Rockhurst HavaneseQuestionable Breeder

J Review updated:

We just had an awful experience with a Havanese Breeder in Ontario called Rockhurst Havanese. Everything was going smoothly until our visit to the breeder to see our 6 week old puppy. We arrived with our two small children and were greeted by 16 dogs which was fine but I simply asked in a casual way "why do you have 16 dogs"?. Beth (the breeder and owner) immediately became extremely angry and defensive and told me that I was here to meet my puppy, and not to ask questions. If I had questions to email them to her. An immediate red flag went up for me. Her reaction to one simple question was so over the top, angry and defensive that I could only assume she had something to hide. I tried to calm her down by being light hearted (because quite frankly she was scaring my children and we were there to meet our puppy), but the damage was done for her. She was very upset that I had asked her why she had 16 dogs and for the rest of the visit she was terrible to me and my children - rude, angry and nasty. What was supposed to be an amazing and happy experience for my family turned into a mess from me asking one simple question. My husband and I were silent for most of the visit because we were shocked by her over reaction and wanted to keep things calm for my kids. My kids left feeling scared and upset and asked why the lady was so mean. I would be careful when dealing with this woman. There is definitely something off here.

Responses

  • Cl
    Clegane Dondarrion Nov 28, 2020
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    Have to agree with the negative reviews about this awful woman Beth. She's very discriminatory and patronizing. Will never deal with her, will try Joanne Swayze instead.

    0 Votes
  • Hu
    Hubby Dubby Nov 25, 2019
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    I see that Marilyn Brown who in October 2018 wrote in defence of my wife Beth’s renowned puppy breeding practice has now crossed the field and joined forces with the mud slingers. Poor woman. She just can’t let go of her anger, learn to relax, and enjoy life with her puppy.

    Although you can find lots of advice on the Web about looking for a breeder who offers a “health guarantee” that does not necessarily mean that the term makes sense.

    Here is how Merriam-Webster defines the word “guarantee”: “An assurance of the quality of or of the length of use to be expected from a product offered for sale often with a promise of reimbursement.” This is followed by a sample sentence: “The washer comes with a guarantee against major defects.”

    A puppy is not a mass-produced product. It is not a machine. It is a living being. Just as a couple adopting a child would not ask the adopting agency for a “health guarantee”, so a thoughtful person adopting a puppy would not expect a breeder to guarantee its health.

    Beth provides documented evidence to buyers that the parents of the puppy have passed all the usual tests of vision, bone structure, heart function, et cetera. That does not mean that the puppy will never get sick. She recommends that puppy buyers consider getting insurance to cover veterinary costs. Some get it. Some don’t.

    2 Votes
  • Jo
    Joanie Gershowitz Mintz Jun 22, 2020
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    @Hubby Dubby I have purchased three dogs from Beth. Unfortunately my first dog had a very very rare disease that baffled all the veterinarians and specialists he went to. When I told Beth, she was so sympathetic and offered to refund my money or for me to choose another puppy at a later date. She was so concerned and helpful during that time. Since then I have Gotten two other dogs from Beth. I travel from South Florida to Canada for her puppies. She has always been helpful to answer any questions, given advice were needed, and has truly cared about the dogs I purchased from her. It took me a long time to be able to get my replacement puppy, and Beth was patient for two years. After she got in touch with me and told me that if I wanted to get a pop to please do so during that year or she would be happy to refund the money info. Naturally I took my little Sadie and she is beyond fantastic. My Yogi is five years old, Sadie a little over a year and both dogs are truly amazing. I cannot say enough about Beth and the puppies we brought home to our family. I know that if I have a problem moving forward she will be there. If anyone is contemplating getting a puppy from Rockhurst Havanese, I would highly recommend Beth.

