THE RESPONSIBLE BREEDER: RE-HOMING
A story from UABR Breeder Judy Maag Kaplar
Some people think that people who breed and sell animals are uncaring, coldhearted and greedy. In our experience, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s usually those of us who are especially softhearted and fond of little furry animals that become pet breeders in the first place. Here’s a sweet tale of one of the many ways that one pet breeder goes the distance for the animals in her care, even after they have been sold.
Judy sold an adorable, healthy Havanese puppy to a family that checked out as suitable for him. They already had a well-cared-for Yorkie that was twelve years old. They were thrilled with their new puppy and ready for another long-term relationship. They named him Bear. Bear is a rare find among Havanese dogs; he has one brown eye and one blue!
Two weeks later, their house was in an uproar. Their Yorkie wasn’t adjusting to Bear at all. They started texting Judy for help. In tears every day, the texts kept coming despite the family’s efforts to apply Judy’s advice. Judy was stressing, worried about her special baby.
Trying to balance kindness with firmness, and trying to control her own emotions, Judy made it clear that she would take the puppy back and return their money at any time. Finally the attacks got bad enough that the puppy needed to be checked by a vet. The tearful family had to let Bear go back home. Judy refunded them their money, minus the cost of the vet visit.
What a delicate situation that is for a breeder. Almost like when your children leave home. You care so deeply about their welfare, but things are out of your hands now. Finding the right words and tone of voice to express your grave concerns for your animal, without aggravating the new puppy owner to the point of ruining your reputation (it’s easy with Facebook) is a challenge that keeps many pet breeders from sleeping at night.
After a few sleepless nights, Judy managed in a fine way, reassuring the distraught family and rescuing her pup as well.
Her efforts were blessed! Only two days after brining Bear back home, Judy found a new home for him with a couple. The husband is a soccer coach, and wanted a little pal to accompany him to all his games and practices. Bear is doing really well, and they report that he even plays a little soccer himself!
The first buyers never lost their love for Bear, and even called to find out if they could try again. They will have to look elsewhere for their happy ending. For Judy and Bear, this story is complete.
Her kennel is Havanese Judy, in Orem, Utah