I want to apologize for my defensiveness in my last post. It was a knee-jerk reaction to reading some of the harsher comments I have recieved here, which were totally unexpected. I felt blindsided and ganged-up on, so I reacted accordingly.
Now that I am calmer and have had a while to think about everything, I just want to say that I understand that most of you mean well. Like me, you care very strongly about Dobermans, and you want to discourage people (also, like me) from supporting/promoting poor breeding practices, which is a good thing. I am very new to this world of pure bred dogs. Lexie came into my life quite accidentally 9 years ago after I had already purchased (rescued? acquired? adopted?) my other two mutts from a pound a couple of years prior. Before Lou, I had never encountered a full-blooded Doberman, but I grew to love and appreciate the breed so much through raising and falling so in love with Lexie that I have since declared that I will always have a Doberman in my life. Hence, my desire to acquire/obtain/purchase/adopt/become the mother of a new Dobe pup after Lexie passed away.
Before I even looked for ads for Doberman puppies, I did do some research online about the types of questions I should ask a breeder because, believe it or not, I wanted to make sure I didn't buy a puppy from someone who was breeding just for money. As I have said before, I had a whole, long list of questions for Megan when I answered her ad ("Are both of the parents on site, and can I meet them?" "How are you socializing the puppies?" "Do you have kids and/or other animals?" "How are the puppies weaned?" "Have they had their first set of shots and have they been wormed?" etc.), but Megan also had a whole long list of questions for me, as well. I asked to see pictures of both the litter and the parents, and she sent me more photos than I was even expecting. When I made the appointment to meet with her the following day, I made it clear that I was coming to check out the litter and the parents and only POSSIBLY purchase a pup. Again, if Megan had given me any reason to believe that she only cared about making money off the litter, I would NOT have made that 4.5-hour drive.
I am now quite surprised that, while doing my research, I never read anything about what age a puppy should be before it is removed from it's litter, so admittedly I should have done MORE research before answering Megan's ad. I honestly did not know that 6 weeks-old was too young to sell a litter and, in hindsight, I would not have answered her ad for that very reason. However, it's hard for me to say now that I actually REGRET answering Megan's ad because it brought Margot into our lives. I'm sorry if that upsets or offends some of you, I truly am, but what's done is done. Thankfully, Margot is very healthy and probably couldn't have asked for a better home (if I do say so myself), but at least I've learned from this experience and will never again answer an ad for a litter that is being sold too young.
With all of that said, I realize that I am once again being a little defensive, but I just want to make it clear that, while I may be new to all of this and now realize that I should have done a lot more research before choosing a breeder, I DO care about how Doberman puppies are bred, bought, and sold. I do not believe that ignorance is ever a valid excuse, but please try to keep in mind that I was in a much different state of mind at the time that I started looking for a puppy (Justin and I were grieving SO MUCH and wanted so badly to ease that pain), and I really did feel like I had "done my homework" before I decided to drive to Ohio that day to check out Megan's litter.
Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for lashing out a little bit with my previous post and say that I DO appreciate the fact that you guys are trying to educate people about poor breeding practices. I get it, but I also feel like some of you could be a little more tactful with your methods. What's that old saying? "You can get a lot more with honey than you can with vinegar?" I don't think any of you are bad people, but some of you need to realize that your words can and do hurt people.
So, the next time you run across a post in this forum by a new puppy owner who is very excited to show off their new baby (ESPECIALLY if that person is also in the process of grieving a very painful loss), I hope you will show some consideration for that person's feelings and actually try to gather a little more information from them before deciding whether or not they deserve to be scolded or simply educated, rather than just automatically assuming that this grieving new puppy owner is a horrible person who knowingly supports poor breeding practices, which is exactly how some of you made me feel. Again, there are no longer any hard feelings on my part, but I did feel like that needed to be said.