    1 Votes
  • Ma
    Marilyn Brown Nov 24, 2019
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    It’s unfortunate that in her wonderful texting to me back and forth like we were kindred spirits, and my puppy really is cute, but at the time I did not know that he had liver disease.
    I wrote a glowing testimonial that is on her face page of her website -Marilyn Brown-
    It wasn’t much longer and the blood work for his neuter came back with high liver enzymes in a supposedly healthy Master Breeder pup.
    She supposedly takes great investigation into their genetic make up
    It may be that this marker did not show up, but a Responsible Master Breeder, being told by a Specialist at a well known and respected Veterinary Hospital, that her puppy she sold has liver disease, would take great pains to sort out which dogs are affected and notify any owners of puppies produced by Rufus and Dolly
    She went on to use Rufus again
    I guess it’s very expensive to buy sperm from a pure blood line male
    Don’t trust her practises
    She has slowed down her litters
    She was having 3 litters at a time throughput the year amounting to over 30 puppies sold at $3000
    She offers no health guarantees either
    So as for hubby telling a commentator of her experiences with Beth, believe the customer

    2 Votes
  • Hu
    Hubby Dubby Oct 28, 2019
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    I wonder if the person calling herself "JessL" has any idea of the pain she has caused my wife Beth by posting her nasty letter at this site and triggering additional negativity from "Lindan 1", "Maria Turner", "D Mcguire", "Suzannesjs" and "Lilianne Therrien". Grow up, people! It is childish to show yourself having a temper tantrum in public. So you didn't get one of Beth's puppies? Go alone to the top of a mountain and scream your frustration into the wind if you wish, but don't stoop to writing vindictive letters. Hurting others will not bring you happiness.

    Thanks to the kind people who took the trouble to convey their appreciation of Beth and her fabulous dogs. I extend my appreciation to "Chris Purchs", "Dog Lover", "Havanese Lover", "Divas" and "Marilyn Brown". You have helped dilute the vitriol dispensed by the immature mud-slingers. That's good.

    3 Votes
  • Ma
    Marilyn Brown Nov 24, 2019
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    @Hubby Dubby I submitted a formal complaint against your wife Beth Obrecht with the Havanese Fanciers due to her negligent breeding practices.My puppy was found to have high liver enzymes at 4 months prior to his neuter.Beth was always so friendly and supportive in her responses to questions.However when she was told about my puppy’s high liver enzymes and the vet recommendation to see a specialist for his neuter and liver biopsy, she turned into a very nasty lady .
    She told me that she was going to tell the other owners of my puppy siblings, not to have any pre neuter or spay bloodwork.
    I assumed that she was afraid of getting more news of problems with the other pups sired by Rufus and Dolly.
    She told me my vet was incompetent and that I caused his liver disease by jabbing him with needles
    Luckily I listened to my vet and had the specialist at the Veterinary Hospital do the neuter and biopsy .They also had a dental surgeon remove his baby incisors that were stuck against his adult ones coming in
    They exrayed his mouth and found large inch round back molars with sharp ends that were twisted and growing into his jaw
    Eventually if not removed they would crack his little jaw
    They found out that one of his parents carry a Genetic Markerfor Liver Disease and when I told Beth to advise theorber owners of puppies born to Dolly and or Rufus, to check and manage early any signs of liver disease, she refused to communicate with me
    She has received a formal complaint by her Association which only could possibly limit her being able to show her dogs
    This could affect her Master Breeder Status
    Complaining to the CKC is expensive and timely so few bother
    She overbred Dolly anda few other of her female dogs
    She’s almost a puppy mill, when you look back on the sheer numbers of puppies she bred
    Poor Dolly was bred 5 times
    In England they have much more control over puppy mills in the name of a Purebred Breeder
    They only allow a female to breed 3 times and then the breeder is charged and shut down
    Unfortunately in Canada we are far behind the protection of the female [censored]es that liveonly to produce
    The AKC has guidelines as well but none in Canada
    These show dogs live in boarding kennels for months at a time where a trainer can go and get them ready to perform
    Stay clear of this very unethical breeder masking herself as a Master Breeder only because she shows so many dogs a year that place
    Any good breeder would be on top of this Genetic Marker in a flash
    Obviously Beth doesn’t want to rock the boat and have to put up money to previous purchasers other dogs if they too are sick
    It really surprised me that she blamed me instead of taking on the root of the problem in her lines
    She is more than likely still using Rufus or his sperm

