Thinking with your head instead of your heart
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.
Oh Carol…..I don’t envy you. I would want to keep each and everyone of them. If Pickle is not the one I know you will find her the best home (next to yours of course).
It may take her a few minutes to get over you. Twenty minutes tops. You already know this, but it bears reminding. Rocket is in his new home today. Cletus wouldn’t eat his breakfast this morning. That’s really who grieves, the dogs, not the people.
Oh Pickles! I love you too!
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I know the breeder of my boy had a similar problem deciding which pup to keep. But like her, you will have great owners competing to be given the opportunity to own Pickle. She will have a wonderful life even if it’s not the one you would give her.
I give you a lot of credit. I have a hard enough time giving up my fosters, I couldn’t imagine having to give up my baby’s babies. I love my Frenchies and have always thought about having a house full, showing them, breeding them, etc. But I know in the end, my heart could not handle all of the heartbreak that comes with it. I’ve followed your blog for a very long time and I’m still in awe at all the things you have to do for your pups to be healthy, well-adjusted little monkeys. I could never do that and I think you’re awesome because you can, even if it’s not so easy.
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I covet Pickle. Alas, i, too, have a full house.
I don’t know how you do it. It takes a very strong heart to do what you do. I could never part with any of them or deal with the heartbreak that can unfortunately be a part of the breeding process. Thinking with your head and not your heart is a very delicate balance.
Heart dogs, we have had a few. It’s of course why we all try (try!) not to get attached. But they wiggle in anyhow. With one very notable exception, my heart puppies have not turned out to be the right ones to keep.
So I will continue to try, unsuccessfully, to remain aloof to the charms of the little ones. And accept the fact that I will, at some point, once again fail.
But the little buggers could have the common decency to at least act sad to leave!
Ahhh reason 643 why I will never be a breeder. I am happy enough though just to be their support staff.
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Send her to me! 🙂
Actually, I consider myself sooooo lucky, that the puppy I always wanted to keep — the One Who Chose Me — was the co-owner and litter evaluator’s choice of the one who stayed.