I grew up in a home without dogs, or pets of any kind really, except for a minnow or two from our lake that my brother would keep in a jar… until they died and got flushed away. I know, no pets?? So how did I survive? Well, barely… actually, I’m kidding, my childhood was awesome in two picture perfect towns in Illinois, but no dogs.
So, the second my boyfriend (now hubby), Todd and I moved in together (ok fine…when I just stopped going home to my apartment… semantics, oh geez!) I immediately wanted to get a dog of my… I mean, “our” very own. Hubby was living with his brother and they had a pomeranian named Mika. They grew up with Pomeranians. The choice was not a hard one… a Pomeranian it must be… and a Pomeranian, it was.
I never had a pet so… I didn’t really know what I was doing. I took my lead from Todd. I was so excited I didn’t really care where it came from… I just wanted a dog. A little confession is due… I bought from a “so called” breeder and I don’t regret one second of that decision.
On the weekends in the early 90’s my hubby and I used to go to a flea market in Dallas,TX called Vikon Village. We bought lots of bad wrought iron, glass furniture, gargoyles and… oops, a Pomeranian named Spirk. She was the cutest little ball of fluff in the playpen full of puppies… I spotted from a distance. As I approached the “playpen”… I fell instantly in love. I wanted to take her home that day… but for some reason I couldn’t and I still don’t recall why.
What I do know is that I happened to get very lucky that my husband hurt his foot pretty bad… ok, not the most loving wife… but hear me out. When Todd got hurt… the Doc made sure he was on some really good meds… let’s say… maybe heavy duty is an understatement. Usually, I’m not one to take advantage of a drug induced state… but, I seized the moment, yay me… and I asked if we could go back and get the dog at the flea market. As sure as those pain killers were working, Todd agreed with a very big smile. Within 2 hours we had our new baby!
Now that I a little older and a little more experienced/educated, a sad fact is that Spirk was a puppy mill dog, and sold to us way too young at about 10 weeks. Luckily she ate well, had no diseases like parvo, worms, etc that many Puppy Mill dogs can get. We were very fortunate that she turned out to be a strong, smart and healthy dog that lived 16 full fun years.
About a year later hubby and I moved into our own apartment. Spirk needed a buddy and this time we vowed to do it right and find a reputable breeder, and this began our search for Gibbles. We wanted a party colored pom and found a nearby breeder. When we went to meet the dogs , it was a small home with probably 15 dogs… most of them puppies.
Naivety… has been branded on my forehead. I nor my husband knew much about “Back Yard” breeders. So from the looks of it… everything was on the up and up… sometimes naivety is your best friend or your worst enemy. One of the most important aspects of most “illegal” back yard breeders is that they do something so cruel, I vomit in my mouth every time I think about it… they debark their studs and bitches. I thought it was strange that there was no barking with all those dogs but chalked it up to “good training”. Later I came face to face with the result of “debarking”… that’s when it hit me how cruel these people are.
At that point in time we were lucky, our Gibbles was not debarked, she was actually very healthy for the awesome 15 years we were lucky to be her pawrents. Spirk and Gibbles became fast friends. For all we knew this was the way we were going to do this Pomeranian Parenting thing, looking for breeders or pet stores for dogs. It was what we knew.
Then I finally got clued in and realized what a fantasy world I was living in. Hubby and I were a year into our now marriage… new home and new jobs. The last thing we thought we needed was another dog. Yea, funny how life slaps you in the face and brings you exactly what you need… even if you didn’t realize it. Turns out, it’s exactly what “belle” needed also.
I was working at the Mall… so obviously, the highlight of my world was when the SPCA brought the rescue dogs to the Mall to get adopted every Christmas. This Christmas a sweet Corgi/Pom mix would be brought every day and no one adopted her. I was kinda happy and sad at the same time. I really liked seeing her everyday when I would go and visit. She had the saddest eyes that melted my heart. I know this sounds crazy but I walked past her every morning, to say good morning… and every night, just to say good night… this lasted two weeks. I didn’t know what to do.
Then on Christmas Eve I walked past and she wasn’t there. I thought, Yes… she found a home! I was ecstatic, until they informed me that Belle was not adopted, she was actually loaded on the van with the other dogs that were scheduled to be euthanized that night! I called hubby and he agreed, while we had no business getting another dog, we were indeed not going to let this beautiful baby die… for no reason. $60.00 and some paper work later… “Belle” was ours.
Wait, did I forget to mention the reasons “Belle” was probably not adopted before Christmas Eve? She was recovering from a car accident that broke her pelvis, leg and hip, she also had Heartworm.
So our little $60 Corgi/Pom mix turned out to be the $2600 dollar Pom and as fate would have it… a little bit more because she developed pancreatitis from swallowing a sock… really, a sock? We have never had a Pomeranian more willing to please than her… all she ever lived for were the words, “Good Girl”. That’s it. She was so funny because she was the youngest but was the biggest protector of her adopted siblings. It’s unfortunate that she passed last year… 2 months shy of 19 years.
In 2007 we had a house full of senior doggies. Medications, special food, ridiculous routines, last thing we needed was another dog right? Hubby and I had already decided that we were probably going to adopt from now on because it just felt awesome to give dogs in need a great home and get all that unconditional love in return. Having decided that, we still would have probably waited a while to get another dog given our full house. That was not to be as we were about to be adopted by a “Puppy”.
One April morning I almost hit this little ball of fluff with my truck. She was a parti-colored Pomeranian, dumped in our neighborhood. We put out flyers and placed ads in our local newspaper but to no avail. No one responded to our ads, her microchip was not registered and slowly but surely she kinda just eased into our household… thank goodness, she is the sweetest Pom ever.
“Puppy” as we affectionately call her, is very much her own dog. She would be happy to be a one dog household. We however got used to a houseful of Pomeranians and decided this year to add two more adopted Pomeranians to the mix. Muppet and Kifli both came from our lovely Instagram/ Facebook doggy network.
I’m not saying that I’m the “crazy” Pom lady… but let’s just say…
We adopted them from Pommy Country and Canadian Pomeranian Rescue. No place is too far to go to save a Pomeranian. Muppet has no teeth and Kifli was debarked… which horrified me. Every dog should have it’s own voice.
We were lucky enough to not have the nightmare experiences that some have with puppy mill, breeder and adopted dogs. I can’t say in all honesty that we would never buy another Pomeranian. I can say that adopting a dog however brings a whole new level of loyalty, love and life. You can be the whole world of difference in a little one’s scary circumstance and they will never ever forget your kindness and will return the love tenfold.
Being a Pommy Mommy has been the greatest accomplishment I have ever wanted to share. Thank you for letting me tell my story.
~ Reine Nagy