    0 Votes
  • Li
    Lilianne Therien Oct 14, 2019
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    I have also read all comments and if it those not seem right walk away...a breeder that does not let you contact them by phone only emails is a red flag for me...so everyone that did not get a puppy from this breeder count yourself lucky...anyone that is looking for a ethical breeder should definitely check the website buyhavanse.com...it has wonderful information for people trying to find an ethical breeder...a breeder that has a good reputation is not necessary a ethical breeder...a ethical breeder is also someone that cares for the people who are adopting their pups...I did not feel this at all with this breeder... this experience helped me in deciding what breeders are worth considering...when we buy a puppy, the pup and the breeder becomes part of our family...someone you can count on if you have questions or concerns .

    0 Votes
  • Da
    Dan Donaldson Mar 08, 2019

    Dan March 8, 2019
    We have read all the comments, and can say one thing, if it doesn't feel right, it isn't right! We have purchased two amazing javanese puppies over five years and they are just the best in character, socialization, they are a calm loving breed. We have purchased them from a breeder in Tweed, Joanne Swayze of Everspring Javanese. Joanne is an amazing breeder, when we first went to visit her, she immediately invited us into her home to see her dogs and their surroundings, I actually sat on the floor surrounded by new puppies. She helped us choose our puppy, by askig us a few questions about our lifestyle...5 years later we have the best, calm, and super smart little dog. We just purchased our second one 6 months ago, the sweetest dog ever...they follow me everywhere, since I am now retired...they don't call them the "velcro" dog for nothing. If a breeder does not make you feel comfortable with choosing a dog, remember, they are not just a dog, they will be an important member of your family, a big decision!

    4 Votes
  • Re
    Renee Kessler Dec 18, 2018

    I have been in email conversation with Beth of Rockhurst Havanese since mid October 2018.
    I find Beth to be highly knowledgeable, very helpful, and very professional.
    Emails are always answered, questions are addressed in an intelligent and fact based manner.
    I echo all of Diva’s comments about Beth ( Divas, September 28 2018).
    I urge all who wish to welcome a Havanese into their hearts and home to disregard the negative comments and to engage in a conversation with Beth. You will see that she truly is a professional who stands behind her breeding program.
    I so look forward to welcoming my puppy in March. Thank you, Beth, for being so scrupulous, and for doing your best to make sure that all your puppies will go into loving homes.

    7 Votes
  • Ma
    Marilyn Brown Oct 01, 2018
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    I am asking those who had a "bad"experience to really think about what actually went on during your visit with children ? Perhaps you were the one who showed disdain for her many dogs, thinking it a puppy Mill.The lady who wrote that these were for her agility and other activities she does with ythe Havanese .She is on the Board of Havanese Fanciers who provide information to all Havanese owners and I doubt that they would allow a puppy mill operator to be on their board.
    I had a very weird experience with a Master Breeder in BC Her site looked amazing but she could not be trusted as when there wasn't a colour that I wanted .all of a sudden she had a dog just that colour coming from some other person.
    This is to warn people to steer clear of getting a puppy so far away.You have no idea what will be shipped to you .
    As for Beth, she is a constant source of good info on my new puppy.She takes great care of them.
    She had been breeding dogs for a long time so of course if some are good as a show dog she isn't going to sell all of them .
    It's too easy to destroy a person's reputation by repeatedly putting a really bad review everywhere you can think .
    Get on with your life .If you two didn't click then that's too bad because she's been nothing but wonderful in my emails and soon visit.
    I had a bad interaction with a BC so called Master Breeder and subsequent weird emails from her when I said that I didn't want a puppy from her and she refused my deposit back .
    This BC breeder knows who she is .Maybe others get ok puppies but if you can't see it before you pay then don't connect with any BC breeders.She was listed in Canada Dog magazine as a v good Breeder but has since only been online and not on any board.
    Kudos to Beth at Rockhurst Havanese!!

