ON THE LINE: ABOUT BEING A BREEDER
A Breeder is one who sacrifices personal interests, finances, time, friend- ships, fancy furniture, and deep pile carpeting. A breeder gives up dreams of a long, luxurious cruise in favor of turning that all-important specialty show into this year’s vacation. The Breeder goes without sleep (but never without coffee) while watch- ing anxiously over the birth process and, afterwards, every little sneeze, wiggle, or whimper. A Breeder skips dinner parties because the puppies have to be fed at eight. He or she disregards birth fluids and puts mouth to mouth to save a gasping newborn, literally blowing life into a tiny, helpless creature that may be the culmination of a lifetime of dreams. A Breeder’s lap is a marvelous place where generations of proud and noble champions once snoozed. A Dog Breeder’s hands are strong and firm and often soiled, but ever so gentle and sensitive to the thrust of a puppy’s nose. A Breeder’s knees are usually arthritic from stooping, bending, and lifting puppies, but are strong enough to enable the Breeder to show the “keeper” in Sweeps! A Breeder’s shoulders are often heaped with abuse from competitors, but are wide enough to support the weight of a thousand defeats and frustra- tions. A Breeder’s arms are always able to wield a mop, support an armful of puppies, or lend a helping hand to a newcomer. A Breeder’s ears are wondrous things, strangely shaped (from being pressed against a phone receiver), deaf to criticism yet always fine-tuned to the cry of a sick pup. A Breeder’s eyes are blurred from pedigree research and sometimes blind to his own dog’s shortcoming, but they are ever so keen to the competition’s faults and are always, always searching for the perfect specimen. A Breeder’s brain is foggy on faces, but recalls pedigrees faster than an IBM. It is so full of knowledge that sometimes it blows a fuse. It catalogs thousands of good fronts, hocky rears, and perfect heads... and buries in the soul the failures and the ones that didn’t turn out. The Breeder’s heart is often broken, but it beats strongly with hope ever- lasting—and it is always in the right place! Oh yes, there are breeders, and then, there are Breeders .
“The Breeder’s heart is often broken, but it beats strongly with hope everlasting— and it is always in the right place!”
photo by ©Matthew Palmer
104 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020
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