It's Molly dogs birthday today. Molly is our 8yr old cocker spaniel who we had had since being a puppy.
We bought her as a present for our son, who was going through treatment for Leukaemia at the time and as he was nearing the end of the treatment we promised him a dog. Believe me, it was not an easy task, finding a dog. I thought I would have chosen the very first one I set my eyes upon but no, it took a few visits to see what was out there, what kind of homes they were coming from and what the breeder was like. One thing I did not want to do was to fill the pockets of some awful breeder who was selling litter upon litter with no thought for the mummy dog.
The first set of puppies we went to visit were in a house on one of the poorer estates in our town. That didn't bother me but when I got there I did not get a good vibe. I took both my kids with me and they obviously fell in love with all the pups straight away. "Please dad can we have one, please, please dad". I looked at the pups, all playing inside a small paddling pool enclosure, covered in dog poo. It was not right. No mum dog in sight and 6 little pups caked in poo, rolling around in an empty paddling pool. I made my excuses and we left. I think the kids cried on the way home, thinking I would never get one.
I had set my heart on a cocker spaniel, golden in colour if possible. I always wanted a dog I could take to the field and play ball with. I wanted a girl dog and I already had her name as Molly, even before we met. The weeks went by and still there was nothing on the web sites I had browsed. I kept reading about spaniels and how active they could be, I was really looking forward to our walks together. Then it appeared. A breeder suddenly popped up on the site with one remaining golden female cocker. It was in Rochdale, some distance away from where we lived but that meant nothing to me. I was going no matter what. We made the call and after work that night we all went out on the 60 min trip to Rochdale, me the wife and both kids. They were soooooo excited on the way, expecting me to bring her home that night.
When we arrived at the location, everything I had read about started to pop into my mind. The location was a farm, just on the outskirts of the town. We were greeted by the farm owner and we asked the relevant questions regards him being a breeder, can we see both parents of the pup etc etc. We were then advised that the mum could not be seen that night as it was late and the pup had been brought there so we could see her. I broke the golden rule. The kids were mithering to see the pup, what could I do. Really the general rule is, if you can't se the mum and dad of the pup then don't buy it. The chap led us to a kitchen area and opened the door for us. As we entered, all alone curled up in a little basket was the most cutest little golden puppy you have ever seen. She looked so pleased to see us and slowly climbed out of her bed as we walked to see her. Her dark eyes stared at me almost begging me to take her there and then.
I wanted to pick her up first but with the kids being there I knew they should have first hold. My son gently picked her up and cuddled her into his chest. From that moment we were hooked, well I certainly was. After we all cuddled her I left the kids in charge whilst I spoke to the chap selling her. He wanted £600 which was the going rate 8 years ago. We sat and talked for quite a while and he asked us why we wanted a pet so I explained my sons illness, which he was finishing treatment for. The chap was amazed and also told us how he too had leukaemia when he was a child. Due to this he offered us the pup for £400 as he could see we were desperately in love with her.
Due to my sons leukaemia we had to wait till the pup was 12 weeks old before we could take her. This was all to do with his treatment and when it would be safe to have a pet. The chap stated he would keep her the extra 4 weeks and we left a deposit.
The next five weeks dragged. I thought about Molly most days, sat in the kitchen without us. In my eyes she was already mine. We read books on dog food, (which is a maze in itself) and