I AM A BREEDER…
My food receipts for a family of 4 and my dog food bills match, My water bill has doubled, My electric has tripled.
It is I, a breeder, who when my fridge quit, saved the dog meds and let the food go bad.
My feet find the way to the kennel before I have even grabbed a bowl of cereal in the morning and the kennel is my last stop before bed.
While my friends are on a cruise to the Bahamas and my family meets for Christmas I am home delivering puppies. I haven’t had a real vacation in 19 years, but maybe soon. All plans are made around heat dates, whelp dates and vet dates.
I shower and 10 minutes later my kids say I smell like a dog. My clothes are all stained with fecal matter, urine, afterbirth or bleach I have to remember to clean my shoes before I go to Wal-Mart. Most of my friends raise somthing, what there is left of us, who else can you call at 3 am for support? Who else has the experience I sometimes need, the med I sometimes need, or just an uplifting word I sometimes need? Who else would understand how it feels to have invested hours and hours and hours in a weak puppy to lose it? Or the joy in investing hours in one that lives? I have slept on the floor beside a litter until the crucial 2 weeks have passed. I have bottle fed a litter of 8, feeding every 2 hours and it taking 90 minutes to do for weeks at a time. I get nervous giving those crucial vaccinations for fear that the puppy may whimper. I have learned to be proficient at micro chipping, vaccinations, sub q fluids, bottle feeding and tube feeding. I always do what is correct for the best of each and every puppy and adult. Most of my vets have lent a shoulder when I loose a puppy…it is personal for me. Its not about the money, its about the life. My vet knows me by first name the vet knows my children the vet now knows me personally, my vet knows it was I who added on the wing to the vet clinic. I am a breeder.
It is to me that 63 days takes on new meaning still excited by every new life. It is I who deliver all of my pups, towels and heat lamps on, ready, happiness and sadness sometimes intermingled. Even though it increases my work load, I look forward to the 10 day stage when eyes open, and puppies begin to emerge from the helplessness of newborns. Puppy breath, a first bark, and a heart of exploration. I am a conscientious lover of animals and I have found my niche. I am a breeder. And although I feel no shame, there is a part of me that feels the need to hide from powers that could come to invade my home and take my dogs…maybe for finding a mild infraction, a leaf in the food dish? A kennel not yet cleaned the day of a surprise inspection? A rash I am home treating? I tell my children and family to hush, do not tell others we are dog breeders, and I wonder when did breeding puppies go into the same secret place as criminal activity? I am a breeder, and I am not cruel, dumb, uncaring or criminal. I am not racking in money while sitting on my butt. Every penny I make I earn through blood, sweat and tears. My greatest joy is a healthy puppy and a wonderful home. The cards of thanks and the pictures of my puppy with its new family is the fringe benefits of my efforts. I am an animal lover, nurse, midwife, heavy laborer, customer service representative, and marketer. AND I am a breeder.
I AM A BREEDER AND PROUD TO BE ONE!!!