I always wanted a dog, and long before marriage I had told my then wife-to-be that I would love our kids to grow up with dogs in the house. She was totally against it. You see, she has always been afraid of animals, ever since she was a small girl. Any creature coming close to her can send her into a frenzy and potentially traumatize her to this date. Luckily, she is getting better at handling her fear.
Snowy at 1st Aunt
Knowing how Kusa fears dogs, I had given up on ever owning or keeping a dog. Then her aunt Lilly bought a cute little pup for her kids in Oct 2015. Though not clear, I think the seller was a puppy mill posing as a breeder or a vet. Nevertheless, we were all very happy on his arrival at my aunt’s home.
While everyone was excited, I think the home was not prepared for the new member. By then, Snowy was about 6 weeks old. He was barking and yelping all the time, refusing to eat most foods, going to the bathroom all over the place, and running all over the house. The worst part was, Snowy was a biter!
Snowy at 2nd Aunt
He would bite everyone, whether kids or adults. The biting and the noise became worse each day and eventually they had to give him up. From Aunt Lilly’s home, Snowy then went to Aunt Desma where he created a bond with my cousin Neremy. However, the barking, biting, and poor toilet manners did not improve. So he had to be shipped out once more.
Snowy at In-Laws’
The initial plan was for Snowy to go to my nephew Hassan, but he was first taken to my mum in law’s place. I had been more or less following his progress through WhatsApp posts but had never seen him. We finally saw him at Kusa’s parents and it was love at first sight. For me, my wife, and almost everyone who met Snowy. He was energetic, playful, and had some royal air about him like he was king of the world. We were glad to be his subjects.
Snowy Comes for Christmas
While at Kusa’s parents’ home, Snowy formed a tight bond with my 20-y-o niece Cindy and they were always together. She became Snowy’s primary caregiver and playmate. When it was time for Cindy to join her parents for Christmas, we finally got our chance to temporarily host him at our apartment. And that was my best Christmas present. Of course we had to take him back after Christmas when Cindy returned.
Where to Get a Puppy/Dog
When Aunt Lilly bought her pup, all of us were green on raising dogs. We are still in the initial stages of learning but we now know we should never purchase from puppy millers. If you want a puppy, your first consideration must be adoption and your first stop should be the KSPCA.
If you visit and don’t find a dog you connect with, then your second consideration should be rehoming. Find a good pet owner who has more than they can handle or are moving and rehome their dog. A good pet owner is one who keeps his pets up to date with vaccinations, has a valid City Council license for each dog, has valid pedigree certificates in the case of purebreds (registered by EAKC), takes time to play and train the dogs, and uses ethical training methods.
If you adopt from KSPCA, you will not pay for purchasing the dog. However, you will pay about Ksh. 8,000 to cater for the vaccinations and spaying/neutering. If you rehome, you may need to bring the dog up to date with vaccinations. Insist on the vet records and ensure that they certs are valid and in order.
Adoption and rehoming may not work well if you are searching for a pedigree/purebred dog. In that case, you will need to get in touch with ethical breeders. As opposed to puppy mills, ethical breeders keep proper records, use ethical methods, and are registered by the East Africa Kennel Club (EAKC). Check out their website or visit their offices to verify. Purchasing from a breeder will cost you a bundle, but you will be getting the breed and quality you prefer.
What You Need for A New Pup
There are a few essentials you will need when bringing home a new pup. Here’s a brief list you need to shop for BEFORE the puppy gets home.
- Age-appropriate food and treats
- Collar and leash
- Feeding and watering bowl
- Doggy bags
- Dog bed
- Shampoo, brush, and towels
- Dental hygiene products
Watch out for future posts to catch up on how he came back to us on a more permanent basis. Details on how he got used to apartment life, how he got toilet trained, how he stopped biting, and how he survived a gory car accident.