A year ago today I stood in the kitchen with a tiny little bundle of fur in my arms and called the kids downstairs. They had absolutely no idea what they were about to find. It had been Lois’s wish for years to have a puppy. Finally, a year ago today, we brought home Willow.
To say the kids were surprised is an understatement. In all honesty it was a bit of a surprise to us too! We had been looking at getting a puppy for months and had spotted this one for sale from a ‘breeder’ about 40 minutes away. After hesitating though we thought she had gone to another family and our chance was lost. We were surprised to find out several days later that she was in fact still for sale. It was her sister that had been sold, not her! So off I went to collect her.
Now at this point I broke all the rules. The advice is never buy a puppy unless you see the parents. Never buy a puppy unless you have been into the home and checked where it has lived. Research the breeder and check their credentials. I knocked on the ‘breeders’ door and was handed a puppy. Just like that. No invite into the house. They were busy ‘decorating’. I couldn’t see the Mum as she was at the ‘yard’ with the ‘breeders’ son. I had promised myself I would not buy this puppy unless I had done everything following the advice. I knew it was wrong to buy her. I also knew, with her in my arms, I wasn’t going to walk away without her.
So home Willow came and we all completely fell in love. She was so relaxed and content and absolutely gorgeous. We realised quite quickly though that she had fleas so the next day I took her to the vet for a check up and some flea treatment. She was fit and healthy so we booked her in for her first set of jabs at the end of the week.
Just 2 days after we got her though she started to have very runny poos but we were assured this was normal when they move to a new environment. 3 days later and she was vomiting. That night she vomited every half hour or even less. She had diarrhoea like you’ve never seen in your life and was so weak. I rang the vet first thing and rushed her in the second they opened. She was in a bad way and they decided to keep her and put her on intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Our poor little pup spent all of Christmas as an inpatient and in all honesty we thought we were going to lose her.
On Christmas Day evening we had a phone call to say Willow was improving against the odds and we could take her home. We were so happy to have her home! We have since discovered that the ‘breeder’ is now in prison for fraud. She has been illegally importing puppies from a puppy farm in Southern Ireland. Most of these puppies have become very sick. Several of them have died. Willow’s sister who was collected 2 days before we got Willow, was one of those who didn’t make it. Her new owners ended up with a £1500 vet bill and no puppy. How utterly heartbreaking. Especially at Christmas time too.
We are incredibly lucky that Willow made it . She is gorgeous and not just a dog but an important part of the family. She may have wrecked half the house, destroyed numerous dog beds and chewed various door frames, BUT, I am so thankful that she pulled through and is now enjoying life with us. I guess the moral of my story should be don’t ever break the rules like I did. But I don’t regret it. Not one bit. Just read what Lois had to say about it below and you’ll see why. For Lois, in fact all of us, having Willow is a dream come true.
Lois: “When Willow arrived she looked so cute, she looked like she was a baby monkey. I felt so happy! When I felt her she felt warm and fluffy. She did wee a lot but we just cleaned it up.”