Thursday, October 8, 2015

Meet Bristol

Bristol is our OCD girl! She can only come into the house by going around the perimeter of the yard! Every time, no matter where she is in the yard she will follow the exact same route to come in. Bristol was our second dog, after getting Fritz we decided we wanted a female. We found an ad on Craigslist for a female German Shepherd for sale nearby. We drove out to the address we were given that evening. No one was home when we got there so we walked around the property. We found several dogs in a small kennel area, a horse in a corral and, in the middle of the horse corral, a pen. This pen was constructed of mismatched wire and old wood. Inside the pen was a partial wooden structure, it was made of three walls and part of a roof that had collapsed on one side. The pen was filled with horse manure and there was a large trash pile on one side of it. Also in this pen were two German Shepherd puppies. It was mid October which in Colorado is quite cold. We got back in the car to warm up and call the person who owned the puppies. She told us she was running late, she was picking up her daughter and would be there shortly. We sat and waited, playing with the puppies until we got too cold. We found ourselves really hoping that second puppy was spoken for because the thought of leaving any puppy in that horrible place was unbearable.
Eventually a car pulled up and a woman and young girl got out. The woman reeked of alcohol and Lysol. She was slurring her words as she tried to tell us all about the female puppy. The first thing we asked was if the second puppy was taken. No, she told us as she stumbled  over to open the pen, he was available. I crouched down as she released the pups, the little male  puppy immediately came over to me, put his paw on my leg and looked at me. My husband and I looked at each other and he told the woman we were taking both pups. We settled on a price for both, she was desperate for the money and agreed pretty quickly. We left with two puppies, brother and sister who became Bristol and Kuno.
 On the ride home both puppies vomited, large piles of horse manure, grass and cigarette butts. I think that had been the staple of their diet. 
This was an example of backyard breeding, not even the worst of it. I've heard many nightmare stories of backyard breeders that were far worse. These are the breeders who need to be stopped. 
When Bristol was about a year old we learned she has an autoimmune disease, it caused the muscles of her head and jaw to shrink making it difficult for her to eat. We adjusted her diet to soft foods and she began to gain weight. Apart from her small head Bristol is a very healthy active girl today, a little OCD but we love her!