Monthly Archives

September 2012

Responsible Breeding

Never be afraid to tell the truth.

I am sitting at my desk, stealing a few minutes from my workday to eat a yogurt. On the side of my container, a prominent circle announces that the milk used to make it is from cows not treated with rBST.

That’s the power of telling the truth. rBST is great for people, terrible for cows. The simple insistence on paying attention to this fact has given a spanking to an entire industry (animal pharmaceuticals – rBST was never a farmer-led product).

Have the courage to insist on the truth when it comes to breeding. Look at every decision you make and ask whether this is for your benefit or for the dogs’. If they are in conflict, choose the dogs. And tell people that, and keep telling them that. Empower your puppy buyers to ask those same questions, and know enough to be able to support your answers. Hold your fellow breeders, your clubs, your standards committee, and your judges accountable too; don’t tell yourself that not rocking the boat is justification for choosing something that doesn’t benefit the dogs.

If we are not doing this for the sake of our dogs, we need to stop doing it entirely. And that’s the truth.

Family

I am happy

I am happy.

This is a statement I haven’t been able to make in months – it’s always been I am worried. I am overwhelmed. I am guilty. I am hiding.

In April – right as Daisy Poppy’s puppies were leaving – we got some bad jobs news. There was nothing to do but put our heads down and try to deal with it, and try to make ends meet. Everything else fell by the wayside. Making things work got harder and harder as time went on. It’s a boring stupid story, so I won’t bore you or stupid you with it. But there came a week, just a little while ago, where we fed the kids oatmeal and eggs until the oatmeal was gone, and then called my mom sobbing and she came over and filled my fridge and let me cry on her shoulder for a while. That sucked.

And then, hallelujah, in the worst jobs market since the 30s, I got a job. I GOT A JOB. Not just a job, a good job. A GREAT job. A job that was the one we were waiting for. It’s a huge change for us; I will be gone full-time. We haven’t done that since – well, ever. But it’s going to get our heads above water, slowly but surely, and it gives us a feeling of hope and happiness that we haven’t had in a long time.

I will be blogging more often now, though you will need to be patient while I ramp up at work. But I WILL, which is something I wasn’t sure about for a while there. We are feeling very, very blessed – we managed, just barely, to make it until now. We didn’t lose the house or have to rehome dogs, which were my two hugest fears. I’m not going to be out walking the streets throwing coins in the air anytime soon, but in the next months we should be able to get back to normal-frugal instead of terrifying-frugal, and maybe even show some dogs again.

Meanwhile, because I have amazing AMAZING friends and co-breeders, we were able to keep going with a tiny portion of our plans for the year, and I’ll write more about that soon. The dogs are all well and happy, the kids are well and happy, everybody survived and even thrived. We managed to feed the chickens too, and raise our flock for the year, which was its own little miracle.

And now I get to take a deep breath and feel the light at the end of the tunnel shining on my shoulders. Thank God.