West Coast. All advertised they were anxious to find good homes for their senior dogs, I wanted to adopt a senior Golden and have a perfect home for it, but the level of competency, follow-up and communication from these organizations was abysmal. I did persevere, and penetrated one of the organizations to finally find someone who had their sh*t together. It was worth it. Had my heart set on Lady the first time I saw her profile on-line. We are now in human-dog bliss. Don't give up, it is so worth it. Some people mean well, but are just flakes. Drives me crazy, but Oh Well.

  27. We were in the same boat, but we got really lucky to find a good breeder. We are down to two breeds. We are leaning towards one, but you will find the right puppy.
    Sally Ann

  28. Oh how angry I'd be if I were put off twice! Wilf indeed looks very grouchy, but he sounds pretty happy to be getting all attention! But we hope you find a nice, and good breeder who won't put you through the ringer.
    Hugs xoxo

  29. Good luck finding a puppy. I have to agree with what another poster said the breeders sound a bit off to me. Have you thought about a Rescue? I am sure the puppy/dog that is meant to be a part of your family will arrive when he/she is suppose to.

  30. "Why must things change?". Yes, I guess that they just must... but some changes are harder than others. I'm glad to hear that you're looking forward and thinking about more changes. You'll find your next pup - don't you worry. It took me a long time to find both K and R but it was worth the wait!