I have a number of dogs that I love. I have sold dogs that were a year old and under. It gets harder when they are get older because every day solidifies that bond a little more. I have a five year old bitch right now, she is already titled, I would never ever breed her, but every day she jumps up on her sister's dog house just to get a big ole hug from me. ****! How do you go and sell her?
And yet, if the right individual comes along, and you have the right dog for that individual, and it is better for the dog, good for the individual, and good for you as well -- one less dog that requires attention, training, vet care, grooming. Well, I can only say that it takes a strong person to put a dog's needs before their personal selfishness in keeping the dog.
Being a breeder means having more than one intact bitch, keeping pups back that might be used for the program, dogs that are dropped from your program for whatever reason, and taking back dogs that have not worked out. So it means having a number of dogs which may be more than a typical pet home would be comfortable keeping/managing. But with placing a retired, returned, or a bitch that has not worked out in the breeding program, it is not about money though we may charge, it is not a price tag, it is all about the right owner.
I had a dog, Rushie, who was titled, and got tons of work because every time one of the bitches came into season, I would sub him into their unfinished classes. He was four years old, passed his CGC probably 6 or 8 times, and had a TDI, and and RN. I got a call from a guy that wanted a dog he could take with him when inspecting nursing homes.
I thought of Rushie. I had bred him once and decided I would not use him again for breeding. So he was just a pet/obedience/rally dog. I had signed up to take him to nursing homes, but I hadn't done it yet with him. I let him meet this guy. And it was a good match. I took him back for a week so he could get ready for the dog, and when I brought him back, he lay his head in the man's lap.
3 years later I got a call. The man had told his wife that if she ever needed to let him go, that I told them I would take him. The wife told me her husband was sick for 2 years, and the dog stayed right in the room with him, and when he died he sat by the window for 5 days waiting for him to come home. But then he started acting like a puppy, running upstairs, and going out of the yard, and she was afraid for the neighbor's dogs. I went and got him that night.
Before I did, I called my contractor and asked him if he remembered the dog, and if he would like to have him. He did, and he did want him. So I went and got him, and kept him overnight, and took him to the vet and then delivered him to this guy. The guy was soft spoken like the first man, and he has an elderly father, this guy had a 90 year old mother living in the house who had kept hugging the dog when I was there.
At my house, I had crated the boy, and had all these girls barking and crazy. The dog was now used to having a family all to himself. It would have been a terrible thing for me to just keep the dog, and give him 1/10th of the attention he might get with someone else. It was the right thing to do.
It is never easy to let a dog go. And you do not need to be a breeder to be not the best home for a specific dog. If you got a dog with all the expectations to take that dog through SAR training, and the dog has all the goodies, but you have broken your back or have been diagnosed with something awful that will limit your mobility, or you have lost your job and the new job is working evenings and weekends. Sometimes the dog will adjust to the new schedule and be just as happy with whatever you can do with him, and sometimes it will be better for all parties to let the dog go to someone who is going to give the dog more of a challenge.
The answer is not a dollar value, but having good reason to believe the dog will be better off with the new owner.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.