Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dog Daze

I am now prepared to begin the search for the perfect man for my Boo Bear, however it is going to much harder than I first anticipated. For starters most breeder want an exuberant amount of money up front for the stud fee, second and most troublesome is that most if not all want a head to toe exam done and have been cleared of any and all possible genetic disorders. And the worst hurdle I am coming to is that all expect that they are going to be show ring bred puppies. It is hard to explain that it is mainly for my own personal use, that I have no desire to drive around the freakin’ country to show a dog, running around in circles. Don’t they know that the Sheltie is meant to be a working dog NOT a shiny plack they hang on the wall. What’s the point if you don’t use them for what they are intended for. That is why the AKC has five classes they put the dogs into. Shelties are meant for the small rancher that needs the dog that can do it all. Be a friend, guard, and make sure that the flock is where it’s meant to be. So what’s the problem with breeders who think there is only two worlds for a dog, show or pet. I understand the need to keep the integrity of the breed, but when you are only using them for the ring, then aren’t you then no longer keeping them as they were intended to be a working companion.
Yes, I know that now a days that the need for the working dog is not so great, and yes that is why they now have fly ball, agility, Frisbee, and dock dogs. But in the world of dog breeding must they forget that there is still the working man who still needs the working dog. So then my other thought is if breeders are so damn strict with what they breed, then why are they the only ones who are doing it for the money more that the integrity of the breed. If the almighty breeder is so set on keeping the breed as pure as possible, then answer me this, why are they who complain about over populating, perpetuating the problem; five females to every male on premises, bred at least once a year, four to six puppies per litter, not to mention the numerous male collections for outside females. And that is just one breeder. Times that by fifty “reputable” breeders and that’s a lot of puppies that are not worth the effort just to put them in a show ring. Which by the way is maybe one out of the potential 20 puppies born to their clan alone? So what do they do with the other nineteen? We all know that they don’t keep them.
So I suppose you ask then why am I bothering with breeding my own when there are plenty out there for the taking. Quite simple really, I see something in my girl that I want to see if I can reproduce. She has that natural instinct to do what she (the breed) was intended for, Herding. I don’t care if I make money or get ribbons, points whatever the case may be, for my dog, all I want to do is see if what I see in her can be passed to another. That’s all I want, is to have her by my side out there in the weather, not caring that she gets muddy or wet. Just for me no one else, quite frankly I know that if I were to attempt to find what I am looking for from a breeder it would be even harder, I know what I want and I have a good idea of what I need to look for, I am fairly confident that breeders don’t really look for those traits in what they breed, if they end up with one like that you can bet they quickly discard it.
Believe it or not I have been asked if I could or would be willing to teach/train a dog to herd. Believe me I have no clue, I tell my girl barn and she does the rest. She’s working goats no less, they are a little more independent thinkers than the sheep or cow. So for her to understand how to move a herd is any mans dream dog.
I see in her the perfect specimen the family dog who loves to do a job during the day and by night wants to curl up at the foot of your bed just to be near you. Isn’t that the real aspect of a true dog, not just something you put on your wall to brag how many points and wins they got you?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oct. 6

I should be writing about all my exciting travel tales; or at the very least finish the ones I’ve started, but today all I can think about is the inevitable. That at some point in our live we MUST experience that loss of a very close and dear member of the family, up until now I have been able to file it away and know that in the future that it would creep back into my thoughts one day, but not in the immediate future. It seems forever ago that my grandma suffered her stroke; reality is that it has only been a year minus a month. How can it be that one day you’re laughing and talking, enjoying life and the next is totally dependent on your daughter to do everything?
Grandma has had so many little slips down the road to the next chapter in her life. When that might be is only up to her and God. Today is yet another example that the finish line is coming into view. It wasn’t a major slip, not much has changed with her, but now she must take yet another pill until the end.
I wonder is this part of the big plan that we as a family have to watch and experience all of these things to bring together this fractured family. What is the big picture? I wonder?