I don’t often take time to stop and reflect on, let alone acknowledge, my blessings. But I’m going to do that right now.
I didn’t think that I would especially like being a breeder. I saw the work and the expense and the worrying. I heard the horror stories of nightmare whelpings and problems with puppy buyers. I thought about how much work the Narnians were when they were visiting, and I figured that it was all just a necessary evil on the way toward my goal of producing the dog I wanted to produce.
I certainly never expected to LOVE it.
And I do. I love watching those babies growing and developing and learning to think. I love Rain and her feisty, opinionated self. I love Edgar, with his funny faces and bright brindle points and surprising black coat. I love Heathcliff, with his fairy kiss and his swimming laps around the whelping box. I love Tryst, with her sweetness and her adorable yawns (and yes, her Buddha belly). And I love their mom, who is stellar with her babies. I don’t have to spend every waking moment at the office worrying about whether she is taking care of the puppies.
I love my puppy people; I am so looking forward to handing you this little dog-person I’ve helped to create, and to watching the joy you will bring to each other for years to come. You have no idea how grateful I am to have you come into my life.
I have been so blessed with this litter. As first breedings go, I could not have asked for a better experience. A free-whelp, healthy, thriving babies, and a great mom — these are the best things any breeder can hope for, and these are the things that count. A conformation/obedience/herding/agility star would merely be icing on the cake.
There are some people I want to thank, people without whom this entire experience would not have been possible:
- Thank you to Paula O’Donnell, for being an outstanding mentor in this breed, and for sending me such a lovely, lovely bitch to get my start with. A free-whelping bitch is a treasure, and one not to be taken for granted!
- Thank you to Kate Roberson, for showing me all I know about caring for newborn puppies; for talking me down off the ledge every time I freaked out; and for coming running at 4:30 a.m., when apparently the puppies were not going to be imminent for several more hours.
- Thank you to Melanie Chiappone, for being this litter’s other grandma; for being the cavalry and coming down on a lovely lake weekend to sit with me and deliver puppies and handle all of “the gross stuff;” and for being my show buddy and all-around great friend.
- Thank you to Cheryl Black, for all of the help and advice, and the willingness to answer endless (no doubt stupid) questions.
- Thank you to my mom, who is there to take my boys when the girls are in season, thereby preserving what little sanity I have left.
- And THANK YOU to my wonderful husband, who puts up with all of the craziness and very rarely bats an eye.
I am a dog breeder. And I love it.