What is a Breeder?
By Peggy Adamson
- A Breeder (with a capital B) is one who thirsts for knowledge and never really knows it all, one who wrestles with decisions of conscience, convenience, and commitment.
- A Breeder is one who sacrifices personal interests, finances, time, friendships, fancy furniture, and deep pile carpeting! She gives up the dreams of a long, luxurious cruise in favor of turning that all-important Show into this year's vacation.
- A Breeder goes without sleep (but never without coffee!) in hours spent planning a breeding or watching anxiously over the birth process, and afterwards, over every little sneeze, wiggle or cry.
- A Breeder skips dinner parties because that litter is due or the babies have to be fed at eight. She disregards birth fluids and puts mouth to mouth to save a gasping newborn, literally blowing life into a tiny, helpless creature that may be the culmination of a lifetime of dreams.
- A Breeder's lap is a marvelous place where generations of proud and noble champions once snoozed.
- A Breeder's hands are strong and firm and often soiled, but ever so gentle and sensitive to the thrusts of a puppy's wet nose.
- A Breeder's back and knees are usually arthritic from stooping, bending, and sitting in the birthing box, but are strong enough to enable the breeder to show the next choice pup to a Championship.
- A Breeder's shoulders are stooped and often heaped with abuse from competitors, but they're wide enough to support the weight of a thousand defeats and frustrations.
- A Breeder's arms are always able to wield a mop, support an armful of puppies, or lend a helping hand to a newcomer.
- A Breeder's ears are wondrous things, sometimes red (from being talked about) or strangely shaped (from being pressed against a phone receiver), often deaf to criticism, yet always fine-tuned to the whimper of a sick puppy.
- A Breeder's eyes are blurred from pedigree research and sometimes blind to her own dog's faults, but they are ever so keen to the competitions faults and are always searching for the perfect specimen.
- A Breeder's brain is foggy on faces, but it can recall pedigrees faster than an IBM computer. It's so full of knowledge that sometimes it blows a fuse: it catalogues thousands of good boning, fine ears, and perfect heads... and buries in the soul the failures and the ones that didn't turn out.
- A Breeder's heart is often broken, but it beats strongly with hope everlasting... and it's always in the right place! Oh, yes, there are breeders, and then, there are BREEDERS
What to Look for in a Good Breeder
Seek out good breeders who would never consider letting a puppy go to its new home before:
- the puppy is 4 to 5 months of age.
- the puppy had the benefit of at least the first three of its initial immunization shots.
- the puppy had a thorough exam done by their veterinarian.