I have learned some heartbreaking, but powerful, lessons about dog breeders recently.
Over the last few days my Newfie dog breeder (Heartsease Newfoundlands on Vancouver Island, BC) has been talking to me about picking up *my* puppy.
I have been corresponding with Joan Casler/Heartsease Newfoundlands since last July … prior to the arrival of the litter.
I named my puppy-to-be Fred.
Joan Casler, owner of Heartsease Newfoundlands, helped me pick both Fred’s name and his registered name. (Heartsease Yabba Dabba Do!)
We agreed on pricing.
We discussed the dog’s diet.
Joan Casler texted with me, most nights, giving me updates on Fred.
She sent me Fred photos to help me send out a “name announcement” for my new puppy.
I met with my vet Saturday morning to ask him some questions and get advice about giant breed dogs.
I was making travel arrangements to go get the dog.
Heartsease Newfoundlands sent me the contract to sign midday on Saturday.
I told Joan Casler it looked good but I had a couple questions.
She told me to call her.
Once we were on the phone Joan told me people had been coming to look at the puppies all day long.
She answered my contract questions and I felt good about her answers.
We cut the conversation short when she was interrupted by yet another person stopping by.
And then ….?
I got a Facebook direct message from Joan Casler (Heartsease Newfoundlands) informing me to find a different breeder.
Snap – just like THAT.
I could print out all the text messages here for you to see how abrupt and inexplicable her change of heart was, but there’s really no point.
I’ve been told I could even sue Heartsease Newfoundlands for breach of contract.
(Although I hadn’t yet signed the contract she emailed me Saturday, I’ve been told our string of detailed written communication legally “counts” as a contract.)
Of course, I won’t sue because legal costs would be higher than the cost of the dog.
We hear from breeders, all too often, about people they trusted neglecting and/or abusing animals.
What we don’t hear, apparently, is how BADLY some breeders treat the families they deal with.
I may never know, but speculating – I would guess she sold “our” dog to a friend and/or higher bidder.
Did Joan Casler care that I was left sobbing for the rest of the weekend?
Did Heartsease Newfoundlands, for even a moment, think about the fact I’d have to tell my kids she backed out of our agreement?
Or that those same kids would be crushed?
Did she think about what it would feel like to face my son and tell him “his” long-awaited puppy would not be coming home after all?
My son who has been SO EXCITED for months?
Joan Casler doesn’t appear to care, in the least, about the wake of damage she created.
The lack of ethics is appalling.
It seems like, in the dog world, a lot of breeders give lip service to caring about the dogs and/or breed.
But really, they are all about themselves and their own egos.
Some of them are motivated by money.
We hear those terrible stories frequently … backyard breeders and puppy mills.
Other breeders have illusions of grandeur … thinking they are the greatest breeder to ever mate two dogs.
(They can be very quick to take credit for one great dog, and even quicker to claim a defective/malformed litter was not their fault.)
I try to tell myself it was better to find out what type of person Heartsease Newfoundlands is owned by NOW instead of after paying, in full, for the dog.
But, I’m heartbroken.
My kids are heartbroken.
At Joan Casler’s insistence,
I spent time as a houseguest at Heartsease Newfoundlands.
I had three days at Heartsease Newfoundlands to meet and bond with the puppies.
Joan Casler (Heartsease Newfoundlands) was texting me about Fred almost every day since that visit.
I trusted her to honor her word.
My God, I even LIKED her.
I was already emotionally attached to Fred the Puppy.
Maybe, in time, I’ll be ready to try again.
Right now I feel like breeders are evil, unethical, people.
P.S. I know rescue dogs are an option for all dog owners. I need a big, strong, dog for service needs.
P.P.S. I must be very naive to think people are basically good and have integrity. This experience has been the worst bad/unprofessional breeder experience imaginable.