We welcomed a new little one to our family. I'm pleased to introduce our female Yorkshire Terrier, Lady Bird "Birdie" Sires! She's just a few months old (born November 30, 2021) and a typical puppy - CrAzY!
She came to us at around 2 pounds and is now almost 3.5 pounds, just to help you picture how small she is right now. But that shouldn't fool you. She is BOLD and fearless (most times, too much of both). She is a mouse, shark, flying squirrel, monkey all wrapped together in a sassy bow. She definitely has a big personality. Birdie joins her brother, Homer, our 5-year-old Australian Terrier, and a sister, Madison, our 15-year-old German Shepherd. For the most part, they like each other. It's taken some time for them to warm up to a puppy that is in their faces every chance she gets. She loves them both very much.
Behavior-wise - she's really good, aside from wanting to chew everything with her sharp fangs. "Ouch," is said in this household multiple times per day. She is picking up on potty-training pretty well, along with some other basic commands. Playing fetch is her favorite. We have taken her on long outdoor walks, and she sticks close and listens, which is great. We want her to be a good traveler and hiker like her big brother. She's also been really good with others, including dogs.
Other than that, we're ecstatic, frustrated, full of love, and annoyed. There are daily highs and lows. But that little face...and body...and bark...so. cute. In the end, a puppy has been worth it for us.
Puppy Purchasing Thoughts
I wanted to be honest about the entire process, because it wasn't all smooth sailing. I am an "adopt, don't shop" person...but we shopped. We specifically wanted a Yorkie and after following up on available Yorkie adoptions time after time with no luck for a few years, we started to consider going through a breeder. Why not wait longer? Well, we wanted whichever dog we got to be able to live with Madison before she passes away, and we don't feel like there's much more time left there.
Knowing that not all breeders are created equal, we chose to go through Petland in Iowa City. They were very nice, had lots of good reviews online, and connections to breeders of so many different types of dogs - including Yorkies. After our first visit, they found a Yorkie for us. If I could do it all over again, I would not go through Petland.
First, their prices are outrageous (like seriously, insane - I'm ashamed of what we paid) - but they don't drop the price bomb on you until AFTER you've met the dog and it is obvious, you're not leaving without it. You've got the new puppy glow (aka sucker face). And the cost doesn't include immunizations, getting spayed, etc. - that's on top of the purchase price. But ultimately, I thought, someone had to buy her, and if anyone was going to buy her, it was going to be us. I felt connected to her right away and just couldn't bear thinking about her going to another family.
Second, things seemed off from the start when I picked her up. She kept throwing up, and everyone insisted it was because she was so nervous and that is common with all small breeds like her. I questioned that then and still now, but it's whatever. That should have been a huge red flag, but we'd already put down a deposit. There I was with this little sick puppy, in too deep to turn back at that point.
Third, in our opinion, we believe they took Birdie from the breeder too young (which could have contributed to the issue above). We got her at eight weeks, which we knew felt wrong, but that's what it was. She had a rough first few days with us, bleeding from her hind end (which Petland told us was normal - but it is NOT at all normal). The angels at Pawsitive Pet Care were mortified by the whole situation. They wanted to know everything, including the name of the breeder she came from so they could look into them. They treated her and sent her home with an antibiotic that helped immediately. When we go in for her shots, everyone remembers her as "that dog" that came in frighteningly sick. They're so happy to see her healthy and happy - truly the best team if you're looking for a vet.
Moral of the puppy buying story - if you shop, research breeders on your own, work directly with them, make sure the puppies are not taken from their families too soon, and even if your brain is exploding with endorphins, be realistic about what you want to and can spend. Also - just say "No" to Petland. I think of them as a sleazy group of people that fall in the same group as used car salespeople - they're in it for the money, no matter if they have to stretch the truth or do questionable things to make a sale.
But in the end - we have Birdie - and that's all that matters! She's with a family who could nurse her back to health and give her a safe and loving home. Here's another pic of our girl. If you want to see more, you can follow her on Instagram @birdiesires. Yep, I'm that dog mom...LOL!