Nami is a COVID baby.
I am now part of the statistic of Victorians who got a dog during the pandemic, although it just so happened that we first waited for:
- My partner to have a full-time job
- My partner to purchase a good (secondhand) car, and make sure we’ve covered any initial maintenance costs
- us to move and settle in a new (better) apartment
- me to reach some significant milestones at work
before I was convinced it was a good time to get a dog (finally).
Thanks to COVID, it’s actually very hard to find a small apartment dog for adoption because everyone is adopting, and I kid you not it is easier to find an apartment to rent than to adopt a dog. I joined many adoption Facebook groups so I can stalk them real-time, but the requirements to adopt typically include:
- must have a yard
- must have an active lifestyle
- must have another dog
- must have experience raising the breed
…and we would’ve already failed the yard requirement. Or past experience with a specific breed. Or past experience training. Or having another pet. The boxes we don’t tick were endless.
My ideal dog is a toy dog. It has to be small enough for me to bring my dog EVERYWHERE. To the office, to shops, to cafes, to the toilet — I mean EVERYWHERE. And if it’s easier for me to find a job than to adopt a rescue, then fck it I’ll just buy a puppy. “Adopt not shop” is a bullshit advice in a post-COVID AU world.
I didn’t buy a puppy the next day (which is my way of making sure I’m not buying on impulse). I still took some time. And honestly, the waiting period due to the pet request form helped a lot. I could remind myself not to rush so much, even though I was super excited and was 1000% ready.
- I spent almost a month browsing at puppies for sale on some sites online (Gumtree, Tradingpost) to understand the price range for different breeds. I honestly enjoyed just looking at dogs every night, but it felt like a very obsessive phase during that time. It was definitely a good way to get some min-max prices and set expectations.
- As renters, we submitted the pet request form to the agent, to give us a 14-day wait time; no response from the landlord after that time frame meant we can go ahead and get a dog
- We spoke with a friend who trained dogs while he was in the army, and seems like a chihuahua was a huge no-no
- My partner used to have a Yorkshire Terrier, and my old friends from Singapore (now in Japan) also had a mini Yorkie that was often brought into the office
- I read many guides about things to ask the breeder before buying a puppy
- One of the Facebook groups posted a link to DogzOnline, where registered breeders will post notices for puppies or planned litters
- I regularly stalked the Yorkshire Terrier puppies page on DogzOnline until I saw a notice by a breeder based in Victoria (I preferred not to move a dog interstate) — and immediately called to inquire about a puppy
Initially, the price of the puppy from the yorkie breeder I called wasn’t within my original budget…but I ended up adjusting my budget (uhm please don’t do that) after I asked about other puppies:
- a pom
- a pug
- a chihuahua (if anyone still thinks a chihuahua is ugly, they haven’t seen the Japanese long-haired chihuahuas :’) )
- a poodle x papillon mix
- a yorkshire terrier x australian silky mix
This way, I can be sure I have explored all my options and the yorkie puppy is exactly what I wanted despite the price. It’s no surprise that after thinking about the yorkie puppy for about a full day, my partner and I caved in and decided to go for it. I was so torn, I could just imagine being so regretful if I passed a yorkie off.
You’d think that was the end of my mental agony.
Nope. We had to deposit a sizeable amount to secure a puppy (nearly half the puppy price) during a time where Puppy Scams are a lucrative (illegal) hustle since the pandemic. I still had sleepless nights, and even though we:
- asked for some photo proofs, such as photos of the puppy and vaccination card
- had a kind stranger from Facebook look up the breeder number and validated the breeder was legitimate
- looked up references of the breeder from Dogs Victoria, since the dad of the puppy was a show dog
- asked for previous buyers from the breeders that I messaged individually to inquire about their dogs and experience
and was 95% convinced it wasn’t a scam, I still felt like I should be okay with losing the deposit amount if worse comes to worst :’D
Nami’s Photos from the Breeder
What made it particularly difficult was that the breeder could not do video calls or emails. Everything was done via phone only (I think the signal from her home was terrible so I don’t blame the lack of internet) so it really felt fishy if it’s the first time we’re making such a huge purchase for something that was complicated to verify. The breeder was very friendly, helpful and accommodating over the phone though, so it was easy to trust her BUT that’s typically how scams work… :’D
(Obviously by now you know it isn’t a scam, but I couldn’t sleep every night for a whole week while we got everything arranged.)
There’s also that “FOMO” feeling — that if I don’t make the deposit ASAP, someone else interested in the puppy will swoop in and take our spot and I was just SO ready to bring a puppy home D’:
Well, the deposit was made and there was no turning back! Time to bring Little Nami home!
To make things worse, lockdown was NOT lifted on the week we scheduled to pick up Nami. It was as if new stressors were popping up on top of my current stressors!
So 2 days before our arranged date, I had to find and compare quotes for various puppy transport services in Victoria. It was not so easy since we weren’t transporting interstate; just from regional Victoria to metropolitan Melbourne.
- Moorholme Pet Transport (average price)
- Furever’s Forever Pet Transport (average price)
- Paw-To-Door Service (cheapest, communication was the WORST, was not contactable at all after the first email. A serious red flag, please AVOID)
- Dogdayz (expensive)
- Woofers Pet Transport (expensive)
- Auspet Animal Transport (most reasonable price, communication was excellent, great experience)
I will 100% recommend Auspet Animal Transport — they were very professional and Nami arrived very clean and on time.
He arrived before 7pm on a Saturday evening, so we didn’t have much time to ease him into the house and play before it was time for him to sleep again. He was so tiny but SOOOOO adorable when he arrived, and in our eyes he can do no wrong.
And that was how we found Nami and brought him home. He is my first yorkie. He is soooo cute, sooooo good and he has such a friendly temperament. So easy to bring around, whether it’s in his carrier or in my arms ;D
I’ll write more posts about preparing for Nami, and having Nami, but feel free to post any questions you want to ask. :)
Other reference posts, if you’re curious: