Thursday, December 12, 2013

A busy weekend ahead.

Saturday: Dog Show!! Yes, we are going for the third year in a row. As long as they're hosting in Orlando, it's crazy not to just do it.

First show, two years ago:

Second show, last year:

This year, the tiniest crazy dog lady is old enough to cheer the dock dogs and agility dogs and have a great time at Meet the Breeds.

I know there are people who just say "Bleh, dog shows!" but I don't apologize for being raised to appreciate purebred dogs. I love all dogs. I do not sneer at mixed breeds, ever, ever! But this is my thing, like some people are into NASCAR and I totally don't get that, but I know it's a thing, just not my thing. Dogs are my thing.

I do get snarly when self-righteous self-proclaimed dog people condemn all breeders as if breeder always means puppy mill. Murphy and Sophie both came from professional breeders, quality show breeders that raised and finished champions, and offered the not-quite-ready for Westminster to people like me, on spay/neuter, swear you'll call us if you ever have to give them up so they never land in a shelter, very detailed contracts. They came from happy homes full of happy couch-sleeping dogs, and there are thousands of caring breeders like them.

Murphy came to me via a former co-worker who was heavily connected in the Florida Yorkie Mafia breeder circuit. When I told her I wanted a dog, she spent MONTHS researching bloodlines and scouting, and the result was the star of this blog - a pet quality puppy from a show kennel in South Florida. I picked him up at my co-worker's house in Melbourne, and had to sign my life away on a contract promising I was going to give him a loving home as a beloved pet, and if I couldn't do that, I'd call his mom immediately.

Sophie came on a similar arrangement, but at a year old. I'd been scouting a Boston puppy for months, and had been in communication with a breeder in Jacksonville. When Sophie was offered at a year old I didn't think twice - I'd talked to this woman a few times and, damn, you think I'M a crazy dog lady? I am an amateur. I had to drive to their house two hours away and be interviewed for over two hours before they let me leave with their little girl. It took a while to plan my trip to Jax to interview for their dog, because the breeder and her dogs, including Sophie, were at the Boston Terrier National Show the week before we met up. They waved from the driveway as we left. This was a big thing for them.

I waited many months for my dogs, I researched, I called, it was damn near as complicated as adopting a baby, and that's why I get snarly at people who talk like all purebred dogs are victims of a hateful, cruel production breeding system, condemning all dog breeders as "part of the problem," rather than focusing their righteous wrath on puppy mills and the pet shops that peddle their unfortunate little "products", and backyard breeders, and jackasses who don't spay and neuter because...I don't know why they don't bother, but they don't. THAT is where unwanted dogs come from, not from the world of serious dog breeders. And from my Old Lady perspective, I have to say that this problem has improved HUGELY in the last 20 years. Pet shops that sell purebred pets are almost extinct around here, and rescues get lovely news stories and publicity.

My, that was a ranty little segue, wasn't it? Consider it a flashback to crap I've heard in the past.

So, anyway, Saturday is the dog show, and Saturday night is her mom's school Christmas party, so I will have a dinner guest again. We will eat pizza and watch a Disney movie, and possibly both fall asleep before her parents come to get her.


Anonymous said...

May we rant in chorus - you are so, so right. I met the lady who bred my first IG twice, and she chatted, and watched me with her dogs, and then she agreed to part with the sainted and long gone Brutus.
The breeder of the most recent two IG is a very careful and specific breeder, and heavily into the rescue and re-homing side. Dear little Harry (now deceased) and the ancient Ace were both re-homed, Harry at 8 months, and Ace at 3 years. And of course, the bratty JR Fred was adopted (RSPCA) at the age of 10.
I have never bought a puppy at a pet store, no matter how much they tug my heart-strings, will only purchase from breeder, breed specific rescue, or RSPCA. And thanks to Fred, no longer have any real concerns about adopting a really OLD dog. They can learn new tricks!!
Desex, desex, desex, it doesn't harm them, and acts as a preventive for some ailments.

Gae, in Callala (another mad dog lady)

Catherine said...

Thank you for adding your voice. I'm a crazy dog lady, but I do feel marginalized because I don't think ALL breeders are EEEVILLL. Careful breeders should be respected as conservators of dog lineage, contributing to disease research, and all other good and practical things.

Anonymous said...

Like all sectors of the human race, dog breeders come in all sorts. Most are responsible, sort of pet lover gone feral (in the nicest possible way) and because of that their pups are well socialised to other dogs and to people.
But, like every group, there are a few bad apples, I remember my mother's shock and disgust at one breeder (she never entered that house again), the litter of new-born Pekes were positively ALIVE with fleas. Mind you, Sydney in summer is Flea Central, and control is now much much easier, than it was then.

Gae, in Callala Bay

Brenda said...

I bought my first Yorkie from a woman who supported herself by breeding dogs. She had a large kennel with many dogs, but it was clean and she proudly displayed all her licenses and inspection certificates. One point she made was that a true professional, who makes a living breeding dogs, is not going to be able to do that with two or three females in their kitchen. Personally, I am more skeptical of a backyard breeder who knows just enough to be dangerous. I bought Hannah from a woman who had two females, and she is one hot mess---not sweet, gentle, and loving like my first Yorkie. I did meet both of Hannah's parents, and they were friendly, so I assumed she would be good-natured too. I do think that no matter how careful you are, there is always the chance you will get a dog with a head full of bad wiring or some rare health problem. (Hannah, who will be 13 in April and is still pretty healthy, is sleeping next to me under a blanket on the couch as I type this, so I can't ask her opinion. And I'm sure the bossy little hag has one.)

besshaile said...

oOOOOO Wish I were going too

LindaP said...

Dog Show! Oh how I'd love to attend one. I watch them on TV every time they are on. I love all dogs but I really love the BIG dogs, the bigger the better:)