A frustrating search

Hi fellow sheepie folks!
My dearly beloved Alice passed away almost exactly two years ago. She lived to be a very happy 14.5 years before back arthritis and old age came upon her swiftly. Her photos and paw print line our fireplace mantle, and always will.

My wife and I began a search for a new member our home almost two months ago. We had a referral through a very respected breeder, and owner of Alice's dad, to a breeder who had a recent litter. We thought that we had our new "Martha", but some unexplained mix-up happened and we were informed that she was suddenly not available. We only discovered this after calling the breeder for more details and status, and after a very tough time getting any communication.

Very disappointed, we returned our search. We thought that we had found our pup again, but were met with silence after asking to chat over the phone to figure out logistics and a deposit. The sudden drop in communication still has us baffled.

We've tried reaching out everywhere that we can. So far we haven't gotten much, if any, response. I phoned a breeder on puppyfind last night, only to find out that their pups don't get their hearing checked and that mom has never had her hips checked, despite health guarantees and info pointing to this person as being reputable. It's hard to say no to adorable puppy photos, but we're adamant about adopting from a healthy line and from a conscientious breeder.

Which leads us to now. We have a wonderful home to offer to a wonderful oes. If anyone in this community has any helpful advice, we are absolutely all ears!
Respond to this topic here on forum.oes.org  
Try www.marketplace.akc.org. Refine search by breed for breeders who have OES puppies. Then, cross reference the breeders on OESCA, http://www.oldenglishsheepdogclubofamerica.org/. Use drop down at top of page>find a puppy>breeder referral.

I applaude your search for a reputable healthy puppy. Good luck!!
Thanks for the tip Auntybren! We made contact with Grannie Annie of neoesr.org who has been a pleasure and very generously helpful. We have a few leads with oes club breeders, but it's hard to be patient when you have a major case of puppy fever. We are chasing every lead and have had very positive impressions with all of the oes club breeders we have spoken with. Finding a pup with a healthy background is quite difficult, which is a very sad statement to make. We have found that almost all of the oes "breeders" on puppyfind do not have the bare minimum of OFA health certificates for their dogs. Even though oes pups are irresistible, avoiding these kinds of breeders truly benefits our beloved sheepdogs. It is heartbreaking to have to pass by a pup.

We have learned that the "health guarantee" can be a very misleading assurance. It can be a low-obligation gamble for breeders who may or may not be aware of parental genetic issues. To their financial benefit, at worst the gamble means a providing a replacement pup. We initially thought that these guarantees signaled a confident breeder, but the opposite may more likely the case. Lots of puppy-beware in this process. Just when we thought that we knew sheepies pretty well; this search has been an interesting education.
I just wanted to follow up. Grannie Annie pointed us in the right direction and we brought our new family member home on New Year's eve. We couldn't have found a more phenomenal breeder.

Here's our little Martha on the 1st day of 2017

Good luck to everyone searching for their pup!
What a cutie!
Look at Martha, herding sheep already!
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