Despite everything, we’re getting a dog

Well folks, we hit our two week anniversary of northern Michiganders (I can’t express how much I dislike that demonym – fun fact of the day, demonym is a word used for the people or inhabitants of a place, and that’s kind of hilarious, because it has the word demon in it). So far, there has been one car accident (not involving me, a shock to all who read my previous post, which basically solely discussed driving), several successful shopping outings, multiple breakdowns, a full furniture reshuffle (that was fun) and multiple evenings spent at the bar. But most importantly, and really what we all want to talk about is THE TITLE OF THIS POST BECAUSE WE ARE GETTING A PUPPY.

Getting our hands on him has been an absolute ordeal, and to be honest, I’m getting far too carried away right now sharing this whole situation because there remains a chance, based on previous correspondence, that we don’t get to cuddle his little face off. But, I do have a picture of him. I’m just saving it until I personally take an even better one, wearing my extremely cool T-shirt that says ‘Dog Mom’. There were no Dog Mum shirts here.

I began hunting for breeders in Michigan back in November, when I should have been billing (oh that wretched way of life I used to lead…), preparing for an ever-imminent move or getting on top of wedding things. My approach to finding our little pupper was just to email the first ten breeders listed in the Google results of ‘golden retriever breeder Michigan’ and see how it went. Many didn’t reply, one wrote back saying I needed to provide a $500 deposit to go on the waitlist, so was CBFd, and one wrote back saying that she was expecting some litters in January, and then later in spring, and would be in touch. By this stage, the reality of my priorities hit home, so I ceased-fire on the puppy search, thinking it could be resolved at a later and more appropriate date, and returned my attentions to moving, wedding and the return of my fiance.

Out of the blue, the last breeder emailed me in December saying puppies were due to be born in January, and did I want to remain on the waitlist. I responded with a resounding ABSO-BLOODY-LUTELY, and requested some information like price, and where on the waitlist we were, and at what age we collect and what vaccinations we should be prepared for. The response I received was a slightly confusing ‘I’ll be in Novi, MI if you are still interested in a pup this Saturday’. I reminded the breeder of our very southernly location, got no reply, and hoped for the best.

My follow-up contact around the due date got the response that all puppers were taken, and I’d have to wait for the next litter expected in February, and to be in touch then. Internally, I was seething as to why I had to be in touch, when the breeder was the one who would know when the pups were actually going to be born. In any case, as soon as we landed in DC, I followed up AGAIN, and received the very perplexing response of ‘I see you emailed at 7am, I will call you later as I’m quite tired from my foot operation and I’m on narcotics’. In case you’ve never experienced such a situation, this is a very difficult email to respond to. When we finally made phone contact, it was the longest, strangest and most not-on-topic discussion, covering off on the purchase of a pole barn, the sale of a home, the strategies of moving, and the requirements of having multiple foot operations. For twenty minutes, all I said was ‘mmhmm’. Then there was the odd news that there was a SECRET LITTER of puppies who were born in December, would be due to go home in February, perfectly suiting our personal time schedule to allow training and the bulk of sleepless nights to occur before spring hits and work begins. We locked it in, I was promised a contract in the mail, required to pay a hefty deposit and we’d be picking up our new baby in February.

Of course, this was not the end. After hearing nothing for a week, I followed up on the contract, only to be told that THERE WERE NO PUPPIES. Or, rather, that there were puppies, freshly born, with no tails. My heart was actually shattered. My carefully selected food and water bowls, with matching bone mat, lead and collar were all dramatically deleted from my Amazon cart. There were tears. There was name-calling. I crafted a very dramatic response commencing with the words ‘This is very disappointing and heartbreaking news’. I spent a sleepless night tragically scrolling through the golden retriever puppy hashtag on instagram, torturing myself as to what could have been. Anyway, in the morning, the breeder called and told me she’d mixed me up with another Emily, that our little baby would be free to be picked up on Tuesday night or Wednesday and we could just bring the cash on pick up.

So there you have it. Two more sleeps until we become pawrents.

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