When does it cease to be about the welfare of the individual dog and become about the success of the breeder and the “kennel”?
FOUNDATION FEMALE FORGOTTEN
Author Withheld By Request © TheDogPlace.org
At what point in your career as a show dog breeder comes a change in how you feel about the dogs and they become less important than winning, power, prestige…?
I once placed a pair of dogs to be household pets with a lovely family. In time, the owner discovered the joy of conformation competition and of puppies, but the original dogs were still cherished family members. Over the years, this love seemed to fade or become less strong.
First the male was neutered and placed in a good pet home when he came into conflict with his award-winning son. The son was producing wonderful pups and was shared generously with others new to the breed as well as established breeders.
The family’s kennel grew and prospered and much gratitude was given to the matriarch of the breeding line, the foundation bitch. She was even the “bed dog” of one of the family members, sleeping with her master.
Eventually the number of dogs grew to the point where a lovely kennel was built, equipped with nice dog beds, heat and air conditioning and outdoor runs. Everything that a dog could hope for, one would think.
The foundation bitch that had built the bloodline that moved them forward, the former bed dog - was moved to the new luxury surroundings where she had everything but that which mattered most.
She no longer was a family member. No more snuggling in with her master in the mornings. No more hearing her name spoken several times a day. No longer having her fur stroked when someone walked by.
Her grandsons and great-grandsons and daughters were winning accolades in the show ring but the loyalty to her for making this happen was forgotten.
It breaks my heart to report that she died at only 11 years of age. Alone in her new “home” as a kennel dog, she had no one to hold her and speak the words of love as she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Perhaps the guardian angel who looks after all good dogs knew she was better off dying than living with a broken heart.