" I AM A BREEDER"
I am a breeder
My food receipts for a family of 12 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 cup of coffee 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 14 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 church
Most of my friends breed dogs - 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 12..feeding every 2 hours and it taking 90 minutes to do for weeks at a time.
I have learned to be proficient at micro chipping, vaccinations, sub q fluids, bottle feeding and tube feeding.
my vet knows me by first name
the vet knows my children
the vet now knows my grand children
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 delivers all 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 not uneducated, unemployable, illiterate or lazy as some Animal Rights folks would imply of breeders.
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 water dish?
A kennel not yet cleaned for the day?
A rash I am home treating?
I tell my children and grand children 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 raking 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.
Written by: Lori Of Southern style kennel