Parent fail. In the big scheme of things I did not commit a big, giant, honking parent fail but it feels like one. I hate failing anybody, let alone my daughter.
My pre-teen daughter had her heart set on a black Maltipoo puppy and we found one in Michigan, about three hours from us. She wants to name the puppy Oreo, after her favorite cookie. But being new to the Maltipoo scene, and not exactly a natural born animal person, I have been taking my time learning about breeders and what questions to ask. I used to be really scared of dogs when I was little, and we obviously didn’t have one when I was growing up. My parents were not dog people, so it all still feels like foreign territory for me even though I married my husband but fell even harder for his adorable, three-year-old basset hound who lived to be fourteen.
Couple all the above with the fact that one of my day jobs is to be a risk manager, and the primary occupational hazard of that line of work is to think of the all the things that can go wrong. Needless to say I have been extra cautious.
I’ve learned you need to move fast in the Maltipoo market. Pups get scooped up fast. We were planning to make the trip to Michigan this weekend to see the pup in person and assuming we fell in love with her on the spot, we’d get her. I don’t know that I was 100% sold on the idea of black puppy, as I think the apricot and creme ones are very cute too, but the idea was growing on me because all three kids have very dark hair, almost black. She wanted a black puppy to look her and for it to be a girl so it would even out the boy/girl dynamic in the house.
Last night I wrote to the breeder asking for her address so we could plan the trip and agree upon a time. She wrote me back to say that her last black pup had been purchased, the runt of the litter who had a curly coat and a little patch of white on her chest that made her a perfect Oreo. I could have put a deposit down on her, but something told me to wait.
I had to tell my daughter first thing this morning. It did not go well. You see, her birthday is next week and she was certain that she and this puppy were destined to be together.
I’m sick to my stomach. Now I feel like I made a mistake. Breeders tell me that nobody wants a black Maltipoo because you can’t see their facial expressions, and then sometimes the black totally fades away to little-old-lady gray. In other words, the black ones are hard to come by because no one intentionally breeds for them, and as far as I can tell there are only a couple available right now in the entire US. And I just gave up the opportunity to choose between three of them relatively close to us.
I ruined my daughter’s birthday, or so it feels. This is the perfect time for us to get a pup because life is a little quiet right now, unlike the rest of the year, but it certainly looks like that window of opportunity closed.
I know there will be other puppies, and the right one is out there, waiting for us, but right now I’m drinking a big, cold cup of “you suck”.
Call me the puppy party pooper. I’ve earned it.