Aha! So everyone take a deep breath, because now we have visual evidence that none of us is crazy and the two things do not match.
Yarnstars, I would guess that between the time that the model was produced and the time that the actual pattern was written up and sold, the designer (or maybe an editor) added a row of double crochets to make the bottom edge stronger (and possibly thinking that it is easier to work into), and the model was not redone. (In which case, one could say 'shame on them' or just 'human error' and try to forgive.)
In my not-so-humble opinion, the double crochets work to produce a consistent lower edge, but it's not the effect in the original picture. And to me, the original picture looks all messed up; the motifs aren't straight-on at the lower edge and they just look goofy, but perhaps that's a lack of blocking?
It looks to me as if the original's foundation chain has picots, and then the pattern starts right away, i.e., the very bottom is only chains and picots, not double-crochets and picots. I don't have the pattern, but could you try working the pattern without the row of double crochet?
On my computer screen, I can enlarge the window in my browser and see the stitches quite clearly, which might help doing it without the double-crochet row.
Is there a chart/graph or just written instructions? If there is no chart, could you chart the first few rows using graph paper and symbols (the graph paper helps everything stay lined up)? I don't think you should have to do that, but if that made working the pattern possible for you, would it be worth it?
I agree that it's very frustrating when the model and the directions don't match and that the designer ought to make up for it in some way (your money back would be good...)
If all else fails, sell the pattern to one of us! Even if you got some of your money back, it would be better than nothing (and wasting time and energy just fuming if you are going to give up on it.)
I hope that you can overcome this, and I apologize if any of us has offended you in the course of this discussion. I think most of us try to be good-hearted and helpful, and sometimes on-screen 'talk' doesn't convey emotion well enough.