Don’t buy a dog online, says Lisa who went through hell getting a poodle for her daughter’s birthday and eventually found out she had been scammed. With all the measures (including a DNA test) taken and the dog slowly getting used to her and her family, she decided not to sue anyone but to appreciate what had gone right: She’ll probably never find out where he came from, so that’s that. But she will do everything to make sure that Tsunami’s present and future will be as pleasant as possible
Where did you meet? How did you connect?
I was keen to have a toy poodle delivered on my youngest daughter’s birthday. Since the date was important, yet specific, I went through desperate measures to purchase him online, eventually to discover it was a scam. Tsunami arrived by train, there was a charge of 300 Dollars to have him delivered, in addition to the fortune that I had paid in advance. The man who delivered Tsunami didn’t look very healthy, he carried adult dog food with this puppy that was not even the size of my hand. I made several attempts to track down the person who sold it to me, but he had disappeared. The person who had brought me the puppy had no contact either. A mystery.
With all the birthday hype, I didn’t realize something was wrong until I had alone time with Tsunami, the next morning. Soon I discovered the puppy that I bought online that was supposed to have pedigree papers, had instead arrived with fleas, cardia, almost lifeless. I worried he wouldn’t make it. The real problem was that I had no information on what he had been eating. It took a good week to nurse him to better health, I had to do all the vaccines and of course he was without a microchip. Eventually I did find the scammer, but I highly suspect he smuggles hundreds of dogs from who knows where, Romania or Albania, and I didn’t want to take the time or energy to pursue it in court. Meanwhile, we had all fallen in love with Tsunami.
What’s so amazing/special about your dog?
Tsunami is very, very particular. Once I got him back to health, he wouldn’t play as a puppy or chew on anything in the house, rather he would sit and stare at my every move, never taking his eyes off of me as I moved around the house. He was memorizing my every move. He still has that serial killer persona to this day. Obviously I’m teasing. Tsunami is a joy to have in our family, he loves us very much. He is a wonderful swimmer and loves sailing. He acts like a sailor himself, a pirate defending his ship. He is working when he is sailing, it’s his happy place.
Tsunami understands both English and Italian. He can be very protective and possessive, there are certain aspects of his character that root from his early abandonment from the mother. He does bite, but it’s a work in progress, he knows how to be a good boy, too.
Tsunami has an excellent nose. Before conducting the DNA test, I would’ve bet that he was a truffle dog. Early on I would hide white truffles in the house and he would find them, eventually we go outdoors and look for truffles with success. He loves those kind of mind games, challenging his nose.
What’s your dog’s role in the family?
He’s the baby boy in a family of three girls.
If your dog was a person – who would he be?
Why do you love him?
He’s perfect in every single way, I love Tsunami for his loyalty to our family. His trust. He has been there for me during some hard times –
I will always be in debt to Tsunami.
What did he teach you that nobody else would?
He taught me telepathic communication. He doesn’t talk, but we communicate all the time.
Is there anything that annoys you about him?
If I leave for 10 minutes, he goes nuts when I come back as if I left him for 10 days.
What are your favourite things to do with him?
Is your dog part of the household 100 %?
Absolutely, he sleeps in my bed, always next to me.
Any advice you would like to give to someone who wants to get a dog but can’t decide?
Don’t buy a dog online.
Pictures: Kirstie McConnell for https://classicoportraits.com/expats, Calling Italy Home