When I began looking for a Newfoundland puppy –
With the intent of finding my future pup to become a Service Dog –
I was exposed to the world of Newfoundland dog breeders.
I know some of you feel all dog breeders should become extinct due to the thousands of homeless dogs.
I acknowledge the reasons behind that thought,
But I, personally, believe there are benefits to maintaining some lines of purebred dogs.
I’m selfish and biased because of my need for a big, strong, dog capable of assisting me.
There aren’t many breeds who can help me with my particular physical needs …
And I’m grateful for my purebred Newfoundland who can.
Fred The Newf – Fourteen Weeks Old
My Newfie search began in earnest after I randomly met an extremely nice woman (retired Newfie breeder) last July.
We’re still in contact to this day.
She’s a woman of character.
I would never hesitate to get a dog from her if she were still a breeder.
Through her, I began my journey.
Those of you who have followed along these past several months know I experienced a “worst case scenario” with the breeder I intended to get a dog from.
Someone recently asked me if, now that I have Fred, I’ve forgiven Joan Casler from Heartsease for what she did to me and my family.
I have not.
She did something really terrible.
(And yes, I’ve heard how she’s tried to justify it to other people. What has been relayed back to me is NOT the truth of what happened.)
I’d like to think my experience with Joan was an aberration.
Perhaps, she is the really nice person I initially thought she was.
Maybe she had a bad day as a human …
We all do, right?
But those thoughts are fleeting because:
1) If it were a momentary failure as a human it would have been followed-up with an apology and an attempt to right the wrong, and
2) It doesn’t matter anymore – what’s done is done.
I’ve moved on.
I love Fred.
I’m (so!!) grateful I ended up with a great breeder who was professional, and ethical, loves the breed for the right reasons, and is truly a good person.
(All the things I felt were lacking with my first experience.)
But, that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the bad experience.
It doesn’t mean I’d welcome the “bad” breeder with open arms.
Having a dog I love does not erase what happened.
(My vet – who was very involved in – and appalled by my first breeder experience, commented “having the top ranked dog doesn’t even begin to make up for a lack of personal integrity.”)
In other words, I feel like my search for Fred showed me the worst and best of dog breeders … all in one long journey.
Along the way, I “met” many, many, other Newfie breeders both in the United States and Canada.
I started calling them “The Dog Women.”
(I mentally nickname every person/group I encounter. My apologies to all Dog Women but I’ve been flawed by this mental nickname process from birth.)
I can’t speak about other dog breeders.
I can only speak about my experience with Newfie breeders.
Most of the Dog Women I met were really good people.
I know there are bad breeders.
I know all is not perfect in the Newfoundland world.
But, I LIKED the breeders I encountered.
The Newfie community, as a whole, reached out and embraced me.
Literally, there were Newfie breeders all over the country stepping up to help me.
I was impressed with them.
I was touched by their genuine concern, and with their efforts to show me the Newfie world was NOT accurately represented by my first, terrible, experience.
(Although, I have to admit I still have a very bad, lingering, impression of the Dog Show World due to that experience.)
And, now that I have Fred, I continue to be favorably impressed with the Newfie community here in Southern California.
People have been welcoming, and helpful, and kind.
I guess, in the end, there is good and bad in every community.
I haven’t forgotten the bad experience …
I’m just grateful so many wonderful experiences have followed it.