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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Re-reading this as a preview, I see that it's probably obnoxiously long. I won't make a habit of that!

Every time I look up the answers to questions or just want to get the thoughts of other dog owners, Google brings me to this forum. What finally made me join? We can blame a thread regarding people eating dog food and figuring out which one tastes best to us two-legged creatures. This is my kind of party. :rockon:

My little girl asked, as kids often do, for a pet. So we started with feeder guppies and went from there. After simpler pets and volunteer work with me at a shelter, I decided she was ready for a dog. The rules were: small, low shedding, a couple of years old, and fur I could groom. I'm studying grooming to convert my day spa to a dog spa and wanted a "practice dummy" at home. She had her heart set on a black male toy poodle.

We started checking shelters, rescues, and Craigslist (I know: "Ew, Craigslist!"). We kept finding pit bulls, chihuahuas, and elderly dogs. One night, I found a breed I didn't recognize on Craigslist and started reading about these cute little balls of fluff I'd never heard of, let alone see in person: Powderpuff Chinese Cresteds. I knew I'd never be able to afford one, so I was glad my kid wanted a poodle.

A few days later, we went to a pet adoption event to see if there were any black poodles. Seated on the lap of a young lady was a golden ball of fluff... yes, a Chinese Crested. A moment later, I spotted a whirlwind of black, white, grey, and silver. Two Chinese Crested Powderpuffs? Neat!

The golden one had been waiting months to find a home. He'd been found in the basement of a puppy mill, huddled in a bird cage, almost completely bald due to his flea allergies. Most of his teeth were missing, he was afraid of everything, and the years of life in a bird cage had rendered him physically and emotionally unconditioned for walking about. The other dog had been rescued from another puppy mill. He wasn't breeding stock- he was a puppy that hadn't been sold. So he hadn't been stuffed into some forgotten cage, but he had been neglected. He was very shy and afraid of many things.

We took both of the boys home that day. The older dog was mine. I named him Jareth, after the character from Labyrinth (80s fantasy movie). My daughter named the other dog Storm. It's been just over two months since we got them, and the progress we see from week to week has been amazing. Most of Jareth's fur has grown in. I clip his fur in a way that flatters his bald spots and tail, which I suspect was injured rather than docked, as the length is awkward and refuses to grow any hair. Storm still gets so nervous in new situations that he has fear tinkle/ poo... but he also jumps into the car, walks without hesitation through doorways, and has started playing with us.

This isn't what we had in mind when we started looking for a pet, but I think that ultimately, teaching the boys how to be dogs after years of being broken spirits will be more rewarding for all of us.
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