A breeder is not counting the sleepless nights before and after arrivals of puppies, nor does he or she mind the sacrifices and missed social calls, or favorite TV shows. A breeder’s heart measures one thing… the first looks when those eyes open, the first responses to his/her voice, the first wagging of tails to his scent and the first kiss, framed with eyes so adoring, that love and trust spill over abundantly, from both breeder and pup.
A breeder does not count the miles associated with middle of the night relief trips of his dam, or darting toward the whelping box at every puppy sound, faster than the dam herself. A breeder’s heart cares for one thing only, and that is the quality of each precious life entrusted to him/her by some higher power and their journey through this life, either as a prized show dog, a fearless field hunter, or a philosopher companion and clown, and a lifelong friend to a loving family.
A breeder’s heart stays with each puppy for life and joins it from afar through all the photos sent by the families of the pup as it grows to adulthood. Through all the family vacations, graduations and weddings and every odd pose, the breeder watches with pride. Every photo is valued, in the show ring or the field, and every step of the way the breeder’s heart accompanies each get, for good or for bad, and in sickness and in health.
A breeder’s heart measures no wages lost, or pairs of shoes destroyed. No grass stains on jeans matter at all, but the kisses and antics on the grass do. One eye is always on the pups while the other watches for danger. The true breeder does not rest until all are accounted for, safe and sound and within sight. Only then may the kissing frenzy begin and not end until all are exhausted and ready for sleep.
No lengthy interview from a potential new home bothers the breeder’s heart. The more questions asked the easier the contract gets and the worry subsides. And when they go, looking out from a back car window, or from the safe harbor of a child’s arms, the breeder’s heart goes with them, a part of it does…and it travels miles long and weary until it knows that the transition was smooth, the pup has settled in to its new home, and there’s peace for all.