Saturday, August 11, 2012

On being a breeder

I want to cultivate the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown.
- Kathe Kollwitz

People often ask me "how can you bear to let your puppies go" or sometimes in the equine world I also frequent "how can you even think of selling your horse". The answer is plain and simple, joy. My dogs, and horses, bring me immense joy. The kind of joy that entangles itself so deeply into your heart and soul that to remove it would be to remove all of yourself. I am who I am today because of the animals who have come into my life and taught me the lessons of being a participant of this world. I, being a breeder (and sometimes a equine broker), have the very unique opportunity to be able to gift others this same type of joy and, in doing so, receive it back ten-fold.

If you own one of my puppies you may or may not know that I candidly watch you from behind the scenes. I share in your joys and frustrations and am often moved to tears when I watch you succeed with a puppy that came from me. I have more than once caught myself entranced in a moment as an owner leaned down to gently kiss the top of a head of one of my grown puppies in such a tender, loving, and intimate way and thought to myself, "how lucky am I that I can be a part of that". When I have a bad day, or am feeling a little down, I seek out photographs I have collected of my owners and their puppies (my extended family album so to speak) and find peace in them.

All of this came back to the fore and was driven home this weekend when I saw, for the first time in almost a year, my gentle sweet Indy and his new girl so madly in love with her horse. I was taken by surprise when a friend sent me a picture, captured with her cell phone, of him being grazed by a toddler on the busy show grounds. I didn't even realize until a tear worked it's way to the surface and found a path on my cheek just how happy that single image made me. Later that day when his new owner excitedly accepted her fancy 3rd place ribbon in a big class I was humbled by the knowledge that I had some small part of that.

So to all of you who own, or will own, an animal that has come from me know that you are forever entrusted with a little piece of my heart. Your celebrations will be my celebrations, your frustration my frustration. I will always be there to cheer you one, hold your hand, and give you a hug if you need it for you have something of mine so precious that words can never do it justice:

I have in you planted the seed of joy and the fruit it bears will feed us both for many years to come. Plant that little seed in the place where sunshine abounds and water it frequently with love. Harvest it as often as you can and know that every time you do I feel it in my heart.

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