After almost two years of being without a Doberman in our home, we wound up with two puppies; at least for a few weeks.
This was, at one time, a home filled with happy Doberman Pinschers. We raised them, bred them, showed them and loved them for over 30 years.
Then came a phone call one Friday morning in July. A close friend, and colleague in the Doberman world, just heard of a student who had to get rid of a six-month old Dobie puppy that night. He had flunked out of college and couldn’t keep the puppy because he was moving back to his native China the next day.
My friend gathered more information and found there were actually two puppies, which the student claimed he bought from a breeder in upstate New York. I went to the breeder’s website and contacted her directly to ask if she sold puppies to a student here in Connecticut. She said she did and she had a contract with him that he had to return the puppies if he couldn’t keep them. I told her I would get back to her as soon as I knew more.
I finally spoke to the student who agreed to bring the puppies over to my house that afternoon. After a four-hour delay, and a house full of family to greet the new puppies, three Chinese students arrived. Expecting to see the beautiful, big-boned puppies I saw represented on the breeder’s website, we were all in shock to see their condition. The male, which should have weighed 60 pounds by now, was so thin it was sad to look at him. Then the little female came in. We all had tears in our eyes. She looked like a skeleton with fur. They both had mange. I was livid and lit into these students with my anger and shock at the condition of these dogs. I had them sign the puppies over to me immediately.
The male was only 34 pounds, the female 23.5 pounds; the size of a three-month-old, not six-month-old puppy. We had a rough few weeks to follow. After a week, the female wound up at the vet’s overnight. The tiny amount of food I was giving them four times a day, was too much for her little, malnourished body and she was on IV’s for two days. Her growth is stunted and she may have medical problems for a very long time. Fortunately, they have wonderful temperaments, but neither were housebroken and although they got lots of attention, they were not fed or exercised properly and were dehydrated. After more research, I found that the puppies were only seven weeks old when the students bought them, for $2300 a piece. The students had never owned dogs before, and
were in college apartments that did not allow dogs over 15 pounds. They claim the breeder never told them what or how much to feed the puppies. She simply didn’t do her job.
After three weeks, the male Obi Wan, now named Chance, is with a wonderful family who bought a puppy from me over 20 years ago. I am keeping the little girl, who we named Willow. Still tiny, but doing well, she is a love and will be loved here for the rest of her life.
Next month I will go into more detail about the breeder, who made some serious mistakes when selling these puppies.