The journey of getting Finn is a long, drawn out one. But, definitely worth it! If you don’t like stories about cute puppies finding their forever home, this post is not for you.
Before adopting a dog from any breeder here are a few steps to take and questions I recommend asking:
- How old are the pups?
- Are you able to meet the parents of the pup?
- Are you able to see how the pup interacts with the parents and siblings?
- Are you able to handle and meet the whole litter?
- Have they been weaned? Have they started eating real food or kibble?
- Has the pup interacted with other animals or people other than the ones it has lived with?
- What should you feed the pup?
- When can you take the pup home?
- What vaccinations/treatments has the pup undergone?
- Does the breeder have health certificates of the parents?
- Can you return the pup if there are any health problems?
- Are there any previous buyers that you can speak to for reference?
- Will there be a contract of sale?
Rewind to four months ago. I am in my final semester of university; a senior business student in general management and marketing. I am on the executive board for a campus organization, an active member in a fraternity, working two part-time jobs, and finding the smallest bit of time for socializing.
What I am trying to get across to you is that I was busy. Like non-stop busy. I was the type of busy where I wouldn’t get much sleep at all during the week, found it difficult to find time to eat, and struggled with answering simple text messages due to everything that was on my plate. And I know I am one of the thousands of students in the country that 100% understand what I am taking about.
On December 17th, 2019, I graduated from Coastal Carolina University. I DID THAT. I graduated with a double degree and as a Magna Cum Laude. I went home to Massachusetts for the holidays and came back to South Carolina to finish off my lease until July.
What I didn’t think about at the time was that once I went back to South Carolina, everything that kept me busy would no longer be something for me to do. Sure, I would still have my part-time jobs, but other than that I had nothing else going on. I got bored extremely fast.
You are probably wondering, “why does this back story matter?” It doesn’t, really. All you have to know is I was bored with not much to do.
I have been a dog person since I came out of the womb. In my presence, there has always been dogs around me to play with, cuddle with, and love. When I would come back to South Carolina I would have to leave my dogs back in Massachusetts and I would get really sad. I like to call it post-pawtum depression. Sometime around early January I got a fever, puppy fever. All of the sudden I needed a puppy.
The Hunt Begins
Of course, I did not actually need a puppy, but I wanted one bad. Therefore, I began my hunt. The hunt for the perfect puppy. I searched high and low while considering every option. For a long time I had been a large advocate for adopting dogs in need, aka from shelters. At the same time, I wanted a dog that was right for me. You guessed it, I had a whole check list while in the market for a puppy:
- High energy, to keep my bored ass busy
- Under one year old, so the puppy could grow up with me
- Grow to be a medium sized dog
- Low shedding, due to allergies
- Light colored eyes, preferred
I stumbled across a breeder. I know, everything that I stand against. But, believe it or not, it was what seemed to be a perfect match. I contacted the breeder right away. The dog was a bred Brittany Spaniel. Not knowing too much about the breed of dog, I did my research. I researched everything from the coat of the dog to the typical behaviors of the dog. The breeder finally responded to me and we made an appointment to pick up the pup that Saturday. WOAH, that was fast.
The location of the dog was a bit of a blindside. I knew the dog was in Georgia, but I didn’t know where Oxford, Georgia was. It turns out that Oxford was about five hours away, just outside Atlanta. Just to put my mindset into perspective; This was my first time ever adopting a dog, I have to drive five hours away to get him, I am buying this dog with cash, I am going to the house of a man I do not know or anything about. Sheesh, I was not confident in my decision making to go on this drive.
Before going, I was very uneasy about making this journey. I shared my location and every ounce of information I had with the people who knew I was going to get a dog. Not many people knew about my journey only because I didn’t want to jinx anything. I told my girlfriend, sister, girlfriend’s sister (dog guru), my roommate, and my best friend. These were the individuals I knew would be supportive and push me to be the dog dad I have always needed to be.
On the other hand, there was many things that settled my mind. The breeder sent me his address in advance which inquired my to Google Map it. The location seemed like a very nice home in a beautiful neighborhood (very settling). The breeder also insisted on having a phone call conversation with me the day before to organize a set-in-stone plan for the next day when I would be picking up the pup. One other important thing to note; There was two pups left in the litter of nine. Therefore, I had an easy, but big, decision to make once arriving to the home of the breeder.
In having everything planned, I had no choice other than to get into the car and head to Atlanta.
Destination: Oxford, GA
Maggie, my girlfriend, and I started our journey early in the morning. We had a plan to go to Atlanta in the morning to explore and then after pick up the pup to make our way back to Myrtle Beach. Although we had a set-in-stone plan, everything seemed to be going wrong in the morning…
Before leaving I got a text from the breeder. The text was essentially to say that he will see us soon, but he wants to bring the dog hunting one last time with his brother and mother. Brittany Spaniels are born hunting dogs and many people buy them to hunt. I will not be! When I got this text I was annoyed. I was annoyed for one reason and one reason only; This pup will go hunting, get dirty, and then have to sit on my leather seats for five hours. Luckily, the breeder already knew we were driving a ways away and bathed the pup before we got him.