    6 Votes
  • Di
    Divas Sep 28, 2018
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    I'm getting a puppy from Beth and I've had nothing but wonderful emails about the puppies She only has 2 dogs breeding now and the one of the Moms she had recently give birth, she won't use again because the Mom is too nervous and irritated and she has to give it s lot of love cuddles and watching
    My puppies Mom is a beautiful Havanese
    Beth has provided us with many sites to read up on for having a new puppy and training equipment etc
    I can't say enough about how nice a person she is
    Her dogs look very healthy My puppy is gorgeous and all gaining weight
    They do Neuro Stim on the puppies starting at day 3 to help them develop into well adjusted pets
    She gave us the article to read on what it is
    She's particular about where puppies go to
    All I know is that you need to be communicating with a Breeder all through the before visit to see and then to buy
    Have you seen pictures of her Puppy room It's huge
    She only is Breeding Doll and Ros and only 2 litters
    That's not a puppy mill
    She's in agility races with other dogs she owns so perhaps those were the dogs you saw
    A Breeder isn't going to have 2 dogs
    I saw a bad Breeder pictures and the blankets are dirty with spots of stuff
    The dogs have feces on there bums
    Her puppies are on Sherpa padding and all so clean
    Gaining weight She sends photos weekly and more
    Everyone will have an opinion but I just don't see that attitude in Beth She even asked about my Granddaughters and how they were as they were sick
    Good Luck in getting a healthy puppy
    She also told me that I could get my deposit back if I pulled out for any reading
    You won't find many that will do that

    Comments

    3 Votes
  • Li
    lindan1 Oct 30, 2016
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    Just sharing our experience. I am sure there are those who have had good experiences with her but we did not. Our little puppy was refused to us without good reason. She based her refusal on our current dogs aggression issues with having her bum wiped which is required for a medical issue she has. We have another puppy now and everything is wonderful between the two dogs. NO aggression issues. The breeder we have now is amazing, came to the house to see where her puppy was going to be living and met our other dog. The two of them get along famously. Everything happens for a reason.

    -1 Votes
  • Do
    Dog_Lover Jan 14, 2017
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    @lindan1 "Our little puppy was refused to us without good reason." Here's the thing... until a contract is signed and the money changes hands & registration is changed to your name, it is NOT your puppy. I understand a person's heart gets attached at the thought of a certain puppy especially one that it seemed would work out; but speaking as someone who was working with multiple quality breeders where things didn't work out, due to either MY reasons or the breeders reasons(keeping for show), I can say any breeder, including Beth has the right to change her mind about what family to place any particular puppy with weather you agree with their decision or not. Breeders have a right to chose what homes their dogs' prodigies go to; they are the best decision maker as they know the puppy's temperament better than we would and the best homes for them based on the information they acquire during the process. I am glad you found the right puppy for your situation in the end. Everything worked out that way for a reason.

    14 Votes
  • Ha
    Havanese lover Oct 30, 2016
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    Beth is a wonderful breeder. She responds to questions promptly and provides excellent advice.We adopted a puppy and a retired adult dog from her. She sent pictures of our puppy and his siblings multiple times a week. She checked in with us on a regular basis to see how both dogs were adjusting to their new homes.

    20 Votes
  • Do
    Dog_Lover Jan 14, 2017
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    @Havanese lover "Beth is a wonderful breeder. She responds to questions promptly and provides excellent advice."
    Agreed.

