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Willow wants to play
Golden Retriever Stories
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"The pup is aggressive; attacking other dogs. And Willy has a damaged larynx too. He has to wear a shoulder harness collar. You sold us a terrible dog, Jay! I might have to put him down," the vet threatened.

"Dr. Hawkins," Jay tried to say calmly, "Please explain yourself."

John and Susan Hawkins had bought a lovely male, blond puppy from Jay five months earlier. Susan was a veterinarian who worked only one day a week because they had a son, just five. Jay was immediately alert to a heavy problem with the placement of this pup. Buyers don't call the breeder to complain; they call to ask advice. And Susan, as a vet, threatening to kill the puppy, very weird.

Jay got mad and Robin had to calm him down. "Call Jane Lunow. She'll know what to do."


Tecumseh and Willow want to play

"Get him back!" Jane had ordered; she was Jay and Robin's dog breeding mentor. "They probably use corporal punishment on their children, so her five year old most likely choked the puppy. That explains the bad larynx and the dog's aggression. And Susan's threat to put Willy down; she's got a screw loose too. Do whatever you have to; but get that puppy away from those people."
After Susan Hawkins refused to return Willy, Jay called the SPCA in her city and reported the incident. Then Susan's lawyer called Jay. "Susan is a vet; she can't afford this kind of publicity; we'll give you the dog back for a refund."


"You got a deal," Jay said, and Willy came home. Jay broke Willy of his bellicose manners by putting the adolescent with his brother and only one bowl of food. When they started to fight over the food Jay used the garden hose on his canine combatents. The expression, `don't step between fighting dogs unless you're willing to get bit' is literally very true.

Then there was more bad news. Jay had sold a pup from the same litter to a prosperous Charlotte dentist who had said, "I'm building a big house in the country on twenty-five acres, with some cows too."

"But is the backyard fenced?" Jay had asked.

"Of course."

Unfortunately the dentist's prestige home had double, nine foot high carved oak doors, with no screen or storm doors. The dentist's kids ran outside, the dog followed, and died when struck by a car traveling at sixty mph on a country road.

"Why don't you take Willy. He needs a good home," Jay suggested to the grieving dentist.

"I can't. I feel so bad about my puppy's death. I don't want to see another dog right now."

Jay told Robin, "He's letting his shame, his disappointment in his own mistake, cloud his judgement. Why don't you call his wife. A woman, a mother, will handle this kind of decision better than a man does." Robin nodded, and sure enough, the dentist's wife agreed to replace their pet, and came for Willy.

"My husband feels terrible, but I see no reason to deprive our children of a pet. And, I ordered custom-made storm doors for our house," she said.

"That was a lot of work, wasn't it?" Jay asked Robin.

"And some people think this is just an easy and fun hobby."

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