A few tips.... * This blog is best read from the bottom upwards which is chronological order. * We welcome your comments which you may add at the bottom of each article. * You may opt to be notified of additions to the blog or a specific entry. * Let us know how you feel about our efforts by voting (see the survey) or email us.
Giant Schnauzer Puppy Mill- Angel Program
A puppymill that sells Giant Schnauzers that never shows (proves their dogs physical soundness) or does health screenings on their dogs wants you to give them donations to help fund their "special dogs" for what they call their angel program. They say they give them to the handicapped (children and adults.) These people are definately not good canidates for owning the breed! I am sorry but this entire idea is very bad. This is a BIG protection breed that is way too much responsibility for a child or disabled person!
From what I gather, these are dogs they produced that are in varying degrees defective and they want money from you to help them clean up their mess. In my opinion they certainly should not be getting donations unless they are a legitimate tax exempt charity and these facts should be verifiable through the IRS. Please be careful folks.
And you know, it shocks me that people actually buy pups of mediocre quality from untested parents from a puppymill for the same price they could buy a much better dog from tested parents from a good conscientious breeder. It boggles the mind.
Surely is an extraordinary Giant. I have had many, so I know she is different. There are the diggers, the climbers and the jumpers, but Sure is a gazelle! She flies over fences and does it so easily she simply cannot be contained. It's hard to exercise a dog that comes and goes at liberty because you cannot leave her to play and run with the others for fear she will depart.
She's in season now and wants to play with her son Legend. That of course I have not let happen, but gosh she jumps so quickly and it is so silent that just a second out of my sight and it could happen. It is really stressful! She loves to run with deer and wants to get the cats and squirrel. She's a free spirit and likes to explore. Unlike many of the GS I have known who really are part of a pack Surely cares very little about that kind of thing. She loves her people and likes the other dogs but will happily leave to explore alone.
She did leave last New Years but for another reason. She was in a 6 foot tall pen within a fence yard and at while I was with guests she left because of fireworks and gunfire. I quickly ran to check on the dogs when I heard it, but she was gone! I guess they do that kind of thing here in the country... it was news to me as I am a transplant from the city. Anyway..... I lay on the hammock all night calling her name. It was a dreadful night as I was terribly frightened. At I called in the posse and 7 people came to help. We spread out and handed out hundreds of fliers everywhere. We got a call from someone a couple miles away who had seen her in a ravine behind their house and she was there in the thick wooded area when we found her late that afternoon. Thinking about it makes me literally feel ill even now.
If the right home came along I would re-home her. I am so afraid she will be hit on the highway here which is rather close and she has crossed it before in her travels. If someone in the city in the relative area wanted a dog to jog with and offered her a great home... I know it would be the right thing to do. She scares me so badly and I love her far too much to let my selfishness override good judgment. Its times like these that I try to remember the things I am committed to. Making the right decision is sometimes difficult, but that is not an excuse for doing it anyway.
As the weather changes, so does our dear Rags who is now very happy and feeling much better! I guess good food, excellent vitamins, fresh water, a good bath and someone to care for you and give you a nice home is all an older dog needs to find a reason to live. Oh... and she LOVES the puppies! Whatever the reason, Wags Rags is frisky and more like a new dog than the one I found crossing Interstate 70. Though I REALLY would like to find her a new home (or a ride to MI) she is little trouble and a lot of blessings and we can use all of those we can get. So, until someone else wants her and the blessings she brings, she is but "another cup of water in the soup" here at Magna.
It seems that many of us think we know what the heck we are doing in respect to things that in all actuality we know very little about. I am certainly guilty and I listen to others just about as silly as I was. Here is what I mean.
I recall Michael Kemp (he won BIS at Westminster Kennel Club with a Wire Coated Fox Terrier named Lacy, very knowledgable and has been around a long time) responding with some disdain to my critisim of a dog that I was in fact a fault finding judge of dogs. My response (to myself anyway) was ... yea, and your point being? He wanted me to see the beauty of the dog otherwise and I completely missed it! I was so focused on the one flaw that I didnt see the essence of the breed that the dog posseessed and the near perfection otherwise. I did not forget this seemingly simple comment however and have reflected upon it so many times over the years that have passed.
