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My food receipts for a family of 2 is less than a 1/8 of my dog food bills each
My water bill has tripled.
My electricity bill has quadrupled.
It is I, a breeder, who when my fridge quit, saved the dog meds and let the food
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 8 years, but maybe soon. All plans are made around heat
dates, whelp dates, vet dates and shipping dates.
I shower and 10 minutes later I smell like a dog and am covered in paw prints.
My clothes are all stained with fecal matter, urine, afterbirth or bleach. I
have to remember to clean my shoes before church. Or if I get a chance to get a
way for a dinner with friends.
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 meds I sometimes need, or just
an uplifting word I sometimes need?
Who else would understand how it feels to have invested hours and hours in a weak puppy to lose it? Or the joy in investing hours in one that
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, fluids, bottle
feeding and tube feeding.
My vet knows me by first name.
My vet takes her time to teach me what she knows, because she knows I care.
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 yet
.. a rash I am home treating?
I feel I should tell the kids and friends 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 fridge, benefits of my
I am an animal lover, nurse, midwife, heavy laborer, customer service
representative, photographer, website designer, secretary, marketer…