About two months ago, while out shopping, Ivy ran into a friend of ours from high school, Mary. While catching up, Mary mentions her dogs are expecting a litter. Bitch is a Great Dane and stud is a Mastiff, for those interested. Ivy, currently looking for a puppy, expresses interest. Mary promises to let Ivy have pick of the litter. Updated contact information is exchanged, all is well and good.
A month passes. While out shopping we stop in to the store Mary works at to say hello, look around, and talk about the puppies more. We learn the puppies were born just days prior. If my memory is correct, the litter of 7 was: 1 tan male, 1 tan female, 1 brindle male, 1 brindle female, 1 black male, and 2 black females. Ivy, and the rest of the family, would prefer a female pup, so she requests the brindle girl. Mary informs us that the brindle female is spoken for by her sister-in-law. Even though I had my heart set on a brindle, I realize that 1) this isn't my dog and 2) immediate family should have first pick. No big deal, we'll take the tan girl instead. Mary agrees to this and we (once again) exchange contact information.
We spend the next month comparison shopping for all the supplies a new puppy could ever need. Crate, bedding, leads, toys, food, etc. We also inspect and interview several training schools and boarding facilities (We're rennies, it's not fair to drag the animals along with us). Countless hours, not too mention gallons of gas, are spent driving around town in search of the best quality for the least expense. During this time we call Mary several times and she never returns our calls. Irritating, but not a huge problem as we can always see her at her store.
Knowing the pups will soon be weaned we planned to purchase the crate yesterday. That gut feeling tells me to try calling Mary once more. Again, no answer. Well, what's one more errand while we're out and about? We'll just stop by and visit with Mary again.
We arrive to learn that the tan female (promised to us a month prior) has been sold. We are not happy about this, to say the least. First of all, we were promised pick of the litter and now not once, but twice has our pick been given away. Secondly, there was never any mention of money exchanging hands. Now I realize these are not inexpensive animals, but Mary never once suggested the pup would be anything but a gift, considering our long standing friendship. However, had she initially quoted us a fair price (when we first learned about the pups and she promised us first pick), we would have been more than willing to pay it. Seeing as we are not pleased, Mary offers us one of the black females for $100 less than the asking price. We decline this offer.
Lesson for pet owners/breeders: Don't make promises you're not willing to keep. Also? Be upfront about what fees you expect to be reimbursed for.
This tale of bad service, from a friend of all people, does have a happy ending though. We've decided to rescue a retired Greyhound.