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Old 02-27-2012, 06:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I thought it would be of assistance to potential puppy purchasers to hear of our experience with the above noted breeder in Ontario. I will try to be factual and hope that this is not contrary to the rules, and that the moderator will not remove this post. I would welcome a pm from the moderator if there is something about this post that offends.

We bought a male brown standard from Bijou in May of 2010. We were obliged to endorse her odd-ball contract that I have seen reproduced elsewhere on this forum. However, otherwise the breeder seemed reasonable and responsible and the pup, Brodie, turned out to be everything we had hoped. Wonderful disposition, got along great with our other dogs (Portuguese Water dog and a mixed 'Benji' type) and the cat. Easily trained. Great dog.

Brodie did great for the first year. But at about 16 months, he started to loose vigor and loose weight. We changed foods, etc.etc. but it persisted. We went to the vet and had various tests done. Cardiac function was ok but his renal function was marginal. We decided to do x-rays. These revealed a heart that was slightly less than half normal size for his age/weight and a diaphragm that was very oddly displaced towards the heart; potentially herniated. This was extremely abnormal anatomy.

We contacted Bijou who, although sympathetic, immediately asserted that the dog had been given a clean bill of health when she delivered it - at 9 weeks - and that anything going on now was likely the result of environmental factors. This without even having seen the x-rays. Our vet - a very experienced guy - was in no doubt that these were congenital abnormalities and that the dog was failing because of them. Over the next two weeks Brodie lost more weight and vigor. He could not run to the end of the front walk, let along chase the other dogs around as he had been doing and, eventually, he just sort-of stood in the yard in a daze.

We tried everything to stimulate his appetite but he gradually became dehydrated and disoriented and we had to put him down at about 18 months.

We notified the Breeder and provided her with our vet's report and a disc of the x-rays. Her reply was to, firstly, assert that she had no responsibility whatsoever for this situation because we could not prove that the problem was congenital and that she, therefore, was under no obligation to offer us any sort of compensation. However, she then said that, in order to maintain 'good public relations', she would offer us a replacement puppy from a forthcoming litter. She then asked for a euthanasia certificate.

We found this Breeder's insensitivity and lack of professionalism at such a difficult time, as appalling. However, we loved the dog she had given us, had no reason to think that such an event would likely occur again and, frankly, hoped to avoid spending $1500 and coming out with nothing. We swallowed our anger and accepted her offer.

The next day the Breeder emailed us a "Confidentiality Agreement" which she had obviously drawn up herself. The deal was; we had to acknowledge that the death was not due to any congenital condition, and that we would, in any event, never discuss anything related to this situation with anyone, on pain of some bizarre financial penalty. In exchange for endorsing this ridiculous document, she would graciously give us another puppy.

We declined to endorse that agreement, but did offer a much simplified version. I advised her that if she signed it in 7 days, so would we. But I cautioned her that although we loved her dog and recognized that even the best of breeders must produce the occasional animal that has problems, it was her complete lack of compassion and professionalism that I would want others to know about. Loved the dog, and miss him terribly, but the Breeder is not someone I could recommend to anyone else.

I'm sorry if this is long-winded. It may get cut or removed. I've tried to be objective and I can produce any of the correspondence arising if anyone wants to pm me. This was a very difficult time for us; made worse by a Breeder who just doesn't seem to have the kind of values that one would hope to find in the dog world.

Brian J.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your not the only one that has come across her non professionalism. Many have warned against her ways and got their post deleted. Its sad that the TRUTH becomes deleted in this forum. That's why I RARELY post on this site. I found other forums that are persevering the breed and Ethical Breeding practices. Sorry for your loss. I support your post,though it will get deleted as well. I protest with you!
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Brodie...I am so sorry you have had to suffer such pain. Losing a young dog is bad enough, but going through this with the breeder is inexcusable. Thank you for sharing your story. It might help someone else along the way.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Brodie:
I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a beloved companion is difficult and at the very least I'd expect some compassion from the breeder. I'd also expect them to do the "right thing" and handle the situation in a professional manner. I know reputations are everything in the breeding world, but no line is perfect and it's how a breeder rises to these challenges that's telling, IMHO. It would appear we have an epic fail based on your story / situation.

Granted, I'm not privy to your individual conversations with Bijou and I always remind myself that there are two sides to every story. However, I don't see any reason for your thread to be deleted. That's censorship at best and ridiculous to boot. You have every right to share your experience and express your opinion.