Yes, I can stand ringside and pick a dog apart and say... yea.. but that dog has a ugly head, bad coat... as well as anyone, but after breeding a bit and looking for mates for my dogs, I have learned something well. You do not throw the baby out with the bath water or you will run out of babies! I now look at dogs completely differently than I did at that time when I was only showing dogs and not working to improve my breed. There are some things I can not live with... bad temperaments for one, but then if I were to get a great dog with a fluffy coat, I would not hesitate to include him/her in my breeding program. I now look at the beauty that dog has to offer and see how it can benefit my breeding program or the breed in general. I determine the possibilities of the negatives, and the positives. Can I over come the negatives? Will I get the positives? Breeding the perfect dog is impossible but breeding great ones is not though it is not easy. DNA will trip you up and never ceases to offer surprises. Guess that is what I find so fantastic about dogs. I am never bored. There is so much to learn!
The advise I have for the people I mentor is; stay true to your standard, but most importantly and above all else -always.. stay true to your convictions. You can recover from a litter that did not produce well. You are not God adn you do not have a magic wand and a crystal ball no matter how much the scandelizers would like you to be to blame, but you often cannot recover from lowering your standards or going against your good judgement. Believe in yourself and hold your head up high. These are the people I want to walk with now and hope to leave behind in the future.
I believe that everyone that breeds dogs needs to show up and do their homework. I am talking about real experience with a good mentor. Period.
The Big Dodo (Like the bird, not like whats in the yard :-)
The last time I used the local vet we did thyroid tests preparatory to breeding which should have been sent to MSU (MI State University Lab) in MI. Instead it was sent to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) in MO. Thankfully OFA could help us recover and sent it on to MSU. This time I had blood sent to IDEX for progesterone and brucellosis tests to breed one of my imports and the blood either did not get to Fed X, the tech cant find the FedEx receipt in her car... perhaps it was addressed wrong... who knows, but the blood is LOST so I missed this breeding. It will be too late to recover from this mistake. Given the situation it was not all that inconvenient but there were loss of funds by the stud dog owner who did get their brucellosis done which I will have to compensate for. Could have been MUCH worse had there been an accumulation of expenses prior to breeding as in some cases... Like plane tickets!
You know it only takes a little peri-menopause and a little rain on a day filled with obligations to really remind me that my job is no more glamorous than that of a trash collector - and even they have the crap collected and bagged for them. It is raining, the dogs are in their runs outside running through their excrements far quicker than I can get to it while I madly clean inside, it is too muddy to let them run in the fields and now they will all stink from the poop soup they have up to the elbows! So now I have to have them in the house with people coming and I surely do not have time to bathe them all. I really do not want to fall short of the expectations of others but I think that no matter how hard I try or how much time I have (or not!) I cannot win this challenge today. Thus far all the crates are cleaned and the floors are bleached but there is much left to do. Why not throw in the towel and just declare the house off limits just for today? You know... quit while I am behind? Humm... a worthy consideration.
To add to my frustrations from the weather (and never sleeping from hot flashes!) I have bitches in season and if it continues to rain they will be in for that part of the day and that will make us all miserable. I will tell you this... breeding dogs is hard, dirty work and not for wimps!
My first cup of coffee is almost gone, so I am on the move again, but not before I remind myself that this is what I really love and just one of those days MOMENTS. I am going to try to smile and play good music to pick myself up.
I think I will choose to be grateful and quit complaining. Maybe with a better attitude the day will improve.
There is an ad periodically above this blog for schnoodles. This I have been curious about for some time. Why would anyone buy a MUTT when they can save one from the pound for much less expense? Pug/Beagles, Golden Retrievers/Poodles... all muts folks. Just amazing that people will buy anything. Where is the health history on those dogs?! Wonder what health issues they have? What kind of testing do those so called breeders do? Boggles my mind.
