Saturday, 6 August 2011

Fluffer Rant

So you all know that every now and again I allow my girlie fluffs to get pregnant because I love the pitter patter of tiny feet around my house for 8 weeks and love passing on the happiness to other families even more.

In March Cala fluff gave birth to 7 beautiful little puppies.  One was tiny tiny, so small and not much bigger than the size of a minature hamster and Hubby and I thought that if we were going to lose one, she would be it but little fluff fought tooth and nail to live and we I nicknamed her Scrappy. 

Little Scrappy fluff used to lie over a bowl of food to eat out the far side to make sure she got some food before the other baba fluffs ate it all.  When they got big enough to knock her out of the way we separated her during feeding time to make sure she continued to thrive.  Here is a picture of how small she was at 3 weeks old:

Despite being half the size of the other fluffs she had a personality twice as big as any of them and I adored her.  We kept a different one, Abi fluff, as I know I will want more baba fluffs in the future and I did not want to put Scrappy fluff through a birth as she was likely to grow up to be a small Bichon Frise.  I cried like a baby when her new owner came to take her her new home.  Here is what she looked like the day she left me:

I thought we had found a really good home for her.  A mother with a 3 year old little boy who was very intelligent.  All the new owners are sent home with an 8 page information sheet on how to rear a puppy and how to look after those needs particular to Bichons especially the need to pluck their ear canals once a week to prevent the build up of curly "bum fluff", as I call it, as unattended that can cause ear infections which in turn when left untreated can cause deafness in later life.

Anyone knows that rearing a puppy is hard work and requires consistency and dedication and my guidance clearly states that.  This family, however, if they even bothered to read the information sheet decided to ignore it.

Two weeks ago I received a telephone call from the mother who was distraught as Scrappy fluff was still messing in the house, barked all the time and nipped.  Now lets face it, the puppy was 14 weeks old - of course it is still going to be messing every now and again even if you are consistent with the toilet training and nipping is part of teething.  After ensuring she was nipping for attention and not aggression I discovered that the puppy was left locked in a conservatory on its own away from the owners most of the time to prevent the little boy continually letting her in and out.  Well of course if you insist on locking the dog away from the rest of the family it will get lonely and if you allow the little boy to keep letting her in every time she barks or continuously knock on the window to disturb her she will bark. 

As for the toilet training, well if you insist on not going out with her each hour and praising her when she is good or leaving paper or puppy training pads in the conservatory when you nastily lock her up for some peace and quiet where do you expect her to go if she needs the loo? 

So Hubby and I visited - yes she barked but then we did take Abi fluff and she adored seeing her sister again and was SUPER exicted, however in the hour we were there the little boy picked her up and put her down nearly 70 times!  There was the reason she barked when she wasn't being picked up - she wanted that attention.  No paper was down at all yet the mother despaired when she piddled in the kitchen - you know when you just feel like saying "Erm, HEEEELLLLLOOOOO"?

After giving them some pointers and stressing that it is a 6 month role of consistency and trying in as nice a way as possible to explain that they needed to control their son as well as the puppy we left and hoped they could pull it together.

They couldn't.  The owner contacted me last week and said they were selling Scrappy fluff and wanted to give me first refusal.  She wanted the full cost back which I thought she had a cheek to ask for but I may well be biased.

Luckily, a friend of mine had regretted not buying one of the other puppies and so I had be priming her with Scrappy fluffs troubles and she was very interested in taking her on if the owners decided to sell her.  I was very clear that Scrappy fluff may take longer to stop barking and nipping for and that toilet training could also take longer.  So, when the owners called me I called my friend and she was estatic at the idea of being Scrappy fluffs new owner.

Hubby and I picked her up and she stayed with us overnight.  I nearly cried when I saw her ears - you cannot see the ear canal at all.  Luckily, there is no ear infection but to pull all the bum fluff out in one go will cause inflammation and probably traumatise the little mite for life.  That, and the fact that she would not let anyone near her eyes or ears makes the groomer and I question whether she has been hurt when the owner tried to clean her ears and eyes and whether it put them both of trying it again.

In the 24 hours she was in my home she barked 7 times - 4 when we put her to bed; we expected a sleepless night yet when I gave her a treat and covered her bed up she slept straight through the night.  The other 3 times were when she was playing with Abi fluff.  Granted she may have barked less as all she did was run Abi fluff ragged every moment she was awake - to the extent that before she left she was sleeping sat up with her head drooping to one side.

She went outside to toilet and when I nipped out of the house for an hour she went on the paper.  She did not nip one - she play mauled; that is it.  Dare I say that Scrappy fluff is better behaved than Abi fluff. 

Yesterday Scrappy fluff when off to her new home having fallen in love with her new mummy during a visit the night before and has settled in marvelously - no messing in her new home, no barking and no nipping.  Everyone she meets falls in love with her.

Below is a picture of the mess she came to us in.  Scrappy fluff's new mum has booked her in with my fabulous groomer in a week to get her cleaned up properly and I will post more pictures of how truly beautiful she is at a later date.

When I breed another puppy and if I sell them I am going to scare new owners half to death to make sure they truly understand the committment they are entering into and any uncertainty at all on their part will mean they do not leave with a puppy.

No puppy should be neglected to the extent that Scrappy fluff was for the first 8 weeks that she left this household.  I know there are worse cases but this one is very dear to my heart and I know that she has now gone to a home where she will be well and truly loved and trained correctly with the upmost patience and attention. 

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