Having said that...

It's on each and every one of us to do our own research when looking for a puppy or considering breeders. For example, I have a Cabryn Poodle who I love and not every post on here is favorable toward his breeder either. I did my own research and I don't regret adopting my little guy (from another breeder).

So, in summary, while I'm not questioning the OP, I wanted to make the point that I hope this thread doesn't turn into a lynching of Bijou because I'm sure for every complaint, there are just as many satisfied and happy customers out there (Cavon's Finnegan is but one PF example). I hope everyone can remain objective and keep it civil.

Sometimes the world of breeding reminds me of professional football. Many are fervently loyal to their teams and there exists fierce rivalry between specific teams. Competition brings out the best though because it keeps the players on their toes.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a young dog is so painful. Don't let your experience tarnish your sweet memories of Brodie.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience.

I am very impressed that you were unwilling to sign an agreement that you thought was unreasonable. Too many people sign whatever is put in front of them. Frankly, I don't think that getting a replacement dog is the kind of thing that should involve a contract that has to be reviewed by a lawyer or one that contains any unusual clauses at all. The irony of it is that if she had just given you a replacement puppy with no confidentiality agreement, you probably would have told one or two friends about your experience, but pretty quickly moved on to focusing on the new pup. As it is, you are telling a much wider circle. So did the breeder get the confidentiality that she wanted? I guess not. Too bad that people can't just let their professional reputations stand on who they actually are and what people actually do think of them.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am sorry to read about Brodie's illness and death. :-(

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Originally Posted by peppersb View Post
The irony of it is that if she had just given you a replacement puppy with no confidentiality agreement, you probably would have told one or two friends about your experience, but pretty quickly moved on to focusing on the new pup.
This. Offering a replacement dog was the decent decision. I think the most responsible thing to do would be to offer a choice of a replacement or at least a good portion of refund of what you paid. Some people are not great at dealing with people and being sympathetic, but I would have expected the breeder to take more interest in trying to find out why the dog died. I think the most unreasonable part of this story is that the breeder wants you to sign the Official Secrets Act over the matter. Breeding and selling puppies means running a business, like it or not, and if you want people to say nice things about your business, you give them reasons to. You don't try to bribe or blackmail them into not saying bad things.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm sorry for the loss of your poodle and your unhappy experience. Your story will help to caution others.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hello Brian,

So sad for your loss of Brodie. I am sure he was a sweet boy. It is totally unacceptable to ask for a confidentiality agreement! Things can happen, dogs can be ill, despite all the testing in the world, and screening of bloodlines. This is not an excuse.

As good breeders, we need to find out why, not blame the owner, and look to hide things under the rug. The usual vet checks done on pups, are that, a check. The vet only spends a few minutes with each pup. Some of us do eyes as well. I don't imagine many of us breeders x-ray, and do a full blood spectrum on pups before letting them go home (the x-rays would actually be quite harmful). You would do well to send the vet report to the Poodle Health Registry. Their forms are a pain, I know, but the information is priceless to reputable breeders. It is important for breeding decisions to know which dogs produced the anomilies like your sweet boy had. Do you have the names of the Sire and Dam?

I am glad you didn't sign the confidentially agreement! I wouldn't ask for anything other than an acceptance of my apologies, and an offer of another pup, or some type of refund, if the owner preferred.

You went through enough, not to mention vet bills, and still don't have your baby in your arms! I am from the area, and aware of her and her dogs. Sad indeed.

I do hope this post remains.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post

We notified the Breeder and provided her with our vet's report and a disc of the x-rays. Her reply was to, firstly, assert that she had no responsibility whatsoever for this situation because we could not prove that the problem was congenital and that she, therefore, was under no obligation to offer us any sort of compensation. However, she then said that, in order to maintain 'good public relations', she would offer us a replacement puppy from a forthcoming litter. She then asked for a euthanasia certificate.

We found this Breeder's insensitivity and lack of professionalism at such a difficult time, as appalling.
I disagree. Sometimes professionals have to cover bases that the average person thinks are waaaay over the top. They're not. They're mostly CYA clauses that we've had to include to protect ourselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
The next day the Breeder emailed us a "Confidentiality Agreement" which she had obviously drawn up herself.
Maybe she thot she needed another clause. Just in case. So had to draw up a new one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
We declined to endorse that agreement
I probably wouldn't have, either.
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