As a Christmas gift this past year (2012) my husband, Kendall Oden, bought an AKC registered Great Dane puppy litter date: 10/16/2012 from Kim Barber of Country Boys Great Danes in the amount of $1400.00. The Puppy was paid for in full at the time of pick up on December 20th, 2012. We were to contact the breeder after the holidays to obtain formal AKC paperwork and breeding rights. The seller met us in Crestview, Florida; therefore, this transaction did occur on Florida soil.
On the 23rd of December (3 days after purchase of the dog) my husband and I began to notice strange behaviors in our new dog, Tiny, i.e. periodic crying, vocalizing, confusion, wandering, and seemingly blindness.
On December 25th, Christmas Day, while I was at work my husband had to rush our new puppy to the Affiliated Pet Emergency Room located in Gainesville, Florida due to increase of symptomatology and new onset of musculoskeletal sensitivity and mouth foaming. Kim Barber was notified of the issues with the puppy and she asked that we please keep her informed.
As the ER examined our puppy, Tiny, they found nuchal rigidity and temporary loss of vision. The Veterinarian prescribed tramadol for pain and prednisone for any potential swelling and recommended that we follow up as soon as possible with our primary care veterinarian.
I had to work the 26th of December so the day after the ER visit with Tiny, I scheduled an appointment for December 27th with Town and Country Veterinary Clinic located in Starke, Florida (our home town vet). Unfortunately, at 8am on the 27th my husband and I witnessed Tinys first seizure. The onset occurred while the puppy and I were napping on the couch. Tiny began to cry and jerk in his sleep, his eye lids began to twitch, his arm, leg, and jaw muscles spasmed violently, and he began uncontrollably foaming at the mouth. Immediately I loaded the puppy in my car and transported him to my vets office.
Once at the office they took Tiny back for an examination and lab work. Shortly after they informed me that they recommended they keep Tiny through the day and night so that they could begin IV therapy including fluids, antibiotics, and anti-seizure medications. About 6 hours had passed when the vets office gave me a call to inform me that they had not been able to control Tinys seizures with IV valium or phenobarbital and they were uncomfortable keeping him through the night with no one there to care for him. After taking this into consideration, I myself being a critical care RN and my best friend being a veterinary assistant, I decided to take the dog home with his IV still in place to care for him through the night in hopes of getting him on the road to recovery. To say the very least, it was one of the longest nights of my life. With no help from the phenobarbital or PR valium Tiny seized approximately 6 times through the night and I found myself back at my vets office first thing in the morning on December 28th.
Unfortunately after many tears and much prayer, taking into consideration the professional advice of my Vet and after speaking with the breeder, it was decided that Tiny needed to be euthanized because neither I nor the breeder had thousands of dollars to spend on taking the puppy to a neurologist for further specialized treatment, scans, and testing. The breeder said to me personally that we should not invest money in an attempt to fix the dog, nor did she want the dog back at her kennel around her other pups. Therefore, the dog was euthanized at my vets office in Starke, Florida.
After the euthanization, we began patiently working with the breeder in order to obtain our refund. Given the situation, at this time my husband and I were not ready financially, physically, or emotionally to take on the responsibility of another animal. Kim Barber told us that she had spent all her money on Christmas gifts for her children and did not have our refund at the time. So we patiently waited through January because she informed us she would be getting her tax refund in the mail and would have our refund then. To say the least February came and went and we had $1400.00 still invested in a puppy we had for a mere 6 days and almost $600.00 in accrued veterinary bills. Kim Barber at this time stated she could only write a bad check. As March rolled around, time had passed, and my heart had healed, so I began entertaining the thought of getting a new dog again.
I contacted Kim Barber on the morning of March 12th to let her know I was interested in obtaining a replacement puppy instead of the monetary refund we had been requesting. Since money seemed to be such an issue for her family at the time, I figured this route may be easier for her also.
I quickly found a puppy on her website that I loved and notified her about this new dog. Kim agreed via email to give me this specific puppy as a replacement. This dogs price was higher than what we paid for Tiny, so we agreed that my husband would void the added refund cost of the vet bills we accrued at Christmas and call it an even swap. She specifically stated, I just dont want hard feelings or negative comments posted on the internet.
After some confusion regarding where Kendall and I would pick up the new dog, I agreed I would meet her at her home in Andalusia, AL. Kim stated she had to be out of town for work related purposes and would obtain health papers on this puppy the following Thursday (the 21st of March).
On the 16th while I was browsing other Dane websites in the internet I found the exact dog I was supposed to be receiving for replacement as agreed on the 12th of March, posted on another site for sale! This sale advertisement was posted on the 16th of March. Just 4 days after our agreement!
After questioning Kim about this issue she stated that I had only a $1400.00 credit with her (minimum purchase price for a puppy on her site now is $1800.00) and I would have to pay the difference if I wanted a dog. After this, I simply sent her my home address and asked her to please send me my $1400.00 refund. It has now been 3 days and after many failed attempts via e-mail and telephone, the Barbers refuse to make contact with me.