I suppose I should wrap this puppy chapter up...
Kind of struggling with my feelings on this…
It’s been an incredible experience. Working with a tenured Basenji Breeding expert has given me invaluable insight in the breed. Especially the standard. I’m no expert now, but I think I can understand it better and talk about it now. I also believe I have much more appreciation for the choices breeders are faced with while selecting traits. Again, I’m no expert now, but I understand better.
I also appreciate the costs much better now. Showing to demonstrate a championship line (entry fees, lodging, and travel); veterinary exams, x-rays, dewclaws, etc.; OFA certifications (Fanconi, PRA, hip x-rays, etc.); infrastructure necessary to keep adults of opposite sex, whelp pups and keeps everyone safe, healthy and happy; food, supplements, vaccinations, etc.; time to socialize, train to show and live in a house with humas; and I know I’ve only scratched the surface. Breeding responsibly is costly. Selling puppies helps recover some costs, but I’m not seeing that income beginning to cover all of them.
Responsible breeders really are the champions for the breed. Think of your one dog. Think of the effort and love you invest to keep that dog thriving. Now multiply that by a factor of 10 or more. Day in, day out, week after week, which soon leads to years. As pet owners we’re lucky if we get 15 years with our pet. Some breeders have been doing this for more than 30! Add generations of selective breeding to create a line that supports the standard while expressing some personal taste within reason. The commitment and difficult decisions required to be a breeder are enormous. Something I’ve really come to appreciate more than I can adequately express.
Another side to breeding is purely emotional. At least for me it is. I loved breeding my two, watching Sparkle grow and give birth. I loved seeing them born, getting them breathing, cutting cords and seeing them nurse from mamma for the first time. Weighing them every day to ensure they were thriving. Sleeping next to the whelping box on a cot for the first three weeks. Watching their eyes and ears open. Watching them take their first steps. And watching their personalities emerge. It’s hard not to get attached. I couldn’t do it. I definitely got attached.
Logically I know all the reasons why I couldn’t keep six puppies or even one right now. Not the least of which is they’re not my puppies to keep. Emotionally it hurts to see a couple of them go. Neither were the best of the litter show or breeding wise, but damn… I loved their spirits so very much. I’ve had to come to terms with never seeing them again. For me… this is the part of breeding that hurts the most, for me. It’s just hard to let them go I guess.
I’m still enormously thankful for the opportunity. Just struggling a bit with my feelings about certain parts of it. Bye Tank, D’Otto, Zowie, and Spike, our beautiful piranha babies. I’ll get to see Tri Baby and PW again as it looks like Stella is going to hang on to them, which I love!
Meanwhile I remind myself that I still have Sparkle and Logan. Two champions and dogs I love very much. Sparkle has bounced back so well. She’s playing with Logan again big time. And, I think she and I have bonded much more, if that’s possible, having shared trust in one another during this journey together.
Maybe I’ll get my head back in the game and show Logan again soon. We still need 19 points and 2 majors to hit our goal. That may ease the sting a little. Till the next chapter… see you then.