Puppy Love - 07/01/14
It's been 6 months since Christmas and that means it's half birthday time for 10 of our little fur friends.
Our AKC Standard Poodle pups were born Christmas night. Yes, after an early morning to see what Santa brought, we were then up ALL night long until noon the day after Christmas delivering babies. I had not pulled an all nighter since exam time in college. In case you think breeding is a walk in the park, let me set the record straight. Dogs have one puppy per hour. With a litter this big, now you see why we were up all night. That's 10 hours of delivering puppies. Whew!
Why did we breed our dog? First, we wanted a second standard poodle(the #1 smartest/kid friendly/non shedding dog there is.) Second, we didn't want to have to travel out of state again to get one since they're hard to come by. Third, I wanted our children to experience the responsibility and magic of puppies. I grew up with that magic as my parents bred AKC cocker spaniels. I learned so much responsibility through this experience as a kid. I really loved seeing families who wanted a certain breed find my parents and our puppies and ultimately find their new family member.
And just in case you think we sent our dog out into the neighborhood to get knocked up...let me tell you a little bit more about what goes into responsible breeding. First, we have the most amazing, smartest, beautiful standard poodle mom on Earth. (I realize I'm partial.) Just because we thought she was beautiful didn't necessarily make her a good candidate for reproduction. So, we had all of the genetic testing done just to make sure. Our girl tested great for hip dysplasia, Eyes (CERF,) blood disease (VonWillebrand) & Cardiac. Once passing all of those tests with flying colors, we then began the search for the perfect husband. I spent a year and a half finding that 'husband' for her, interviewing owners over the phone, comparing our breeding philosophies, dog temperament, etc. I was not at all interested in anyone running a big time breeding program. I wanted a small, hobby breeder like myself who was not running a for profit business and who was just breeding to elevate and preserve the breed. While I like labradoodles and goldendoodles, the truth is these mixes are watering down the standard poodle gene pool. We have a true standard poodle and safeguarding and elevating the bloodline is something I'm passionate about. I found an owner who had the same responsible breeding philosophy as us and who had already done all of the same genetic testing we did to make sure we were putting two high quality dogs together. This breeder even went a step further and had us get a STD test for our girl even though she was a virgin. She also got the same STD test for her dog. Who knew dogs can get STD's.
Five of our pups were already adopted before they were even born. I kind of figured there would be a demand in Middle TN since, as I mentioned, we had to go out of state last time to get ours. The rest were adopted quickly. Our kids took turns in those eight weeks cleaning, holding,cuddling and even reading to the puppies. Then, when they started weaning, the kids had to feed, water and take all 10 out 10 times a day. You should have seen us in the 8weeks after Christmas. It was a 3 ring circus at our house and in our yard. I even had my Girl Scout troop earn their Pet Badge by taking care of the pups. We went through two boxes of puppy pads from Costco & a case of Lysol & Clorox wipes a week.
All of our pups stayed in Tennessee with the exception of one. I had a lady and her very talented professional ballerina daughter drive all the way from Florida to get one. I love that all of our families email, text and call me with updates and send pictures. We have a very special bond. One of our puppies, and this really touches my heart, went to be a service dog for an autistic child in Spring Hill. That pup, Cooper, just finished his first round of service training and goes back for more in a month. Another of our pups is going to be a therapy dog at Saddle Up in Nashville. This breed is so perfect for this kind of life giving work and we feel completely honored and overjoyed that our babies are making a difference out in this world. We kept one girl although I wanted to keep them all. If I lived on a farm, I think I may have talked my husband into it. J/K Thankfully, one puppy went to a family member so we still get to see him (Colt) on a regular basis.
So,breeding was a one time thing with our girl. She is a pet, not a machine so we are getting her spayed. We will breed our new girl when she's about3 years old assuming she passes all of the same genetic testing. We will breed her one time only as well. We feel so fortunate our mama got to spread love and joy in this world with 10 beautiful babies that are making families smile and even helping some kids in need. Pretty cool thing to be a part of!
PS I hope you enjoy the pictures to the right of this blog.