Last week at this time we were on our way to Amish country. We stayed at a VRBO this time and it was wonderful!
Not only was the place perfect in every way, the location was great too. We were tucked away within walking distance from the Berlin Pet Shoppe, where I fell in love.
I was reluctant to visit here this year, after hearing all the horror stories about Ohio's Amish puppy mills and I actually had myself believing these pups were abused and mistreated. The first day while all the other pups were frolicking and being cute, I couldn't get the sad, sick, pathetic one off of my mind. He was lying there licking his leg and stomach in excess. Licking, licking, licking. I knew there was something terribly wrong and so I left the place feeling sad.
The next day I had made up my mind! I'd go back in and demand to see someone and insist that the pup gets medical care. So I went in and straight back to the puppy section. This time there were three pups playing within a large penned in area and lots of interaction with patrons and I was sure that one of them 'was' the sick one from the day before, (I counted) only he did not appear sick at all. Immediately, I felt better, until Gary pointed out a pup that was still in her pen and sleeping, not moving at all. My happy turned to sad. So I marched up to the desk and began my accusation with a question, "Is that puppy in the back sick?" She referred me to Roy who was in charge of the group - so back I went to find Roy. I asked the same question, pointing to the corner, "Is the puppy over there sick?"
"He's just sleeping," Roy said. "Resting."
I followed Roy over to the pen and he collected the pup and placed it into my arms. 'Sick pup' came to life, licking my face and playing happily with me. Little sweetheart was not sick at all, she had been resting, indeed.
Later that night I did some research. I wanted to find out more about this place and how it was run. Reviews were many, and excellent, some stating that these pups did not come from puppy mills but rather local breeders who loved their animals and treated them with the utmost respect.
Then I thought about the happy, frolicking puppies in the shoppe. The cleanliness of the place and the way they had it set up so open and friendly and kind. Roy was there, overseeing and making sure all animals were treated nicely. The place was packed with people loving on these pets. They all seemed happy and well taken care of.
My point is, power of suggestion is a powerful thing. We can believe one thing or another just from 'hearing' something positive or negative. Proof is in fact, and now as I look back, the facts are that this place carries healthy, happy pups in a super clean and open, friendly environment.
But what about the breeders and how are the mom's and dad's of these babies treated?
Well, according to the many, many reviews the dogs check out in excellent health - so - wouldn't that count for something? And many insist that the dogs come from loving homes and caring breeders. Not puppy mills!! I hope and believe this to be true.
It was a happy place, The Berlin Pet Shoppe, and though I went in with a chip on my shoulder, I left the next day in love. I'm sure they'll all have good homes in no time at all, oh - the love that was being showed to those pups!!
It was easy leaving there, knowing that these dogs would find happy homes, but visiting an animal shelter is really hard for me. If I'd ever choose to adopt, I'd feel so sad for those I did not choose... because let's face it, they are the ones who really need someone. Maybe the shelters should call themselves shoppes and slap a price tag on the rescues. Maybe then, people would want them. More and more people are getting rescues these days... and that is a good thing!
Gracie has her own thoughts on puppies with their carefree, obnoxious ways. Settle down, Gracie. We came home to you, didn't we?