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From the latest issue of AARP magazine
Putting the Fun in Refund
May & June 2004
Eight ways that big fat check from the IRS can change your life!
Bring Home a Best Friend
A puppy's floppy ears and oversized paws won't just tug at your
heartstrings. A pooch can provide companionship and encourage you to
You could get a pup free at the animal shelter, but you won't be sure
if you'll have Toto or Marmaduke when the dog matures. If you want
specific characteristics, consider a thoroughbred. You'll pay $750 to
$1,500 or more for a pure-bred dog. Spring for one with great
bloodlines and champion ancestors, and he may even earn a few bucks
occasionally; stud fees range from $250 to $750.
Now's a great time to buy, as many breeders time their litters to
arrive in the spring, says breeder Linda Ciocci of New Haven,
Connecticut. Also, it's easier to train a puppy with lots of warm
While at the breeder's, spend time with the pup's parents (the mother,
at least) and siblings to see how the breed behaves, advises Gail
Miller, a spokesperson for the American Kennel Club in New York City.
Three gentle, easy-to-train breeds: the Portuguese water dog (active
and won't shed), the Yorkshire terrier (small and intelligent), and
the greyhound (mellow and large). See dogbreedinfo.com or the American
Kennel Club's website for more information.
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