An Austrian Hobby Breeder Gave Me My Heart Dog for Free

When the money meant for my dog had to go to a relative's funeral, the breeder decided we belonged together money or no.


Editor’s Note: Earlier in the month, I wrote about my own experience with a responsible hobby breeder and invited Dogster readers to e-mail me about their experiences. Reader Cynthia Collazo wrote in about how a small breeder in Austria insisted on giving her the show dog of her dreams after a death in the family drained her family of the money that was supposed to go towards bringing the pup home.

Here’s her letter to me, which she’s allowed us to republish. If your dog is from a responsible breeder, do tell us about it in the comments below. –Janine


I checked my email this morning and read your article. I really feel like I relate to you in so many ways on how people sometimes bash or intimidate people who would like a well-bred, happy, healthy purebred dog.

Much like you, I had a goal in mind when getting my dogs. I have nothing against adoption; in fact, I adopted my cat and guinea pig from the local shelter, and volunteer there every week. But when getting a dog, I wanted a purebred whose parents’ health and temperament had been tested, since I always have friends and family around. Not that a shelter dog is bad in any way, but I like knowing what I have and an idea of what to expect from my new family member.

We have three dogs: Mikka, an American Staffordshire Terrier; Kaoss, a Belgian Malinois; and Hero, a Black Russian Terrier. All three came from people I know who are responsible breeders. They only produce a handful of pups and only rehome their puppies to special, well-deserving people.

Hero’s breeder went a long way for us to ensure we could get him. She is a small hobby breeder, based in Austria. She breeds for mind and body as well as breed “type” with Black Russian Terriers, who are working dogs as well as show and family companions.

A week before we were supposed to send her payment for Hero to come to the USA, a family member passed away and we had to drop a bucket load of money onto hospital and funeral bills.

When we told her we were now limited on money and couldn’t afford Hero’s full price, she was very sad because she felt I was the perfect home for this little pup. We offered to pay in installments and she could hold his papers until she was paid in full, but instead she asked us to just pay for his plane ticket and to not worry about everything else. She insisted that he was perfect for us and we were perfect for him.

The original price for Hero was $3,000 including his flight, kennel, vet visits, and export pedigree, but instead we ended up paying half of that. The breeder only cared that Hero was in a home that was meant for him, where he would thrive and be loved forever, over the few hundred she would “profit” — if she would even profit after the puppies’ health tests, feeding, cleaning, and whatever else needs to be done.

Hero is now two and a half months old and really the best dog ever. (Not that Mikka and Kaoss are bad dogs or I love them less; Hero is just special in my heart.) We really are perfect for each other.

I thank Gerhild at Berryland BRTs for being such a wonderful breeder. I also thank her for being more concerned with what is best for her dogs over money and allowing us, through this tough time for our family, to have one of the most special puppies around.

Syn, Hero, Kaoss, Mikka, and Jack the cat

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