Monday, 27 May 2013

Selling Puppies And Having The Courage To Say No

Sable - a wicked whippet saved!
Selling puppies and having the courage to say no are two things I hate doing. But do them I must.
Sometimes it’s easy, such as when the person on the other end of the telephone line or e-mail is asking for what you haven’t got, such as: “Do you have any Blue whippets?”
Er no the advert actually said: “Two black whippet puppies for sale” but no one said that the prospective owners’ had to be bright!
Gauging someone just via telephone is a difficult art and trying to work out what they are like via e-mail or on-line is virtually impossible. You have to go with your gut. Even though that is the most difficult thing in the world to do for a nicely brought up “middle class gel” – we are hard wired to always say yes!
I just feel so guilty about saying no!
But I remember the narrow escape I had the last time we had a litter of wicked whippets to sell and that nice sounding old lady on the other end of the telephone line who said all the right things and seemed to be a match made in heaven turned out to be an old harridan who clearly should never have a puppy, let alone a dog.
But back then it wasn’t me who decided to say no even though my gut was screaming at me to turn her away; it was her – Thank God.
So this time, I am determined to follow that gut wherever it leads, even if I land up with a few more wicked whippets that I originally anticipated!
Today my gut was roiling.
Going overtime in fact.
I get a call from a very smart sounding lady (why is it the posh ones lull us into such a false sense of security?). She wants to buy one of my puppies. At first she’s after the girl, but I tell her the girl’s gone and almost before I suggest it myself she says the boy will do.
The hairs on the back of my neck rise a bit.
I ask the usual things to get a sounding as I call it and with each answer my sense of unease mounts. They have a one acre garden, they go on long walks they have dogs and cats and horses - it sounds idyllic but she’s not had whippets before, she’s not going to puppy training; she doesn’t need to. She tells me she can’t see me tomorrow but will come round on round on Wednesday.
My hackles are straight up!
I tell her I am not about on either Wednesday or Thursday because of the local county show. I can tell she’s non-plussed. Maybe she can hear the reticence in my voice. Maybe my quiet forcefulness makes her think for a moment so she suddenly changes tack and she asks me if we know each other. I say no I don’t think so. I don’t recognise her name but the county is small so we may have crossed socially so to speak – I too can have a very posh voice when I want.
She tries to place me, build those social bridges that will make her acceptable to me so that she can have her way and so despite me being very uneasy we agree for her to come round on the Wednesday evening.
I twitch after I put the telephone down. I do NOT want her to have this puppy.
So I Google her and find her on Facebook and that alarmingly we have several connections in common – it always comes as a shock that.
So I call one of our mutual friends up and boy am I glad that I did! I got a very interesting low down and it makes the decision to call her up and say no thank you very easy to do indeed.
I wait an hour then call and lie like mad.There is no point being rude and saying it like it is but I think she knows I lie. She says through gritted teeth that she was willing to take the puppy that very evening, intimating that I am the one who has lost out on an easy sale. Even though I had said the puppy was now promosed to a very old family friend! I fear she hates to be thwarted.
And everything falls into place, my gut instinct was right!.
I say firmly and terribly politley as well, that I let no one take my puppies away straight away. I can tell she is more than shocked, she’s totally fazed. From her point of view it must be an anathema. Someone has got something to sell and she can’t have it immediately.
I explain that a 24 hour resting period between viewing a puppy and taking it home is a minimum. It’s not just that the new owner has to be sure that the puppy is the right one for them, the breeder, I say sweetly, has got to be sure that the prospective owner is suitable too.


Rob-bear said...

Another puppy saved by your internal wisdom! But good for you on making sure as you can of the little critter's future.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting
Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Well done ! It might have led to unhappiness all round .

Annie Cholewa said...

Good for you.

Actually, having worked in whippet rescue for years, bloomin' good for you.

Why on why do people always want a blue whippet ... because they can breed from them and sell the puppies on to Joe public for more than they could any other colour.
Which colour of whippet is commonest in rescue ... black! And the numbers are too high for this to be because more blacks are born.
Which two whippet colours do least well at show ... black and blue.
It's a mad world ;)

Expat mum said...

Very curious to know exactly what her crimes were...

Unknown said...

Rob-bear - I am always doubtful about my gut but this time I was spot on..
SmitoniusAndSonata - I think you are absolutely right, but I st ill feel guilty when I follow my gut feelings!
Annie - I never knew that! I mean I know blues a popular but I didn't know about blacks being so unpopular They are not a common colour for whippets in my experience so I would have thought otherwise. Personally I say sod colour like all dogs it's about personality - it wins hands down in this household as it must when you have a wicked whippet!!
Expat mum - there was a whole paragraph on that and then I got cold feet in case she found me throug FB etc but I will tell: from the original call I just found her too imperious, I didn't get the impression she listened. I never got a straight answer as to why she wanted a whippet in particular as she had never had one, she had not done any research into them and their characters. she was not going to go to puppy training because she didn't need to.
When I telephoned our mutual friend she told me the tale of how the woman had bought a puppy from her. A Labrador. The puppy grew up quite wild and a bit of a handful, it was not trained. It caused problems. Instead of giving it back to my friend as my friend had reiterated that she was willing to do, the woman had a perfectly healthy dog destroyed.
As a breeder that is devastating.
In my view what the lady did was unforgivable. There was no need to see story the dog - the only problem it had was the fact that it was not trained. My friend was willing to take it back, sort it out and get it a new home.
And that lady knew it.
Not the sort of person I want my pups to land up with!
Sorry . I rant a bit. But I do take giving my pups a new home seriously. I want then to have the owners they deserve. Not just wealthy ladies with massive houses and lots of horses etc but genuine people from all walks of life. My pups have homes with all sorts, gamekeepers, butchers, policemen, the long term disabled, epileptics, housewives, teachers, construction workers, millionaires. They all have one thing in common a desire to own a whippet, to learn about whippets, to love them. I don't think I ask too much...

About Last Weekend said...

Wow, this was a gripper! it was like reading a short story which had it all: class, conversation and puppies. Isn't it funny that our initial reaction to people are often right - that we should go with our gut instinct and that when we get it wrong it's because we ignore it. Was that what that book Outliers was about? I"m fascinated to know what your friend said about her too! (was she the Cruella of the whippet world? Or just really annoying)

Wally B said...

Good for you. There are way too many unhappy dogs with lousy owners.

Iota said...


I remember my mum once saying no to someone after they'd come to view a Border Terrier puppy. When she phoned and said they couldn't have one, the woman retorted "Well, I didn't want one of your stupid dogs very much anyway"... I think my mum had made a good decision.

Trish said...

Good for you, Tattie. Quite a tale (tail?) of dastardly doggie drama!
Ps - are you going to BritMums Live this year?

Unknown said...

About Last Weekend - Definitley along the lines of Cruella!!!! But I can't quote otherwise it woul dbe libellous!!!!
Wally B - There are too many but I won't let this one be one!!
Iota - your mum was very wise but it is still a difficult decision to say no esp. when your hsuband is growling in teh background saying you have too many dogs (5 whippets isn't excessive really!!!!)
Trish - A very dgiie dramas and yes I am going to BritMums though where I am staying I have yet to work out! Crossing fingers I'll get a good last minute deal...Are you going???

Go on you know you want to...


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