|Barked: Sun Jun 14, '09 12:35pm PST |
|I know it's hard. I'm in grad school and doing my internship while looking for a teaching position. The good news is that school has breaks, even if you're on a quarter system and work can schedule you time (it's nice when they give you vacation time). The truth is, you'll need time to settle the puppy in, and if there's not enough time to go pick up a dog for an 8-10 hour car trip, it's going to be tough to even start with a new puppy.
I'm not one who says you have to be at home 24/7 with your dog, because that's crazy, but being able to put quality time in when they're young pays AMAZING divdens. Our last golden, Teddy, was housebroken in 2 weeks (results not typical) because our family divided the work and was able to get her on a schedule really quickly.
The price thing is difficult, and I frankly feel a little uncomfortable about the idea of shipping puppies to begin with, so I understand your plight. However, I worked for a pet insurance company until last week (aaahhh, the joys of unpaid internships ) and the cost involved with a badly bred dog is OBVIOUS and I saw them day in-day out (and insurance can't pay for hereditary or congential conditions). Hip Dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, allergies up the ying-yang, all sorts of weird pre-dispensities that add up in the long run.
I know you'll find the perfect pup even if it takes a while. The AKC breeder thing only shows current litters, perhaps if you ask the breeder referral coordinator, she can put in touch with breeders that have planned litters and talk to you about your concerns:
Rio Grande Valley Golden Retriever Club
You can also look for breed clubs outside of NM: AZ, TX,and CO to see if they can point you towards a breeder who meets your standards. The show stuff...well, it really depends, conformation is not the be all and end all...but those health screens, that's something I wouldn't willingly gamble on.
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