As most of you know, I lost Coop back in June and while I miss my little buddy greatly, I also know by the end of the year I will be ready to bring home a new bundle of fur. I'm a dog person through and through and being without one seems to have me at loose ends. I feel a bit useless without my usual levels of responsibility! But even so, I still need time to get over the idea that Coop isn't going to be greeting me at the door ever again and be okay with the idea that another pup will. Slowly I'm getting used to the idea. I don't miss Coop any less, but looking forward to a new pup makes me feel better and lifts my spirits. I've discovered I do much better when I'm in forward motion and I know Coop would be perfectly okay with that.
So I started looking around and doing some research on where to get my next pooch. Pet stores were out. Much as I would love to free every last puppy from those glass cages I can't in good conscience support the puppy mill factory. Plus the dogs are often unhealthy and from stock that has been overbred and inbred and living in deplorable conditions. So that was out. I checked out the SPCA and other shelters but none of them had puppies and indicated most of the dogs they get were usually past puppyhood. Again, much as I loved the idea of rescuing every last dog in there (oh just wait until I have my hobby farm...!), I had to think about what I needed. With a shelter dog I wouldn't be sure of its background, training, any behavioral issues. I needed a dog I was comfortable having around my small nieces and nephews and the other animals without there being any issues of fear or aggression. I also wanted to have as much time with my pup as possible and getting one that was older already cut out some years I could spend. Which sounds really selfish, but there you have it.
Which left finding a reputable breeder. I had settled on the type of dog I wanted - a beagle. It fits my lifestyle and also is very sociable and great with kids and other animals. I looked around for reputable breeders in my area and found a few. They were all great, but one in particular I had a really good feeling about and got in contact with them. They have two litters due in September which mean the pups would be ready to go to their new home in November. I asked to be put on the waiting list.
It's no guarantee I will get one of the pups, but the chances are good. The breeder has first pick from the litter, as they breed the animals for themselves and keep the ones they feel will enhance the health and strength of the breed. They don't always keep one from the litters, but they have first choice, obviously. Then there are three people ahead of me on the list. She said average litter size is about 4 pups but can be 6 or 7. Or it can be none at all if things don't go as planned.
But if things do go as planned, and the litters are of average size, I should be able to bring home a new furry companion this November. And I'm really excited about that.