But wait!

I am passionate about things. LOTS of things actually.

I could write volumes about Buzz's acupuncture tonight, and our walk afterwards (and I just might...). I'm incredibly passionate about breeding, and breeding dogs. This point brings me to a portion of our walk, after acupuncture tonight.

The dogs and I were on the sidewalk, crossing a gas station driveway. A guy pulls into the lot and yells, "HEY, are those springers?!"

Me: "yeah..."
Weird Guy: "Either one of them a girl..."
Me: "yeah..." (do you see where this is going?)
WG: "Are you interested in breeding?"
Me: (I would like to say yes, I am absolutely intrigued and fascinated by the concept of breeding... but I'm guessing you have a springer boy you want to make money off of) "nope, sorry!"

If it had been more than a guy in a car, I would have elaborated. I figured it just wasn't gonna happen tonight. The thought. Bailey being bred... *snort* yeah, uh-huh, the world needs more of her! NOT!

That brings me to my other point. Breeding. Passionate doesn't really begin to describe it. The best, of the best, should be bred. The healthiest dog should be bred. Pedigree HAS to be considered. Yes, I've said that if I could collect Buzz now, I would. Could I really, in my right mind, use him. No. The answer always ends up as no. He has allergies. I could NOT put that on someone else. Yes, that's one component, but it's a pretty big one that can/does affect quality of life. Do I think the majority of dogs should be bred. Absolutely not! It is NOT something to be taken lightly, as is said often. I also think it's silly to alter a puppy based on puppy evaluations. Let the dog grow up, see how he/she matures, then decide. That's why I really dislike the emphasis placed on conformation puppy evaluations. Do I think they're important. Yes! Do I think they should be *everything*? Of course not!

Purpose. Function. Structure. Temperament. Health.

I think we get way too caught up in "but, I love this dog" and yes, even the "responsible breeders" do that! Evaluate the dog objectively. If you can't, then find someone else to help you (no, NOT the dog's breeder unless you KNOW he/she will be objective... and I find that really hard to believe).

Eugh. Breeding is not for the faint of heart, and it shouldn't be for the ignorant either.

Oh, there's a ton more bubbling in my brain right now. I've taken the edge off though for now. We'll see if I can write a thoughtful post with the rest of it. Ha!


Crystal said...

What is Buzz allergic to? (Have we discussed this before? I always talk to people about allergies given that Maisy is allergic to freaking human dander.)

Megan said...

Well, I've never done testing. It was discouraged years ago when he was "diagnosed" and I just haven't done it since.

I say corn and cooked chicken. There's also something in the fall that hits him. He eats raw chicken without a reaction. Corn or a chicken based kibble make him itchy. There's probably more, and maybe one of the above is untrue, but we manage pretty well.

Did you do allergy testing on Maisy?

Crystal said...

Yes. I got fed up with doing elimination trials (although they did help me figure out that she's allergic to lamb), so I went to the vet and asked for the test. He strongly discouraged it since she was quite young- just barely a year old- and he didn't think anything would show up. I told him I hoped he was right, because then I could quit worrying.

The test showed that she's allergic to lamb, eggs, 5 types of grass, 7 types of trees, lambsquarter (a weed), wool, mold, dust, cockroaches, and human dander.

The tests aren't 100% accurate, although, like I said, I'd figured out the lamb, and I've been careful about what I feed and when I introduce new foods. She did get into some eggs last summer/fall, and her allergies were pretty bad after that, so that's probably accurate, too.

The rest, well, I can't do much about those things. I bathe her frequently, wipe her down in the summer with a rag, and give her Claritin every day.

Crystal said...

Oh, I should add that despite her young age, she started showing signs of allergies at six or so months- the first spring after she was born, so she definitely has some environmental allergens. Some time I should show you a picture of how bad it was- she had no fur on her front foreleg, and was getting scabby.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

is this counting as your epiphany post? I see that it wasn't posted "tomorrow" so I am confused. Perhaps an even better one is in the making? ;)

Ugh I totally agree with you though. All those idiots out there who think happen to spot a member of the same breed (and have to ask to verify!) think they can breed sweet old sally because really isn't she cute! Or just stud out their boy and make a few bucks without doing any work!

I don't that I'll ever bred some day, simply because it's so hard to do right and I dont have any knowledge about structure at all. But anyway it's not exactly my thing.

I'm really glad to see that you care about purpose! Don't even get me started on half the sporting breeds in the show ring right now...

Megan said...

Naw, this isn't my epiphany post. That'll come tonight, if I ever escape Secretary duties.

I've "wanted" to breed for quite a while. How much progress have I made on that front. A TON, it just doesn't show. I've learned about the three breeds I'm most fascinated by. I really, really love my spaniels, but the springers are just so darn split and unhealthy. No, not all, not by any stretch of imagination, but I'm scared with them.

Kathy and I have talked about my future puppy being a "show" male. I want to do conformation, but do I really place any emphasis on it? Not really, I just want something to do with my baby-dog that gets him out. I want a boy, so I don't have to deal with heat cycles. I've learned a ton about Toller health and pedigrees, and hunting.

Someday. Definitely someday, if I end up with the right dog. Having a stud almost scares me more than having a bitch... but I think I can handle that, when the time comes.

Belgians. I've found a whole four breeders I would buy from. I just don't know when I'll be ready for one. I don't want a stupid show-line dog. I don't even have a set variety, but the breeders I like/agree with/would buy from have Laekens, Mals, or Groens. I haven't found any Terv breeders I would buy from.

Structure fascinates me, as does "natural ability." The first time I met Vad, Jamie was throwing bumpers for him at the St. Croix Valley shows. They'd just come from a hunt test. He did not want to stop, he is a retrieving machine. That's why I love Vad (ok, one of the reasons). To make it better, the reason they were at the show is because Nitro (Vermilion's Hue of Cinnabar) finished his conformation Championship that day.

I love them!