Join Date: Jul 2010
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I had a terrible experience with Irina Barrett and Canis Maximus. Fourteen months ago my rescue dobie (Dante) died of congenital heart failure when he was only 6 years old. Several months ago I decided it was time to get another dobie, and this time I decided on a puppy. I contacted several breeders in search of an intelligent, even-tempered and protective dobie to serve as a family member and protector. I contacted Irina and told her what I was looking for. She emailed me back, telling me she had two males available: a 12 week old puppy with natural ears who was the runt of the litter for $500, and an older puppy (8 months) with cropped ears that a family had purchased and later returned for $1000. Since I was looking for a younger puppy, and I didn't care whether the puppy was smaller than his littermates, I inquired about him. I asked whether him being the runt would affect his health in anyway. She replied "I don't know. One of the previous runts, she had a kidney failure," but that he had "good parents, good lineage" and she assured me that he would be healthy when I received him. I wired her $850 for the cost of the puppy and shipping, and she sent me the puppy (who we've since named Sampson). The day after recieving Sampson, I took him to my vet for a checkup. My vet listened to Sampson's heart, and told me that Sampson had a 3/6 heart murmur and that I should return him to the breeder, and not accept another puppy from the same litter. Thinking that Irina would be shocked to learn of Sampson's heart troubles, I immediately contacted her and offered to return Sampson. She replied that she was aware of his heart murmur, that 'she was very knowledgeable about heart murmurs because she also breeds boxers' and that Sampson would outgrow the murmur. She said she would take Sampson back, she wouldn't refund me the shipping (either the cost to ship him to me or to ship him back), and would only refund the purchase price to me when she found him a new home. She was adamant that "grading a heart murmur is purely subjective," and she did not agree that it was a serious murmur. She also reminded me that I chose a puppy "only for a pet," and therefore I could not complain.
Two weeks later, I took Sampson to another vet for a second opinion. This vet also diagnosed a serious heart murmur and referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist performed an echocardiogram and found that Sampson had a hole in his heart. The cardiologist advised that without a corrective procedure ('ductal occluder or open chest surgery') Sampson would suffer congestive heart failure before his first birthday. Rather than make put such a young puppy through open heart surgery, we took him to University of Florida Vet Hospital where they performed the surgery via a catheter in his little arm.
All told, we've spend about $4,000 in vet costs to treat a very sick puppy. Thankfully, the vet says Sampson should recover nicely and should live a long happy life. However, I would NEVER buy another dog from Canis Maximus. Not only did she ship me a sick puppy, but she denied all responsibility for him once I pointed out his condition. Steer clear.
Last edited by DantesMom; 09-28-2010 at 01:09 PM.