    11 Votes
  • Li
    lindan1 Oct 28, 2016
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    Well, I should have heeded all your warnings. I just had the same thing happen to me with Beth from Rockhurst Havanese. We put our names down for a puppy back in August 2016. She asked for our detailed information about our lives. I explained everything to her and it looked like everything was fine. The mother then had her babies in September 2016 and we got to choose and name our puppy. We were so excited. Then we got to visit and hold our puppy for the first time before we thought we were bringing him home. During the visit I mentioned how our current dog at home had a lot of pain in her bum area from a burst anal gland and was sometimes aggressive with us when we tried to clean her bum area. So we decided to be responsible people and brought my cousins puppy in for 2 weeks to see how it would go. Not once did our dog try to hurt the puppy. They got along really well and actually our dog was sad to see my cousins puppy leave. Even though we explained this to Beth, she sent us an email that night at 11pm telling us that we couldn't have the puppy because our dog was too aggressive from her pain. I was devastated! And then when my husband tried to call her a couple of times, she took the phone off of the hook. She had the nerve to say to me in the email to not take it personally. How could I not take it personally when she is accusing my dog of hurting a puppy. She also had the nerve to send us the pictures she took of us with the puppy. Wow, that was cruel. In hindsight, it was a blessing. She had two litters going at once. Her house stunk and there was urine in the puppy pens. She had all the adults locked in crates for the hour we were there. One of her seven dogs was trying desperately to climb out of the pen so I asked if I could pick her up. She said yes but seemed very put off by this (this was before the conversation about our dog). Everything happens for a reason and I am glad that fate was watching out for us that day.

    -10 Votes
  • Su
    Suzannesjs Jun 20, 2016
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    Hi Jess,

    I see that this comment will be coming quite a time after your horrible experience, but I wanted you to know that I, too, had an equally horrible experience with Beth at Rockhurst. Afterwards, I was convinced that she seriously needed professional help given her over-reaction to the question my husband and I had about the puppy we'd waited for for over 10 weeks, and were just about to pick up. She informed us that our puppy was having a bad case of diarrhea, and it'd been going on for a few days, and he wasn't himself. She said that it might be Giardia, but she wasn't sure. Since our son, who lives next door to us, also just adopted a new puppy - same age - we were concerned about passing something on that would cause them expensive vet bills. So we asked if she could get a definitive diagnosis, not because we wouldn't take our puppy; we were so excited about getting him no matter what the issue. However, she flatly refused to get the test done for us, and when we asked her again, and told her we'd be happy to repay her any costs associated with getting the diagnosis, she simply wrote us an email saying she's sorry it didn't work out! HUH?!?!? What didn't work out?? We wanted our puppy, and begged her not to take him away from us, but she simply eTransferred our money back to us and wrote that the reason we weren't going to get our puppy was because "we weren't on the same page" as her, and further that she "wasn't worried about Giardia, but we were"!! Who cares if she's not worried; we're the new owners. Isn't she in the business of helping and supporting new owners?? So yes, we were concerned, but only to the extent that we wanted to know for sure if it was Giardia so we could consult a vet as soon as possible when he came home with us. And further, since she doesn't offer any health guarantee (for a $3K dog!!), we wanted to know if he had something else that might be even more concerning. We guess that her OVER-REACTION was due to either: 1) she didn't want to have an official test done that would highlight her breeding program was associated with Giardia, or 2) there was something more seriously wrong with our puppy and she didn't want us to know, and therefore, lose the money. If those two theories are wrong, there's a third: she's lost it. I've never had an experience like that in my life. Someone who was so cold-hearted, harsh, uncompromising, and frankly, completely unreasonable!! She should be ashamed of herself for behaving so incredibly immature and unprofessional.

    A red flag had gone up earlier, perhaps a few weeks before our experience that should've warned me that she wasn't working on with all cylinders. One of the other new owners had asked Beth if she wouldn't mind sending a pic of her new puppy so she could get her 'fix', and Beth tore off a strip in an email addressed to all of us that she was sorry that someone wanted a FIX, and that she'd been doing everything she could to keep us up to date with the puppies progress, but she had A LOT going on, and we'd just have to basically manage our curiosity. (It was worded way worse that that, but really, do you honestly want your customers to see you so unhinged?? Keep it in the family, please!!)

    So no, awards do NOTHING to reflect the integrity of a person; Beth is a perfect example of that reality. I'm sorry that you had the experience that you did, Jess, but I'm sure between us, we're not alone. My guess is that there are many others out there!

