I have been in love with Brussels Griffons since the early 90’s. In 1994 I opened my grooming shop in Elmira, N.Y. I started saving money and researching rescues and breeders for the day I could add a Brussels Griffon to my household!
The rescues put a damper on my dreams quickly. I did not meet their criteria, first because I did not have a fenced yard. I explained I would NEVER let my little Griff out of my sight or off the leash. Too much risk of theft or worse! The procedure with my other dogs had always been leash to potty then right back inside. Free run/playtime only happened on in-laws country property or areas away from roads and always closely supervised. Second, I was unable to travel to meet and pick up my new baby. I would not leave my new business or my other pets in boarding. My pleas fell on deaf ears so I turned to breeders.
My references were impeccable. I was quite surprised at some of the reasons I was turned down. Too many other pets (2 dogs, 3 cats), Golden Retriever too dangerous with little Griffy, hanging out in the grooming shop too stressful, etc. Operating a rescue for 4 years myself, later, I can understand being picky, Griffs are so much in demand I’m sure these breeders just had better or closer candidates. I resigned myself to the fact that maybe I just wasn’t meant to have a Griff at this time. I adopted a chihuahua pup (2nd fave breed) from a customer who bred them and put my dreams on hold.
One day I was doing paperwork in my shop after a long day when the phone rang. “Do you know anyone who wants to buy a Brussels Griiiff-IN?” Um, I do! We began to talk seriously.
She had purchased him from a breeder in Utah. She said he was show quality (maybe, hard to judge a pup that young) and came with full breeding rights. I doubted I’d want to breed him, an unproven male without points wasn’t worth much, but I wanted a griffy! She agreed to bring him by.
When she got there I could tell immediately he was not show quality, maybe with careful grooming I could save his coat. He was almost 7 months old, un neutered and not house trained. She began to tell his story.
His name was Verdell, she had fallen in love with Verdell from the movie “As Good as it Gets). The more she talked the more I could tell she would spend a fortune buying an animal she thought was cute or pretty without knowing a thing about them. She also had a houseful of exotic birds she was trying to sell. Her husband disliked Verdell, he was very difficult to housetrain, so he had been banished to living in the backyard.
OMG! We negotiated until we agreed on $700, half of what she had paid for him. She was to bring him with all his belongings and papers tomorrow and pick up a check.