Submitted by Janice Gessner. Permission to copy is granted by the author for use by anyone for the benefit of responsible dog breeding.
The KBTF supports responsible breeders who are interested in protecting and improving the breed. Breeders who breed for profit and greed are to be dealt with. Unfortunately, many responsible breeders are lumped in with the puppy mill crowed by overzealous Animal Rights legislation. Here is a little description of the toils and tribulations of responsible breeders.
I am a breeder…..
My food receipts for a family of 7 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 7 years,
but maybe soon. All plans are made around heat dates, whelp dates and vet dates.
I shower and 10 minutes later my grand 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, do it over again 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 and 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
I am an animal lover, nurse, midwife, heavy laborer, customer service representative, and marketer.
AND I am a breeder.