Something has been on my mind for some time and today, after another visit to a particular website, I'm compelled to write. I've let my blood pressure descend a little so as not to really torch this person. Hopefully eight hours was enough time.
I had a dog some time ago that I was interested in placing in a pet home. He was an older dog that had been out with a handler and had a rather rocky time of it since leaving Phoenix. Suffice it to say I was torn about this dog. I had finally made the decision that even though he was a nice enough dog for some people to breed, for me and the future of my breeding program, it just wasn't meant to be.
I had spent some time talking to a lady who had contacted me for a show quality puppy bitch. Well, good luck, I told her. Since I don't breed very often, getting a puppy was one thing, but a bitch? Was she kidding me? Any and all female puppies stay here for a LONG time, usually forever. The few that I've placed in pet homes had obvious conformation issues that would prevent them from being shown AND they were all spayed. Not to mention we all know how many boy puppies we get in comparison to girl puppies! But I digress . . .
This lady had me convinced she merely wanted something to show in an effort to spend more time with her daughter. A hobby of sorts if you will. I sent her pictures of the dog and this mere novice proceeded to tear into my dog's conformation as if she had been showing all her life. I was not impressed and told her forget it - he's not for sale.
Was I offended? You bet I was! I wasn't about to let this little boy go to someone that had ripped him to shreds when she hadn't as much as stepped foot into a show ring. The dog was pointed after all, and not just with a handler! I had put points on him myself - me and my ample ass! This dog was show quality. She TOLD ME SHE WASN'T INTERESTED IN BREEDING - she just wanted something to show.
Well, the little dog in question went on to complete his American and International titles. He even took a Group 1 placement in International competition. He is now living in Avondale, AZ with his new daddy James and his brother Oreo, a Shih Tzu about his same age. He is neutered and living large! James constantly is bragging about what a good boy he is. James is doing some therapy work with this dog - taking him to nursing homes - and he's flourishing! James has absolutely no regrets about adopting this lady's version of a less than perfect Shih Tzu.
And the lady? Well, these days she's got a full blown website hawking "Imperial" Shih Tzu. She even claims to be able to tell the potential buyer everything about the "Show dog world" yet she has never stepped into a ring. She has a Shih Tzu in every color of the rainbow, most of poor conformation in general - none meeting the weight requirements set forth in our breed standard. She has her nursery all set up online with varying prices for various colors and estimated full grown weights - we all know what an accurate science THAT is. The most ridiculous thing I saw on her site was a piebald pup advertised for $1,500. Eh GADS! Why? Because she estimates the full grown weight at 4 pounds! The key word here - ESTIMATED. She's been doing this now for maybe 2 years. Here truly is a lady that knows this breed - NOT! The whole time I was on her website I kept thinking "PT Barnum/sucker born every minute." If anyone buys a puppy from this lady, they a) haven't done their homework and b) are desperate! Me thinks this new found passion of hers has much more to do with the state of real estate (her "profession") in our country and nothing about her love of our breed - as she is destroying it.
Two points to consider: 1) All you Imperial hawkers out there, flame away at me - your comments are welcome. I can't be more pissed off than I am right now, and 2) Maybe this incident shows you why I don't believe anything anyone tells me anymore when they call me about buying a puppy. When you, the potential buyer makes it through my screening/interview, at the end I'll give you this lady's email address and you can send her a personal thank you note.
Frankly, I'd rather keep every puppy I breed then place them with people like this. It only proves that people will lie to get what they want without conscience. Especially someone that makes their living in a job squarely based on commission sales!
Shown above is AM / IABCA Group Winning CH WoTeH'sin If It Happens In Vegas - AKA "Lucky Christner" - going Breed over Specials is MS during his show career. Professional presentation by Corrine Thellman.