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  • Writer's pictureCara Ryckman

Your Ultimate Chihuahua (book): How it came to be

“So, you want a Chihuahua. You have read the AKC Standard or maybe you have seen a Chihuahua on tv at Westminster Dog Show. Maybe you have had one or interacted with one before. However, you are having trouble finding a breeder who will talk to you that you feel is a reputable person. The only ones who are enthusiastically answering you are the ones who seem to have twenty puppies from five different litters available who have names like Angie Jo’s Puppy Patch and who have a shopping cart on their website where you can peruse puppies in almost a catalog. You feel that is not the way you want to go, but you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Nobody is helping you. Finally, you find a picture you like so much, you send money and then find out it’s a scam – you have now lost a $500 to $1000 deposit on a puppy that wasn’t even real in the first place – a stolen or photoshopped picture that makes the puppy look like a cartoon babydoll toy. You end up in a Chihuahua group on Facebook where self-proclaimed experts give you bad advice that turns away reputable breeders. You are very frustrated and end up getting a puppy from Craigslist locally – he is 5 weeks old and he ends up in the vet on night number 2 as he wasn’t really weaned. You now have an $800 vet bill, and the vet tells you this puppy should have never been taken from his mom at such a young age. You try to find the Craigslist breeder and the ad is gone. The puppy sugars out the next day and dies, as you have never been warned about hypoglycemia and you did not realize he was not eating and drinking. You are devastated. Why wouldn’t those reputable breeders answer you?” - Your Ultimate Chihuahua, by Cara Ryckman

As breeders, we know the answer to this, don’t we? The person didn’t convey what they were looking for. They might not be the best writer, and maybe they sent a very short inquiry such as “Have any short coat white appleheads?” or even worse, “Price?” They haven’t thought through all the possibilities or may just not understand how to describe what they want. They sure don’t know how to find us, and when they do they say things that turn us off like “teacup” and “are they appleheads or deerheads?” I am sure you (just like me!) get many inquiries who have already lost money to a scam, or hooked up with a breeder who wasn’t interested in anything but the dollar – a bad experience. Some have had even more than one, and they are very frustrated and maybe even angry at the whole situation. I have talked to and helped a lot of people who were in this position. No, I don’t have a puppy for all of them – I couldn’t meet demand if I tried, and I don’t want to. That’s not what I breed for. But I do want to help people looking for a Chihuahua to make good choices in deciding if the breed is for them, thinking through each choice for their new companion, finding a breeder who is not a scam who has some time in the breed, who is at least making some effort at health testing, who competes with their dogs in conformation or performance sports or who has puppy buyers who do, who breeds for the AKC standard, and who cares about the Chihuahua breed. The Ultimate Chihuahua is what I have come up with as a tool to help people.

It started as what was supposed to be a small pamphlet that I was planning to give anyone who inquired about a puppy, yet you guys know I never do anything small. When it reached 100 pages, I started thinking about making it into a book. I did not want it to be Terlingua fest. I wanted to include dogs and information from as many reputable breeders as I could. And in the end, we have 378 pages, 41 preservation breeders interviewed, and a LOT of good information to pass on. I am thrilled with the finished product. So many people helped with this project – I sure couldn’t have done it without you guys, or at least I could not have done it this well. I am super proud of our accomplishment, and I really appreciate you all. I feel we have done a great thing for Chihuahuas and for the people who seek the best breed in the world.

If you have not heard, the book is currently printing. They are sending it to me on Sept 21st, so I should get it and have it back out to those who have ordered by the end of the month. I am working on the questions about international orders (thank you guys so much, I appreciate so much each and every order and I sure will try to make this work internationally…I have some research to do on a reasonable shipping option for out of the United States). We will also have a booth at the national specialty. The cost of the book is $20 plus $3.99 shipping – and we will also have an option for purchasing 10 at $150 as some people said they were wanting to put them in their puppy material to give their buyers.

Here is the ordering link –

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