How to Get the Best Dog Ever

Michaella Henry
8 min readMar 27, 2021
(Image courtesy of the author)

The most common questions I receive while walking my 5-month old puppy:

  • Where did you get your dog?
  • How do you find a dog?
  • Where is your dog from?

The answers in order:

  • Indiana (I’m from Boston).
  • Through months of research.
  • An ethical purpose breeder.
Face on photo of tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy in motion at a park on a sunny day
This lovely pup is Zazu, my best dog ever. (Image courtesy of the author)

Let’s be clear: every dog is a good dog at heart. Yes, even the dog I had to kick at last week at the park. He scratched my legs and barked at my crying puppy after he had bitten Zazu’s neck and pinned him to the ground. That dog’s behavior boils down to a poor upbringing.

All of us see our respective dogs as “the best dog ever.” This article highlights the steps I took to find my version of the best dog ever: bred and raised in an ideal home with love before I adopted him. The rest is in my hands.

close up of Tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy sleeping on a lilac rug
Zazu napping at 11 weeks after coming home (Image courtesy of the author)

Looking for a rescue dog or one from a shelter? You’re my hero. I am a firm believer in attempting to find your dream dog among those without a home before venturing into the realm of breeders. But if you’re like me and live in an apartment instead of a home or lack other criteria an animal shelter is seeking in applicants, finding a purpose breeder is a great way to go.

If you’re considering buying a dog from a pet store, please don’t. I outline in another article I wrote why that’s not okay based on my own experience of being scammed by a pet store and owning a past dog for only a day. Keep in mind that no good breeder would sell a puppy to a broker (third-party salesman) and have them go to a household they know nothing about, let alone send them to live in a glass case until purchased. Healthy, growing puppies require space to exercise, defecate, and regular attention and affection. They learn many of their life skills from their mother and littermates.

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Michaella Henry

Writer and UX Designer. Neurodivergent. Intersectional Feminist. Crafting personal narratives that make strangers feel less alone. Psych, Gender Equity, Race.