It was love at first sight. Five years ago, the day I met our first dog, Blondie. At that time, she was a four and a half month old smooth collie, who was raised four hours away in a family of championship show dogs. Until she became a first level champion, we co-owned her with her breeder.
What kind of agreement is co-owning a dog? The arrangement was that Blondie would begin to be shown at six months of age. As soon as she accumulated fifteen points, in a minimum of three shows, she would be ours to keep. The breeder explained that although she would not be kept as a long-term show dog, her form was so perfect that wanted her to become a first level champion. When we inquired about how long this would take, the breeder responded that there was no definite answer. She suspected within two months, maybe four at the most, but no guarantees. As Blondie began to attend dog shows, my family anxiously awaited the results; we would either receive a call from the breeder, or see the results posted on the internet. I grew very impatient and regretted that my parents ever entered into this type of agreement.
The most disappointing moment for me was when my family attended one of Blondie’s shows which was located about two hours away from our home. Blondie was thirteen points into the required fifteen. We excitedly brought the new crate, leash, collar, and toy we had purchased to the show with us. If Blondie acquired two points, she would be able to come with us. I nervously watched as the judge studied her. As the winner was announced, I crumbled. This was not to be Blondie’s day; the day she would come to live with us. I kept a picture of Blondie over my bed, and continued to wait. A few weeks later, Blondie came to stay with us for three weeks because there were no shows for her to attend. At the end of that period, I struggled with having to give her back to the breeder. However, as my mom re-iterated, we have this contract. The words agreement and contract became dreadful for me hear.
One Sunday, during Blondie’s fifth month of showing, my mom and I went to my traveling soccer game. Blondie’s show that day was somewhat local, so we brought the crate, and other necessities, with us to the game just in case of a miracle. My mom received "the call" and we raced to the show site. I was so relieved and happy. This was the best day of my life, to date.