Doin’ It Right
I said in my rant a couple of posts back that I need to simplify my dog life, and lower both my expectations and the strain upon my checkbook. One piece of that is for me to focus on showing and breeding one breed only — Cardigans. So what does that mean for Mina, you ask?
We adore The Wien, as many Facebook posts and photos can attest. My husband especially bonded with her, and many, many wiener jokes ensued. So hey, no big deal, right? Just retire her from the show ring, spay her, and let her be a dog.
Except… Mina wasn’t sold to me as “just a dog.” Mina was the pick bitch from her litter, and while I claim no sudden expertise in the breed from my brief foray into it, she is a Damn Nice Dog. Her breeder, Jeani, was exceedingly generous in selling me her pick puppy, and we didn’t do a bunch of paperwork and lengthy contracts, but the agreement was obvious: she would be shown and bred.
All breeders have stories of show puppies they have sold, only to later hear through the grapevine that their promising puppy was altered on the down-low. “Oh well, sorry. We decided we couldn’t/didn’t want to bother showing. Too bad,” say those owners. The existence of a contract, or even a co-own, doesn’t seem to alter the sadly familiar refrain — dog contracts are notoriously difficult to enforce. If you are an ethical person, you don’t need a piece of paper to make you so. And if you are not, then no piece of paper will make you one.
I try very hard to treat people the way I want to be treated. I am a dog breeder myself, and if the situation were reversed, I would want an opportunity to get my pick puppy back. The only right thing to do, no matter how hard, was to offer Mina back to her breeder, despite how much we love her.
So, Mina has returned to Connecticut to finish her show career and to make some beautiful babies when she comes of age. The good news for us, the light at the end of the tunnel, is that when she is ready to retire from the ring and from her maternal duties, she will come back to us and we will be her retirement home.
There may not be a ribbon, but I’m calling that a win.