lifestyle blog -- stories and features
As many of you might know, my beloved shitzu Blake Shelton passed away a couple of weeks ago. We had him for twelve years. It was very traumatic and he suffered more than he should on his last night on earth.
I cried for three days. I couldn't go to work without losing it. I was irritable and just grief struck. I couldn't have imagined the loss to be so difficult. My daughter and a friend of ours suggested that I get a new little puppy. The new puppy wasn't to replace Blake in any way. However, it would help me and Greg emotionally
I began my search for a new puppy. We wanted to have a baby shitzu. We loved that breed so much and the love of their owners. They love to snuggle with you and are very loyal to their human parents.
I first found a puppy and inquired about one. I wanted a female this go around. We heard females were a little more laid back and a little less aggressive. This person told me that they were moving and had an 8-week old female and they couldn't keep her. They just wanted a small fee to take care of transferring the paperwork.
The instructions were that they would contact me the next morning after they made arrangements with the puppy transport company. The puppy they said was in Palestine, TX and they would have her transported right to our door. I said I was a little confused about the total cost. They assured me that they would cover that part to go to a new home. They just wanted a small fee of $350 to pay for the re-homing and transferring of paperwork. The e-mailer said that they just wanted to make sure that the puppy was going to a good home.
They asked for more information on Greg and myself. Instead, I said you can look on my blog and see photos of the family and how much that we loved our other animals. Monday (the next day) arrived and I received a text asking if I saw their email. The instructions were for me to send the $350.00 fee via Money-gram. They instructed not to do it online since it wasn't safe. The emailer actually emailed me the Kroger location in the Heights where I could send the money. I was to email them a photo of proving so they would go get the money.
Luckily, I am highly trained in computers and knew something was up. The emailing was getting a little strange and the typing was changing from one day to the next. The even told me hugs & kisses and was really strange. "I need some proof you aren't scamming me," I told the phone number texting me. I even warned them that my brother was a Judge and he wanted proof.
Of course, they were defensive stating that they were Christians and were offended. They texted me a photo of a reservation with a puppy transport company. I immediately googled and couldn't find any such name. I also googled the home address of the texter. Indeed, it was in Palestine, TX. However, it was of a Corporation still under construction.
I have contacted Arkansas authorities to begin trying to find the scammers. I even told them that my emotions were high as I had lost my precious Blake. I can't imagine how many people were really taken from the scam. Thank Goodness that my senses were sharp enough to know that I was being scammed. It appears that there are tons of puppy scammers on the Internet running ads in papers, etc. They are actually taking photos of real breeders puppies they have online.
1. Never fall for the wire money routine. Surely, don't fall for go to the bank and draw it out using Moneygram. The money would have been gone without a way to get it refunded.
2. When asking for proof of any type of shipment or transaction, be sure and take the time to research if the address or company is real. Also, I knew that there would be no way the shipment for the puppy would be $550.00 and they only wanted $350 total. They could have easily just given the puppy away locally.
3. I suggested that I would send someone right over to get the puppy from them. All contact was dropped immediately dropped at that point. I asked to see more photos than the ones they had on the ad. They informed me that the couldn't because they were at work and the puppy was with a relative.
4. Real breeders will let you do a deposit with a secure transaction such as Paypal that is protected. They will also offer up their real address so you can go to pick up the puppy in person. They will provide you with whatever photos you ask for throughout the process of you obtaining your new puppy.
Greg and I did get a new puppy. A little precious female that I named Farrah Fawcett. She is adorable and we traveled from Little Rock to Montgomery, Louisiana to pick her up in person.
Farrah is adjusting to her new surroundings. She handled the five-hour drive to Little Rock like a champion. She did not whimper or fuss at all. She is eating her food, drinking her water and adjusting to her new bed surroundings. Major, our five pound Morkie, is a little frightened of this little one pound puppy. He doesn't know what to think of her just yet. I am sure within a couple of weeks they will be playmates.
She hasn't barked at the cats one bit. They haven't figured Farrah out just yet either. Stay tuned in the coming months for cuteness overload. I couldn't resist sharing some photos and a little video. Our friend, Ashley Philbrick of AP Monograms made this adorable blanket for her with her initials FFD. Welcome, Farrah Fawcett Downs!
xoxo - Pat
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