All But Dissertation
No dissertation--none of the time!

Saturday, April 26, 2003  

My neighbor, when he heard about it, accused me of being a pimp, and I guess it's true; I was procuring sex for a fee. But the sex is between two dogs, and the fee is a stud fee. In other words, our beloved doggie is going to be a dad! (we hope). My husband asked me if I felt like a grandma yet. God forbid.

What a beautiful morning it was. The dog went out and meandered in the yard in his usual way, following all the delectable scents, while I arranged CDs in the CD changer (I enjoyed Lewis' Crisis of Islam very much on the 4 hour trip, since the dog is not a very good conversationalist). Ready to move out, I called the canine: "Want to go for a ride?" He flew over from the far side of the woods and leapt in the hatch. Was he ready to go! If only he knew what was in store for him!

I had to drive by myself, since my husband is tied up miserably in the final days of a big project in Iowa, and my son declined the trip. He had a Confirmation service project to work on with a group of his friends, anyway. But I was fine with driving up the peninsula of MI alone with the dog and Bernard Lewis. It was actually quite pleasant.

At the kennel were two litters of pups, five and seven weeks respectively, in little puppy pens in the sunshine. They chewed on plastic keyring sets made for human babies; they wrassled each other for braided ropes, and they all came romping over with wagging tails to beg to be picked up when I approached. Upon being picked up, a puppy first would chew on my chin, then my nose, and then my ear and earring, with its sharp little teeth. Laughing, I would turn it upside down, and it would stare at me placidly, with perfect trust, out of blue eyes. I would put it down and repeat. There are some days when happiness is indeed a warm puppy, especially on a warm spring day in Michigan with daffodils blooming.

My dog, in the meantime, was just meandering about following delectable scents. Eventually Carl, the owner of the kennel, finished his lunch and came out, and we took the dog to the big kennel in the barn. Carl put him in his area and motioned to an empty space next to it. "That's where we'll put his girl so they can get to know each other," he said. She was due to arrrive later in the day.

We'll see what happens next. This is the first marriage for both the dog and the bitch, and sometimes, Carl says, it can take a while. I'm looking forward to reports like an anxious granny.

If you're new to this site and want to know what kind of dog I have, here's a useful site, with the added advantage of a basket of the pups front and center! The pups I played with today were cuter, though; they had longer noses, and of course their eyes were open.

Important note:
I should make clear that all of the puppies playing in the sun have been sold to individuals who are coming from as far away as Arkansas and Maryland to pick up their precious bundles. In the Vizsla world, at least the part of it I move in, prospective owners are vetted just as carefully as they evaluate a prospective pup. Do you have a fenced in yard? Are you planning on showing the dog? Do you hunt? The breeder from whom we bought our dog called us up every few weeks at home to make sure her/our little one was doing well. Carl, who trained our dog to hunt, is extremely knowledgeable about the breed and its various bloodlines (show and field). To summarize, his operation is not a puppy mill; that is, a person or organization that breeds pups indiscriminately, without regard to the benefit of the breed, to sell solely for profit, primarily to pet shops. No responsible breeder sells his animals to a pet shop. I wasn't aware of this before we got our dog, but I've learned a lot since then, and if you want to learn more, too, this is a great place to start. So is this. Here is a site that lists ten reasons not to buy from pet shops. One thing it doesn't mention but should: the responsible breeder will write a clause into your contract about genetic defects. If your dog has a defect, you will keep the pup you've grown to love, but you'll get another one free in addition. That breeder does not want a reputation as a purveyor of genetically flawed pups; he's doing everything in his power to improve the breed, not ruin it. Pet stores, on the other hand, usually say that they will "replace" your pup with another one if the first develops problems. You know where the problem pup will end up.

posted by Lady of Shalott | 7:59 PM
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