Finally the weather is superb and the puppies can be out all day! I really did not think I would mind a winter litter because the heat is no cup of tea in this area but even a mild winter poses great challenges. Tomarrow I will put the young ones in the half acre field to run and play all the day long. Puppies remind me about whats really good in the world- trust, pure love, acceptance, warm hugs, wonderment and a zest that only the young have. In their presence I remember that God gave us creatures to enrich our lives and I am grateful.
Since DeeDee I have been on the hunt for information relative to seizures. I am trying to gain the trust of breeders that have significant experience to see what they know that I could benefit from. One big breeder has entrusted me with information and it is VERY scary to say the least. A top stud dog produced seizures and he was used after this information was learned.
You know seizures put a lot of things into perspective. I mean, you sure would not dump a dog for a cotton coat, a light eye, low tailset, etc. and reduce the size of a gene pool which is already far too small. Geez... then we would really double up and stamp in the invisible things like seizures with an even smaller gene pool.
I believe, and others do too that virtually every dog has the potential to produce seizures and I futher believe that EVERY BREEDER that breeds long enough will produce them. That is not a crime. The possiblibilty of one is found in how a breeder acts when these things occur.
While we have the benefit of importing dogs from all over the world we are also going to have to uncover their hidden flaws. In this respect there is no diffence with dogs we buy here or abroad. Getting information from breeders is nearly impossible because no one wants to be marked as having tainted dogs and novice or ignorant people will jump to these without knowledge or complete data and the internet scandals start and it's a big mess. The good breeder will cleanse the lines they work with and keep moving onward and upward. But in the end we live with the fact that breeding is a crap shoot that we can only at our best increase our odds.
My friend Andrea wrote me about the blog idea saying she thinks it will be therapeutic for me. Perhaps she is right. And Andrea is very knowledgeable about something that is eating at me. In fact, she lives with the subject dog. Let me tell you a story....
I obtained a dog from a breeder to enhance my breeding program. I liked the pedigree and I love the people who were doing this breeding. I was thrilled with the FABULOUS puppy I got from them. THRILLED! I was so in love with her. She has such a great personality, she's funny and she is BEAUTIFUL! But guess what folks... she seizes. At eight months of age, she had BIG seizures that went on for two days and we had a heck of a time getting them stopped. Then more big news. A littermate brother seized too about the same time and he is deceased because of it.
We never slandered the stud dog owner, owners of the dogs that produced that male, nor the breeder of her bitch. They did not invent this. We did however believe that it was of the utmost importance to share what we knew with these folks so they were able to learn from this knowledge and adjust their breeding plans accordingly because responsible breeders want to know. The breeder of the dam's response was appropriate reflecting concern and interest in the details. However, the response of the stud dog owner and the owner of his sire response was revolting. They said that I was conspiring against them! (I think that is their excuse for not taking responsibility and for continuing to use these dogs without regard!) Now let me tell you that I do not know anyone that would do this to a dog for the detriment of another and I surely do not waste my time conspiring against anyone. It does not promote excellence and that is my mission which I am firmly committed to. I never slandered them. In fact it was a well kept secret! If I were conspiring would I not be enjoying publicly strangling them?
So here is a question for you readers..... what do you do when you find that someone will not be honorable? Do you force them to be accountable? If so, how? I am not going to slander anyone but I DO know the facts and the facts I am clear on.
Next question- when people call and ask how to find a good breeder in their area... what do I tell them when the marketing by these folks is a big bunch of talk and terribly compelling!? I am not willing to single people out as that just sounds like sour grapes and isn't what I want to do. It is such a dilemma!
Had these people contacted either the breeder of my pup or myself and showed concern I would have trusted they cared enough not to take unreasonable risks with these dogs, but how can you trust someone that has this response? And BTW, this behavior is no different than the history of their actions towards others that proceeds this event.
I will be very interested in seeing what others think.
Oh.. and my friend Andrea... I gave her the dog and they love her. She is fully aware that she will probably not live a full life and her heart will be broken when that day comes, but in the meantime she has a WONDERFUL home on a farm with a family that choses to enjoy her every day until forever. Thank you Andrea. Your care for my baby DeeDee is something I will never be able to repay and I am forever grateful.