    Cheers,

    Suzanne

    -12 Votes
  • Do
    Dog_Lover Feb 26, 2016
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    Quite frankly I think your reaction is a little over the top JessL.
    If your "kids were feeling scared & upset" why did you stay?
    Your post is copy and pasted with your exact verbiage here & at the Havanese forum where there are several happy owners of her dogs that had the exact opposite experience as you describe.
    I am currently negotiating getting a pup from Beth and she is nothing but wonderful, honest, communicative, happy to answer my questions, and shows concern for the pups she places her retired beloved pets & her breeders. Good breeders will often offer to board dogs they have placed while their new families travel, so that could also be going on. I do not see her breeding females in back to back heats- where is your proof?
    While you think your question was "casual' perhaps it didn't come off that way and sounded more accusatory?
    You trying to slander her character and calling her "unethical" has done nothing to to make me reconsider. I can judge for myself.
    If you chose not to get a dog from her based on you interaction with her, that is fine, but slandering someone's character is not.

    26 Votes
  • Je
    JessL Feb 10, 2016

    Having lots of show awards does not make you an ethical breeder. That assumption was my first mistake. There were many red flags that went off in dealing with Beth and I wish I had listened to my gut. I have since found another breeder and what a difference! Transparent, friendly and not in it for the money(:

    -1 Votes
  • Li
    Liz Gallagher Dec 05, 2019
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    @JessL Could you please share your findings with me ?
    I would greatly appreciate your feedback
    Thanks Liz

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chris Purchs Jan 04, 2016
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    I recently purchased a puppy from Beth after doing a ton of research and speaking to several other breeders both locally in in the US. Her dogs are very well trained, healthy and socialized. She is a very respected breeder in the Havanese breeder community. She has 16 dogs because some are retired, some are her breeder dogs. Did you notice the number of awards she has in her puppy room? Her dogs win countless awards in competitions locally and internationally. She is certainly not a puppy mill or an unethical breeder. Since picking up my dog we have exchanged countless emails as she is always interested in how she is doing. Please do your homework before attacking someones credibility.

    19 Votes
  • Do
    Dog_Lover Jan 14, 2017
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    @Chris Purchs "Her dogs are very well trained, healthy and socialized." ..."Please do your homework before attacking someones credibility." Agreed.

    8 Votes
  • Dm
    DMcGuire Nov 21, 2015
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    Puppy mill distributor or money gouging breeder. Either way not a reliable breeder.

    -17 Votes
  • Je
    JessL Sep 22, 2015

    This breeder is only interested in making money and lots of it. She is cranking out 5 to 6 litters a year (or more) and breeding each of her females every time they are in heat. Her house was FULL of dogs EVERYWHERE and two litters side by side. She knows that her practices are questionable and that's why she doesn't like questions about what she is doing. Where there is smoke...there is fire.

    -16 Votes
  • Ma
    Maria Turner Apr 22, 2017
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    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @JessL Hello Jess.
    I have the highest respect for you sharing your experience with Rockhurst Havanese.About 5-6 years ago, heart broken, facing the imminent loss of my beloved Coton de Tulear, I found Elizabeth Obrecht's Havanese webpage.Always having had a soft spot for the little Cuban dog, I wrote an email to ms Obrecht, explaining my sad situation, asking her advice, when puppies would be available, etc.The reply I received was stunning.Within her first sentence, she pointed out how expensive her puppies are.No compassion, no kind words of any-kind...Stunned, I let her know my Coton wasn't an inexpensive breed either, She agreed, and said, as long as I knew/realized, her Havanese cost a bundle.Throughout the whole exchange she was arrogant, patronizing, unpleasant, high and mighty.Fortunately being quite sensitive to peoples' characters, I have not been in touch with her since. I am truly sorry for you, and your young family.There's so much joy, hope, excitement involved in acquiring a new "baby"into the family.Ms Obrecht destroyed all that for yours.As these lines relate, my encounter with the owner of Rockhurst happened many years ago, yet, unfortunately, it still reverberates in my mind.With*Best*Wishes.

    -1 Votes

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