It was October 2005, we had only lived in our new home for a couple of months when my husband declared, ‘We need a dog’. Obviously, the two cats (Sigfried and Roy) I had picked up from the SPCA were not enough, nor were the issues with the house (that in itself is another long long story), nor was the fact I had just become a full-time mature student travelling back and forth during the week from the country to downtown Toronto, nor were the regular visits to my Mom in the long-term care facility, NOW he wanted a dog. I have to say that part of me wanted one too, but the work of a puppy during this time was extremely overwhelming. There were still issues with the house that I felt needed immediate attention, more so, than another animal. Then he exclaimed ‘let’s get a Collie’!
‘Border collie?’ I asked.
‘No, a rough collie, I’ve always loved the look of them’, he said cheerfully.
So there I was, surfing the Internet on breed attributes of ‘rough collies’, which, in turn took me to the Canadian Kennel Club and then on to breeders.
My eye caught one breeder in particular. I decided I would email and see if they had any puppies available for purchase. I received an email reply quickly, letting me know there were no puppies at that time, but she had a 3-year-old female breeding dog available to the right home, did I want to come out to visit in the near future? Oh god, should I tell my husband about this, I wondered. Once again, my life was flying at warp speed. I decided to tell my husband; most likely this adult dog would be housebroken and would have very few, if any, issues. If we were to go through with this plan, the fewer amount of issues, the better, I figured. We picked a Saturday afternoon to drive the over an hour and a half trip, to visit the breeder and this female adult dog named ‘Matinee’.
It was a beautiful sunny autumn day, a little on the cool side, but not a cloud in the sky. We pulled up the driveway to the modest house where the breeder met us with open arms. Introductions were made all around, then off to meet ‘Matinee’ in the kennel area. As we followed the breeder she spoke about Matinee and how she was born in the States. She had supplied the ‘sire’ (male) and a breeder in the States supplied the ‘bitch’ (female). She told us that because she supplied the male, she had first pick of the litter and had picked this girl, whom she named Matinee. She spoke about breeding Matinee at the age of one year to a handsome dog named ‘the Jaguar’. Matinee carried full-term to birth 6 healthy puppies, 4 of which the breeder kept.
‘She was the best mother I ever had!’ the breeder told us as she opened the gate to the kennel.
Next this beautiful grey, black and white ‘blue merle’ came bounding out at us.
I believe it was ‘love at first sight’ for Mark, and it seemed the feeling was mutual from Matinee.
As Matinee and Mark played rambunctiously, the breeder spoke to me about ‘Mattie’ (as she referred to her), how she won many ‘puppy contests’, how smart she was, and how unfortunately, as she passed the one year mark, the judges did not like her expression due to her different colour of eyes.
‘Different colour of eyes?’ I said inquisitively.
‘Yes, she has one blue/grey eye and one brown eye’, the breeder remarked with pride.
Hmmm, I thought, now that’s interesting.
‘She seems to have a lot of energy for a 3 year old’, I said.
‘Yes, she loves people and would be great with other dogs’.
‘Ah, but we have 2 cats’ I said.
‘Oh she loves cats, I have cats myself and there is no problem, they all get along’, she said smiling.
‘Why are you trying to sell her?’ I asked, thinking if she was so amazing, wouldn’t you want to keep her yourself?
‘I tried to breed her recently, but it didn’t take, and IF I sell her, I would only sell her to a good home, although I need a guarantee she will be spayed. I would also suggest attending obedience classes with her as it helps with the bonding process. She is also crate trained, so if you leave for extended times, she will not roam the house.’
Oh great I thought. Not only were we thinking of purchasing her, ka-ching, having her spayed, ka-ching, purchasing a large crate, ka-ching, and now obedience classes, ka-ching, ka-ching!
Considering that Mark was the one and only breadwinner in the household for the next two years while I went back to school, whoa, this was sounding very expensive, not to mention time consuming.
Despite the fact she seemed to have a great disposition and was a very attractive dog, I wasn’t sure this was the right move.
Then she came over to me and nuzzled my legs until I opened them to form a bridge tower and she ran right through… what the…?
Laughing, the breeder said, ‘Oh yeah, she loves you! She only does this with people she loves’!
Hmmm, I kept thinking, I’m not too sure about all this. I turned and looked at Mark. Oh No! He had that look on his face. I could tell right away he wanted this dog and he wanted her now. But this time, I was going to win the battle. Nope, we were not going to buy a dog on impulse, no way!