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The Reason For Breeding That Trumps All Others

by Pilar Kuhn

This past spring, we sold one of our Bouvier puppies to a family that came to us via our bitch’s breeder. The eleven year-old daughter had been undergoing treatments and physical therapy to recover from a brain tumor over the past year. She and her mother had met a therapy Bouvier at the hospital during their visits, researched the breed, and felt that this may be the best breed for their situation.

My husband and I discussed which of our puppies might best fit their needs.  When they arrived, the mother had to assist her daughter walking into our house.  We got a chair for her to sit on and introduced them to the puppies.   Although the puppies were exuberant to meet new people, as most puppies are, one puppy in particular seemed to stay very close to her. As we sat in our kitchen playing, this puppy never left her side.

They had owned dogs in the past of various sizes, but wanted a dog that would be big and strong enough to help the daughter, protective when necessary, not too needy, and easily trained. Yes, they had done their research.  We placed Mr. Yellow in the girl’s lap and he happily sat there. He gave her gentle puppy kisses and never once complained. When the girl’s arms grew tired, we put the puppy back on the ground and he insisted on lying down calmly next to her.  We all agreed that this was her puppy.  Because she had a treatment scheduled a few days later, we offered to keep her puppy a few more days so they could prepare their home for their new guy and get past her day of treatment at the hospital.

Four days later, I drove to their house to deliver her puppy.  As they walked down the sidewalk toward us, he heard their voices and his little nub started wiggling and never stopped. He was overjoyed to see them again.  He showered his girl with kisses and bounced between her and her mother.  He smiled at me the biggest puppy smile. He knew them. He loved them. He was “home”. After spending almost an hour with them, I backed out of the driveway while this puppy draped across the mother’s lap, smiled at me, and seemed to say “thank you” for his new people.  We made sure they knew we were available to them for any possible needs and they made plans to meet us at one of the upcoming dog shows.

One month later, we had a very successful day at some shows. Running around in circles garnered a nice array of ribbons and trophies. That afternoon we got a text message and a few pictures.  Marshall the puppy and his girl were out and about for car rides and coffee shop visits.  This young girl who had wanted to hide from the world while struggling with her current physical state now looked forward to going out every day with her dog.  She was smiling, laughing, and her mother told us that she could have never known how much Marshall would mean to their entire family.  My husband and I looked at each other and got tears in our eyes. This is what matters the most to us in the big picture of life with our purebred dogs.

Marshall the Bouvier’s sire is our very own Garrison.  As you may have read previously, Garrison has gone through extensive physical therapy to learn how to walk again after a neurological injury.  We have shared his road to recovery with friends and family around the world, including Marshall’s family.

One day, we stopped by Marshall’s home to visit. As we sat around the table visiting, we talked about Garrison’s physical therapy. Marshall’s girl shared with us that she had to do the same exercises at her physical therapy.  A year ago, her mother’s difficult decision to have the entire tumor removed affected every aspect of her physical state.  She woke up a vegetable.  Her therapists had to move and stimulate every single part of her body in hopes of her being able to recover mobility of any sort, just like Garrison.  By watching Garrison’s therapy sessions, this young girl realized how far she’s come in a year. And fifty-four weeks later, she has no more chemo treatments because there is no more cancer.

So when you find yourself running around in circles, winning ribbons and trophies and planning future breedings, keep this young girl’s life and her bond with her dog in the back of your mind.  She is why we breed our dogs. She is why purebred dogs matter.

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Posted by on Sep 18 2014. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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