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My food receipts for a family of 4 are less than my dog food bills
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 dog room before I have even grabbed a cup of coffee in the morning and the dog room 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 years, but maybe soon. All plans are made around heat dates, whelp dates and vet dates.

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, feeding every 2 hours
I have learned to be proficient at micro chipping, sub q fluids, bottle feeding and tube feeding.

My vet knows me by first name
My vet knows my children
My vet now knows my grand children
My vet knows it was I who added on the wing to the vet clinic

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.

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.


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