I’ve been a bit down all weekend.
As time progressing, it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that Pickle isn’t shaping up to be a show prospect. Aside from the fact that she still hasn’t quite caught up from her self imposed fasting, her front isn’t perfect and her head is a little plainer than I’d like. All of this is forgotten, of course, when she jumps up into my arms and insists on kisses, preferably right at face level, or when she falls asleep on my shoulder, curled into the line of my jaw.
When I can be impartial – or when I borrow the impartial eyes of friends – I know she’s not what I need to keep from this breeding. Her brother is simply stunning – big and bully and heavy boned, with jaw dropping movement and attitude to spare. Her other two sisters have gorgeous head pieces, dead straight fronts with deep chests, and strong rears. Pickle just can’t compete, other than in terms of personality, which she has to spare.
Being a breeder is all about progress – picking the best of our litters, the puppies that have what we need, complement what we have already and help us to move forward with improving our lines. Breeders are supposed to think with their heads first, their hearts second – but oh, that certainly doesn’t make it any easier.
Not at all.
If I had the space, if I had unlimited space, I’d keep her anyways – show potential be damned. I am, however, a small breeder. I try to limit my dogs to a number I can reasonably provide lots of attention to, and I’m almost at that limit now, with two altered dogs in residence snoozing on the couch. I can’t possibly give Pickle the one on one attention a pet home can shower her with, no matter how much I want to believe otherwise. I want to believe she is my one and only, but I know that the truth is, most Frenchies can transfer that affection to the next person who tosses them a cookie, and do it without a backwards glance. I hope so. I hope that’s true, and that if I do decide that Pickle is not my puppy, she’ll forget me a lot sooner than I will forget her.
And this is where I remind myself that being ‘just a pet person’ would sure be lot easier, most of the time at least.