As soon as we left the house, we realized we needed coffee. Soon after getting coffee, I got pulled over for “speeding” two roads away from my house. Technically, YES, I was over the speed limit, but was I actually putting other drivers in danger on the road going seven miles over? No, no I wasn’t. I only got a warning and we carried on.
Maggie decided to call her mom and we let her in on the dog dad update. She reminded us that we completely forgot everything needed for the dog including food, collar, leash, and water bowl. This was the last mishap and we were finally on the road.
Plans changed quite quickly. Around hour three in the car we got hungry and stopped for a quick lunch knowing the dog would not be allowed in restaurants. While eating I got a text from the breeder saying which ever dog I do not pick will be picked up around five by another buyer. This meant that I had to get there to have the first pick of what pup I wanted. This also meant that we would not be able to go to Atlanta beforehand. We would have to go straight to the breeders home to choose a pup.
During the ride I got nervous. What if we could not decide which pup to take home? What if we pick a random pup because we just cannot tell the difference and end up with the wrong one. Maggie assured me I would know; Lots of trust right there!
Meeting The Pups
At last, we arrive to the home of the breeder. It was the exact house seen on Google Maps and I felt weirdly comfortable. Maggie and I made a point that if we were invited into the home we would stay outside. Even if these people or person seemed to be normal, you never know what a closeted crazy person looks like. And just like that we get out of the car and instantly get invited into the garage… great.
We walk into the garage and there they are! The magnificent, high energy Brittany’s. One with a red collar and one with a black collar. I made a decision at this minute that if I could not decide on the dog, I would pick the one with the red collar (my favorite color). Although the two pups were almost identical, a few minutes go by and there was major differences between the two dogs
- Insane amount of energy to the point we had dirt on us, ripped my shirt, and ripped out Maggie’s hair
- Would not stop moving for us to actually meet him
- High energy, but gentle
- Welcoming to us and wanted to meet us
- Had white spots on the nose, aka Vitiligo, aka my skin disease
If you haven’t figured out which dog I chose, I don’t know what to tell you. I picked the red collared pup. After deciding, we were invited into the actual home to sign paperwork and we obliged… (it’s like we were giving the breeder a golden ticket to murder us). Unsurprisingly, the home was beautiful and the breeder was beyond normal. Paperwork had been signed, exchanged the money, alive, and well
Post-Puppy Pick Up
Knowing we had just driven over five hours to pick this pup up (in which we had a whole list of names for), we had no desire to hop back in the car for another five hour drive. We made the decision to go see Atlanta like we originally planned on doing.
What we didn’t know until we got out of the car in Atlanta was that it would be a little more difficult than we expected. Very quickly we realized the pup had never been into the city before. He was not use to other dogs who were not his mom or siblings, didn’t like his leash, and didn’t know how to properly pee in the grass. We realized walking the dog outside in the city was never going to work out. That is when we decided to hop back into the car and drive around the city to at least see it. We figured we would be back to Atlanta to show the pup where he was born when he learned how to be a normal dog.
Back on the road again with a destination of Myrtle Beach. There was a sense of excitement to show no-name his new home. We eventually had to make a pitstop for gas and to let the dog go pee. What do you know, the dog still hasn’t figured out how to pee outside. THIS FUCKING DOG HELD IT’S URINE IN THE ENTIRE WAY HOME. The total amount of time the dog did not pee was 7 1/2 hours. As soon as we pulled up to the house, the puppy peed all over my passenger seat! Good-boy.
Long story short we ended up naming him Finnegan. Finn’s name was not always Finn. For the first 24 hours his name was Huck. Once we started telling people his name was Huck, we got weird looks every time. It was like people couldn’t process the name Huck. The next day we thought we would try a new name, Finnegan. From the second day of having him, we realized he was such a Finn and there was no changing it. On another note, the first 24 hours of being a dog dad was a little insane, but we will save that story for another day.
Welcome Home, Finn
I hope you enjoyed coming along for the journey of obtaining my new best friend. As much as this puppy drives me crazy, he is the perfect addition to my family. He is so kind and sweet to other people, dogs, cats, and children. Little do they know how naughty he is at home…
If you are thinking of adopting a dog either from a shelter, pet store, or breeder I recommend 10/10 as long as you are willing to give your undivided attention and love to the animal. If you have any questions regarding dog adoption I will be more than willing to answer! Forewarning, I am no puppy adoption expert, but I do know a thing or two!