It may just be my personal experience, but maybe this is a countrywide trend?
At my son's school there has been an outbreak of puppy buying.
It's quite a posh school in a posh area, from play dates I can stereotype that in many of these families daddy is something important in the city, mummy doesn't have to work but still has to have at least one nanny.
There are also some normal folk, but not many.
Sometimes poor mum has to juggle going to the gym and the beauty salon before going for coffee with the other Stepford wives - oops, didn't mean to be rude!
It must be hell for them.
I observe them from a very envious and curious distance as I rush shambolically between work and school trying to fit everything in and usually failing dismally and unstylishly!
Anyway, the latest must have for this elite set is a pup.
And the pup of choice - almost without variation?
Now don't all sigh.
I have to say that so far all have fitted into to their seemingly perfect worlds remarkably well.
They have been lovingly carried in cashmere blankets to the school gates to much adoration from the kids. They have effortlessly and fearlessly made the transition to walking on the lead beautifully despite still being really very weeny.
Sweet, friendly and remarkably healthy pups despite most of these dogs originating ominously in Wales.
Very nice temperaments, easy for even novices to house train and undeniably gorgeous.
My research has revealed that most of these have been bought from a large apparently squeaky clean kennels devoted to producing expensive crosses, it's one that does some early housetraining and appears to health test almost everything possible and hold all the relevant licences.
I am torn.
It is wrong in many ways, but this outfit is serving their target market accurately and seems to have a high satisfaction rating.
It is giving the priviliged the cute little pups they want at a very high price, but they are providing part-trained and health tested well socialised pups.
They are a quite a different kettle of fish to the puppy farmers supplying the dealers with cheap, poorly reared, untested stock that are often sickly.
Is it ever acceptable to commercially breed dogs?
There's a meaty moral dilemma for you for you while you have your elevenses.
And I start to worry that if even people I know are still shopping for pups from big commercial outlets, what hope for the rest of the world?
And am I able to identify any exemplary small, less commercial Cockerpoo breeders for them to compare and contrast with? No!
It occurs to me we haven't even done a Cockerpoo Fido Facts and perhaps we really should.
Is there a club?
Are there any progressive breeders out there who'd like to get in touch? We only have one advisor for this breed listed and I remember that number has been there for many years.
Are there any owners who'd like to bring their Cockerpoos into a studio in Slough for us to take photos of? All the school Cockerpoos have looked liked pees in a pod. Black, shiny, shaggy and small.
Anyone out there got any other colours or types?
What's it like to live with this breed? We need someone to write that up for our feature - might this be something that you could do?
What should be the criteria for a good breeder of Cockerpoos?
And is the Miniature or the Toy the oodle of choice?
The public seems to really like these little dogs so I guess we should try to help direct them to the good folk as they're obviously finding breeders one way or another all by themselves.
We advise that breeders of this cross should do all the health tests relevant for both breeds involved in the cross.
Are you a Cockerpoo breeder already doing health testing?
Do get in touch if you can help or contribute to the debate!
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org