My heart is full right now and I feel especially blessed by God. I honestly couldn’t feel more content with life or more joyful.
I am often asked what the worst parts of breeding are but hardly anyone asks about the very best parts. Believe me, there are lots of tough parts in being a breeder and some heart-wrenching parts too. It is a very worthy topic and people should certainly give serious consideration to all points before attempting breeding. It is a topic I will hopefully soon broach in a different post for anyone curious or considering breeding dogs themselves.
But in this post I want to talk about the loveliest part of being a dog breeder. You might think it is the puppies but it isn’t. The most rewarding and amazing part of being a dog breeder turned out to be a delightful surprise for me after I began breeding years ago.
People are the Best Part.
I think nothing has surprised me more since becoming a dog breeder. But it is genuinely true: people are the very best part of breeding. I expected people to be a bit of a pain in the neck, to be completely honest. But I could not have been more wrong, and it is one of those times that I am thrilled to announce enthusiastically that I am wrong about something (my husband is probably doing a little dance hearing the words “I was wrong” over here). Ok, so I’m not that bad. I am willing to admit when I’m wrong. I’m just not wrong all that often 😉
When I started my family on this path of breeding (because it is truly a whole-family endeavor) I did so because I love dogs and I love therapy dogs and I wanted to help make a difference. There were few respectable cockapoo breeders in North America and frankly, several years later, that is still the case. I am very glad that I can help those willing to spend their time volunteering to do therapy work find an appropriate teammate.
As a cockapoo enthusiast I was focused primarily on my dogs and producing the perfect puppies for therapy and service work. I enjoy my dogs, their training, their genetics and my plans for the future. Breeding properly is something that takes literally years of foundation work, careful planning and loads of time, work and money investments. And, of course, puppies are just fun to have around.
I would have expected my greatest joy would be to come in the form of watching my puppies ace temperament evaluations and earn accolades in training academies. Little gold stars in obedience class and the pictures of the stunning adults would certainly make me feel proud.
I never would have thought that the very greatest joy I would have would involve the human beings I meet while on my Cockapoo Mission.
The Gold Standard
I am not sure why I am so very blessed, but the vast majority of the people that contact me, apply and otherwise bump into me at dog events and via dog networking places are pure gold. I have made some beautiful friendships along the way. I feel blessed to have made these friends; some that I’ve never even seen face to face. These are friends that share my passion and people that I can go to for advice and feedback on lots of things. They help me to make the right decisions and they keep me sane when crazy things pop up and threaten to steer me off course.
And the families that I have met, those looking for companion and therapy dogs, they have been pure gold too. So many people that I have gotten to know and people that I feel are part of a big, extended cockapoo family. My Eden Family. And I love them!
Some of you have had heartache with your dogs prior to meeting me. Some of you I have cried with when I heard your stories and my heart broke with you. I feel blessed to have been able to go on a journey with many of you in the search for a new puppy (which sometimes does not mean one of my dogs, since I have such a wait list). But I have loved every minute of knowing these families and I cherish the update emails I get with happy endings and new beginnings.
Over and over I meet kind-hearted, loving and genuinely awesome people. I truly wish I had a hundred perfect puppies for the wonderful people that I meet.
And there are those I meet with such enthusiasm for learning! They want to know everything they can to be the very best Cockapoo mom or dad. They make me feel redoubled in my efforts to put good information out there, they give me excellent questions and topics to research the daylights out of and email a trustworthy response to! These families are exceptional and I cherish them.
The people that I am blessed to have on my waiting list are so refreshing to my often-aching heart. As a breeder I often see the very worst part of people as I interview other breeders, visit their grounds, help with rescue dogs and hear the heartbreaking stories of those that come to me after losing their pet store puppy or their poorly-bred puppy.
The photos I have seen of the puppies from heartless breeders with tiny, deformed eyes and coloring you know to denote blindness or deafness. The pictures I’ve seen of breeding dogs living on wire flooring with sores on their feet and filth matted into their coats and those photos of beloved family pets who died far too young from a completely breeder-preventable condition… sometimes being a breeder makes me doubt the good in humanity.
Then I meet the families that I do; many who go above and beyond for their dogs and who are amazing people in general. When I hand over the precious little doggy life that I have nurtured for two months I can rest easy knowing that they are going to truly loving and permanent homes. And even better is feeling so tremendously blessed to know that this tiny little puppy is going to bring these people years of great joy.
These families are all those that truly understand the special joy that comes from having a dog in your home. It is such a tremendous blessing to be able to touch the lives of so many people through my dogs.
So thank you for all those that have shared their lives and experiences with me and been more than a passing name and payment for a “product”.
And for all of you out there that have sent me kind and encouraging emails I cannot say how much I appreciate your words. I’m sure you don’t realize what one or two sentences can mean, but it does mean a great deal.
And for those that have become my friends (both new and old) thank you for being awesome people and stumbling across me and taking the time to get to know me!
And to those that have been on their dog-finding journey I am joyful to share with you one of my carefully bred babies. I pour my heart and soul into my dogs and I am so glad to welcome you into the Eden family.
I am truly blessed.
Ok. Mushy post over. Now I am off to make some doggy meatloaf! It seems like a good idea and I bet I can hide some pureed veggies into a meatloaf for my dogs. It is a good way to get nutrition into my picky pregnant ladies! I will post the recipe when I make a successful one that gets four paws up from the dogs 🙂