"Why Can't She Let It Go?'
We watched the calendar anxiously. Lisa and Sandi had 45 days to respond to the court and challenge our case. If they didn't reply, Scott explained, they would forfeit any claim, and the court would automatically rule in our favor. If they did respond, there would be a hearing, and then perhaps a trial. The prospect of a lengthy battle was daunting; I kept my fingers crossed: maybe those two would come to their senses and drop the matter. If they did really have their own lawyer- a claim I was beginning to doubt- surely he'd advise them against wasting their money on a baseless claim.
It didn't happen that way. As the deadline neared, and I allowed myself to hope that the struggle might soon be behind us, Lisa and Sandi finally responded with a long, disjointed letter, filled with bizarre assertions. They were the victims here, they told the court. They had generously offered to take Abbie and the pups out of kindness, and we had "vengefully" turned them down. They never had any intention of suing us, she said, and now their reputations as breeders were suffering from the publicity surrounding the case.
I shook my head in amazement. It would be easy to show the absurdity of these claims. Much of the letter contradicted emails that Lisa had sent us; for heaven's sake, in some places, it contradicted itself!
"Doesn't she realize I keep copies of everything?" I wondered. "If this case does go to court, we'll make her look like a fool. Why can't she let it go?"
Reading through the rambling letter, I could not shake a suspicion that one thing rankled Lisa most of all: the money she'd lost when she'd sent Abbie off with a tummy full of puppies. According to her, we stood to gain several thousand dollars by selling the pups. "Several years ago," she wrote, "I purposely purchased a bred female, and I paid $6,000 for the dam and her puppies. (The dog) had four puppies. Again, that was several years ago. On the other hand, they paid $1,300 for Abbie, and now they have nine live puppies... I am certain they can make a profit of $8,000.00."
Her contention was laughable. We had no intention of selling the puppies on the open market. Rather, we'd be placing the pups through the Newfoundland Club of America's rescue program. (Lisa knew this full well; she complained in the very same letter that our working with Newf Rescue was harmful to her reputation as a breeder.) The $500 adoption fee this process would bring us per puppy would not even defray our veterinary bills, which eventually climbed past $6,000.
Abbie was a very sick dog when she gave birth- there were lab tests, antibiotics, and finally a hysterectomy. Then there were x-rays and ultrasounds to try and figure out what was ailing the puppy we came to call Mary. One of the males needed an ultrasound, too, for a suspected heart problem. There were vaccinations, and there were antibiotics for all those ear infections, and.. you get the picture.
Throw in supplies -- we'd spent more than $500 on puppy formula alone -- legal fees, court costs... well, those were some mighty expensive puppies when all was said and done.
Priceless, as a matter of fact.
Lisa was not alone, though, in focusing on the money angle.
Several weeks later, at the initial court hearing, conducted via conference call, her partner Sandi announced that she would drop her claims to the puppies if we paid her a $1,500 stud fee for the "services" of her male.
Scott and I got a chuckle out of that one.
Her dubious offer spurned, Sandi blurted out, "I'm sure those people are making money here."
When Scott advised her that we were receiving a minimal adoption fee of $500 for the pups, she snorted and exclaimed, "See! I told you!"
That reaction shocked me. Typically, a Newfoundland puppy from a reputable kennel will cost from one to two thousand dollars. A below-market price is normally a warning sign that you're dealing with a backyard breeder or a puppy mill.
I have no idea what it says about Sandi's kennel operation that she seemed so certain one can make a profit selling Newfie pups for five hundred dollars apiece.
There's only one thing I need to know about Forest View Farms: that's the kennel where they let Abbie get pregnant.
Next: Counting To Nine
Newfie Index |Home
There's A Puppy!
Just A Couple Of Pet Owners
Adult Female Available
Maybe We Rescued A Newf After All
"I Assure You She's Not Pregnant"
The Puppy Room
Along Comes Cruella
"We Have Every Intention Of Getting Those Puppies"
Why Can't She Let It Go?
Counting To Nine
Day Of Judgment
Something About Mary Indeed
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