There's a group on Facebook whose name is basically the opposite of this blog post's title. It's frustrating, because it has a ton of support from individuals that are so brainwashed into thinking every breeder is the antichrist that they have lost all concept of reality. I scroll through occasionally, just to see what they're saying about those of us who breed.
Today, I noticed a graphic on their page that was titled, "Just a few reasons why we hate breeding." Below the title was a collection of photos of pregnant bitches, dogs in shelters, and dams in distress. Under the photos, the graphic read, "Don't support this cruelty, rescue your next dog!"
I looked over at my Kaylee, and thought, "Geez, if this is what a cruelty case looks like, I shudder to think about what they'd call a dog that isn't curled up at my side, wrapped in pajamas and snoozing after a fine raw meal."
Kaylee is apparently a tortured dog. She had a litter. But she looks nothing like the dogs in that graphic that vilified dog breeders. Her teeth are white, her eyes are clear, her coat shines, her nails are short, and her underline is clean and well-tucked. She's happy and confident. This is a titled, health tested, beloved dog that has had a litter of puppies.
I know what some of you may be thinking. You may be thinking I'm trying to fool you... that this photo was taken before her litter. You're welcome to think that, I suppose, but the truth is that this photo is legit. She looks so good because we took care of her throughout her pregnancy, motherhood, and post-weaning. She also has good genetics to thank for how well she "bounced back" from having puppies.
But wait - she must have been dirty and sad when she actually was with her puppies, right? Wrong.
Wow, would you look at that.... clean whelping box, shiny coat, healthy puppies, happy mom.
A few weeks later, everybody was old enough to enjoy some playtime and snoozing in the fresh springtime air. Again, a clean environment - and mom and puppies were happy, healthy, and shiny.
I know, I know - what about after the puppies were weaned and went to their new homes? I bet Kaylee looked saggy and terrible, right? Wrong. Here's a photo from the day after I brought her home for her co-owner's house, after the last puppy had gone home. She looks pretty good for being a mom to six 10-week old puppies.
As you can see, Kaylee doesn't fit the profile of the sad, tortured brood bitch that so many anti-breeding fanatics love to paint, but I am not denying that some dog mamas do look terrible. But there's a reason for that. And that reason is... responsible breeders are different.
Responsible breeders love their dogs. They love their breed, and want to do their very best to preserve it so future generations of human beings can love the breed as well. They understand the problems their breed faces, and work tirelessly to make those problems go away. But this love isn't just for the breed ideal... it's love for each and every dog they bring into this world. Responsible breeders care about their bitches. They don't want them to suffer, so they go to great lengths that the bitch they loved pre-whelp is just as happy and healthy, post-whelp.
The whelping box wasn't the "end of the line" for Kaylee, as many anti-breeding fanatics would like you to think. Since her litter, she has gone on to earn titles in Rally, Obedience, and Coursing Ability. She went back to the conformation ring and brought home even more rosettes to be proudly displayed on the wall. Most importantly, after her litter Kaylee continued to be a beloved pet and family member.
Yes, I know the names of her puppies. Yes, I know who owns them and where they live. Yes, I talk to her puppy owners often. Yes, it makes my day when I get new photos of them enjoying life with their new families.
But you know, I also love seeing updates from people who have adopted my foster dogs. Yes, that's right - I also foster for rescue. I do my part in picking up the mess that bad breeders leave behind. That mess - that ugly, disappointing, depressing mess - is what I think the anti-breeder folks see most often, and therefore assume is how we all operate.
Here are two years' worth of my efforts to clean up the mess of others:
This is Bernie. He lives in Indiana now, and gets to go for rides with his new owner in a big fancy pickup.
This is Diablo. He was renamed Buddy, and he has two human sisters that love him very much.
This is Allicyn. She has a great new home, and has her own Facebook page.
This is Ned. He lives with his red DoberBrother, and we get photo updates from them all the time.
This... is Katie. She spent 11 years sitting in a shelter before our rescue group discovered her and pulled her. She died, having never found a forever home but she did have a great last few months here, with me.
This is Tucker. His leg is fixed now.
This is Riley. Her new name is Teagan, and has a DoberBrother and a few feline siblings.
This is Claire. She lives with Yorkies now, and her owner loves her very much.
This is Hugo. We weren't able to fix what others had done to mess him up.
This is Princess. Even though she was old and arthritic, her breeders found out she was in rescue and took her back - no questions asked.
This is Selma. She came a long way from Afghanistan, only to find herself in rescue. She's still here, but hopefully she'll have a forever home before February.
I haven't included photos of the dogs I've transported for rescue. I haven't included photos of my two shelter cats, or one of my own dogs I rescued from Mexico. I can't take a photo of the miles I've put on my vehicles for my work in rescue, and I can't take a photo of the time I've spent caring for these dogs whose breeders didn't care at all.
But I still love responsible dog breeders. I will still own responsibly-bred dogs. Not one of the dogs above came from a good breeder, save for Princess.... and her breeder took her back. And that right there is the reason why responsible breeders need to be celebrated, not condemned. Because responsible breeders do all that they can to ensure they're not part of the problem. They dedicate their lives and their livelihoods to improving and preserving their breeds. Because without good breeders... all we have left are the bad breeders. And that's not good news for any of us.