Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny…and so were our spirits. Just a couple of hours more and we would have our new puppy. We were like two children at Christmas and the wait was killing us.
We went for a leisurely breakfast then stopped at a pet shop to pick up a crate for the new addition to our family. We had given Mac’s crate away many years ago, never thinking that we might possibly need it again.
I don’t know how many times we looked at our watches but the time seemed to be standing still. We decided to take a slow drive to the address where we were to pick up the puppy.
We arrived at 11am, an hour early.
The first words out of Mr. Painted Quilt’s mouth were, “I don’t like the looks of this” and if the truth be known, neither did I. The house was kinda shabby looking but being the eternal optimist that I am replied, “Let’s not judge this book by it’s cover”.
Mr. PQ is a retired police officer and he immediately knew that something was amiss.
It took three knocks before the ‘gentleman’ of the house came to the door. He was dressed in baggy pants…you know the kind that hangs halfway down the butt…no shirt and a woollen tuque pulled down over his ears. His words of greeting to us were, “We were expecting you a little later”.
If you’ve read this far then you have probably guessed that our 1800 mile quest for a puppy does not have a happy ending.
In short, the puppy that was handed over to us was NOT a pure bred Westie, the mother was NOT on the premises, the vet certificate was NOT real and was obviously forged because there were things crossed out, dates were changed and the veterinary clinic sticker was missing.
Without going into all the sordid details, what we uncovered was a fence for a puppy mill which supposedly are a real problem in Quebec.
We were devastated.
Forget the fact that we had already driven 900 miles to find out that we had been taken and that the $200 deposit that I had e-transferred to them was as good as gone. Our concern was for the poor little puppy.
As soon as Mr. PQ identified himself as a retired police officer and that our next stop when we left there would be the local police station, they became very belligerent and defensive and started coming out with contradictory stories, different from the ones that were told to me during our two telephone conversations prior to making the trip.
At that point we were going to leave with the puppy when they started to sing a different tune and offered to give us our money back if we would “just forget about it”. After showering us with insults, they reluctantly returned our money and we left….directly to the police station.
Since returning home, we’ve been told that this operation has been ‘closed down’, the couple has been arrested and they will not be operating from these premises any longer. The puppy and several kittens were seized and are now being cared for at a local shelter.
I want to say that I am sorry if I led you to believe that our story had a happy ending and that we came home with a new puppy. That was not my intention. I just wanted to share with you the fact that it is so easy to be fooled by misguided people who obviously have no conscience.
It was an emotional and expensive lesson but the one thing that Mr. PQ and I have learned is that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. We also learned that unless you know the people personally who are offering “pure bred” dogs for sale, pay a little more and purchase your pet from a registered breeder.
That’s what we are going to do.