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
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
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
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
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.
Lori Hallfrisch of Southernstyle kennel
Forwarded with permission of the author for use by anyone for the
benefit of our fight against the AR movement.