Years and years ago, I fell in love with maltese and wanted my first dog to be a maltese. But eventually I went to a big dog show and fell in love with Bichons. I could not afford dealer prices so looked to a rescue society that put me in touch with someone needing to move and couldn't take the dog. I went to his home, was told the dog was show quality but not temperament so more reason for him to get rid of her. He went to the basement and brought her up. She looked so scared but jumped up where I sat and hid behind me. I was told she was a few months old. I was so hungry for a pet I paid his rehoming fee of several hundred dollars, was told he had packed her papers but would send them to me, of course he never did. She was afraid of everything--grass, walking on leash, etc. also the vet said she was about a year old. With patience and love, I helped her build her confidence and showed her unconditional love. She was the sweetest dog ever, and in ever regretted getting her. After a few years, because I worked full time, I wanted a second one to keep her company. I drove to a "dealer" who put me in a small empty room, then brought in a two little puppies. One was fat, spunky and playful, the other was so sad looking and sat in the corner--my heart chose him. When I got him to the vet, I found out he was six months old or more plus had severe case of ear mites. Once those were cleared up, he started gaining weight, strength and his personality perked up. He turned into a lovely little guy. I had both dogs their whole lives, and could not have loved them more if they had come from a prince's palace. I know I overpaid for both of them, but at least they had happy lives.