Breeding for a Cause
As I sit here waiting on a litter of puppies to be born, I am taking a moment to pause and reflect on why we do what we do. In fact, this particular litter could potentially be one of the most significant we’ve ever bred… Who knows whose lives will be impacted by these puppies?
A few of our puppies will grow up to be Service Dogs. Others will become wonderful family dogs, or perhaps personal gundogs. Sitting here, from the unique vantage point of a breeder/trainer, I can fully appreciate the trainability of selectively bred dogs… Dogs that are eager to please, intelligent, intensely loyal, with a strong work ethic. Dogs that are a joy to train.
When I train these puppies, they make me smile. They flourish and find security in structure and routine, and they thrive in a lifestyle that consistently reinforces the commands we teach them. When we train the Service Dogs, particularly the Diabetes Alert Dogs (DADs), I find tremendous satisfaction as I see these dogs begin to learn the scent work and piece it all together. This too makes me smile.
But when I see a DAD finish his or her training… doing the real thing… And I realize this dog will go on to significantly enhance the safety and quality of life for a person with type 1 diabetes… That brings me to tears, and I’m man enough to admit it. There is nothing more satisfying to me as a dog trainer or a professional breeder. On a human level, it’s the coolest thing ever.
I care about these dogs a lot. I care about the people who will get them. I do what I do because I care.
And I LOVE IT.