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Hi guys, I'm writing this to share the story of Dexter, my now 3 month golden retriever mix, and also about my experience with a reprehensible, unethical breeder.

note (before reading): I live in Indonesia, and people here have very different attitudes regarding dogs than in the states. So if anything seems strangely off, it might be due to cultural differences.


Ever since I could remember, my brothers and I had always wanted a puppy. We'd always wanted to come home to a wagging tail and an innocent pair of puppy eyes. Like most kids, I loved grew up watching airbud, so I've always wanted a golden retriever.

So one day my mom decided to surprise us by buying a golden retriever. The reseller said it was a 2 month purebred golden, and that he could have it for us the next day. Basically a reseller is a person that connects buyers with breeders. So all communication is conducted through the reseller.

Long story short the puppy arrived, but something was off. It wasn't a golden. In fact, it was completely different from the photo the breeder had sent. We informed the reseller, who then contacted the breeder.

Frustratingly, the breeder refused to take responsibility, and didn't allow for refunds. So the reseller took back our puppy and sold it to another buyer. Of course we made sure the buyer was a responsible dog owner. The buyer was actually a chef at a prestigious hotel in Jakarta, and had owned dogs for a number of years, so suffice it to say the puppy was in good hands.

The reseller then used the money to purchase another dog for us, which this time he was sure would be an actual golden. Note that he purchased the dog from the same breeder. This is the breeder who sent the wrong dog last time.

The very next day, the dog arrived. We named him dexter! But something was terribly off (again). He smelled terrible. He had almost no energy. He didn't eat, and he barely wanted to play. It was the most lethargic puppy I'd ever seen. At the time I was a first-time puppy owner, and heard that puppies slept up to 18 hours a day, so for the first 24 hours I dismissed my concerns. After all, adapting to a new house is stressful, and it's only normal that the puppy's appetite be low.

The next day, he still wouldn't eat, and spent 80% of the day sleeping. Perhaps the most alarming sign was that his diarrhea was white, and smelled absolutely rancid. I overlooked this fact the first day since I wasn't able to clean up his stool then (my mother did). I immediately called the vet and told them about his symptoms. We made an appointment for the very next day and hoped for the best.

Long story short we took him to the vet and explained his symptoms to the doctor. The doctor immediately had suspicions for Parvovirus, a disease causes an infectious gastrointestinal (GI) illness in puppies and young dogs. For relatively older dogs this had a significantly higher survival rate, but if my puppy were infected then the chances of survival were at most 50%. The doctor ran the test and it came back positive. My heart sank. We also had a second opinion who thought his chances of survival were slim (50%). Say what you want, but a 50% survival rate is depressing. Imagine owning your very first puppy only to find out that the chances of him dying were as random as flipping a coin.

Important to note is that the symptoms showed up on the very first day. The Parvovirus DOES NOT incubate that fast, and requires several days before symptoms start showing up. What this meant was that the breeder had sent us a dog infected with Parvovirus. Of course we were angry, not so much so because we had been sent an infected dog, but because the breeder had apparently neglected to vaccinate the dogs. Of course the first round of vaccinations (at 6-8 weeks) would not guarantee fending off parvo, but it would significantly increase chances of not catching the disease. We were also at fault for not making sure the puppy had been vaccinated, but here in Indonesia, 2 month old puppies are almost always vaccinated before being sold, so we just assumed the same went for dexter.

Furthermore, the timing just seems perfect. Too good to be true in fact. First, the breeder sends us the wrong dog and refuses to refund our money. He then sends us another dog, infected with parvo, that showed symptoms the very first day. This would argue that the dog had already showed symptoms even before arriving at our house. It seems to me at least, that the breeder selling us this puppy was a means of disposing any infected puppies.

Now why would a breeder do this? Simply to cut costs. Immediately after the tests came back positive I hospitalized dexter for 10 days. The doctor also prescribed antibiotics. Overall the treatment cost us millions of rupiah. In your country that would cost thousands of dollars. It's cheaper in Indonesia but then again our median income is far lower that that of the states. I know this might come off as negative thinking, but I'd think that the breeder purposely sent us a parvo-infected puppy to avoid the hefty hospital fees that would come with treatment. He only had two choices: let the puppy die, or sell it to an unsuspecting family.

Those 10 days were stressful. The first few days his health would fluctuate. Luckily we caught the disease before more severe symptoms occurred (bloody stool and vomit). After a grueling 10 days his condition had stabilized, and we could take him home.

I kid you not the moment we got home dexter was happier than he had ever been. I imagine being hospitalized for 10 days is traumatizing for any puppy. He ate, ran, and played, like any puppy would. Of course his energy levels weren't what they are now (one and a half month later), but they were a huge improvement from his first days here.

Too long didn't read: please buy from a credible, respectable, and ethical breeder. Visit the dogs before buying, and make sure the living conditions are sufficient there. I bought from a reseller, who according to his code of ethics (fishy huh) would not share the contact of the breeder, so we could only see photos of the puppy. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

Now dexter is 3.5 months old, and eats like a pig. After the parvovirus (at two months) he was only 2.1 kilograms, or 4.6 pounds. One and a half months later his weight has double to 4.8 kilograms, or 10.5 pounds. We give him the taste of the wild kibble, and carrots are his favorite snack! We've taught him sit, shake hand, down, rollover, and stay so far, so he's coming along nicely! We love him and don't regret a single thing.

Question!
Even though my dog seems healthy, he seems to be very light for a golden retriever, at 3.5 months, shouldn't he be at least 20 pounds? He's only 10.6 pounds. He's well fed trust me. I'm sure he's a golden retriever mix (the breeder said he was purebred, but then again the breeder can't be trusted).
Could anyone here help identify his breed? I think he's mixed with a smaller breed, which is why he's so small for his age. Thank you! :)
 

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That's definitely not a purebred golden retriever. Sorry :( I'm glad he's ok and he's very cute, but I would definitely complain...



Here 'brokers' will sell you puppy mill puppies. I'm not sure how it works in your country, but that reseller is just as much to blame for staying in business with such a 'breeder'.
 
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