Madeline really proved herself able to take on the responsibility of a dog with her hard work on her 4-H dog project this summer. But as well as Ike did, he’s really my dog. Plus a Pyrenees is just never going to be competitive in agility events. She wanted a dog of her own.
So we told her that she could buy her own puppy. The rules were that she had to save up her money for not only the puppy but the shots and vet work as well, and Matt & I had to approve her choice of breed.
She’s diligently saved her allowance and babysitting money all summer, even turning down a shopping trip offered by her Aunt Amy. And we let her keep $100 of her ribbon auction money. So it didn’t take as long as I expected for her save up a pretty good chunk of cash.
Settling on a breed was difficult. We ruled out all small breeds immediately, since we already own a giant dog. Don’t want anyone getting stepped on and crushed. It had to be a breed that would be both good at agility training, and good with the livestock on the farm. After several months of research the list was narrowed down to a collie or a German shepherd.
Then the question was whether to adopt a dog from a shelter or buy a puppy from a breeder. And it came down to the best interests of the farm. We just couldn’t take a chance that we’d get a dog home from the shelter and it would take after the chickens or the cats or anything else. We felt that a puppy brought up with the livestock would be a better choice.
So we started looking for local GSD breeders, and found one about 45 minutes away. And he happened to have a litter of 8-week-old pups ready to go Sunday. Madeline was about $45 dollars short of his price, but Matt & I decided to advance her the difference so that she could have a few days of dedicated puppy training before school starts Thursday.
So after that long-winded introduction, meet Abbie…