Dear past and future puppy owners,
I loved your puppy first.
I thought of you – future owner, years before you even realized you would one day have one of my puppies. I planned for and cared about your puppy long before you started thinking of adding a Poodle to your family. I thought and prayed about your future with that puppy; before you even knew there would be one.
There were hours upon hours spent researching lines for the grandparents and parents of your puppy, going over breeders and pedigrees and health records, choosing not only my own companion but looking for a dog that would one day produce you your own special companion. I thought and prayed that you would be happy with puppy I helped choose for you, if I’d chosen correctly and your puppy would grow up healthy and happy in your care. I have gone over puppy after puppy with fellow breeders, running over my program to ensure that I raise my dogs and puppies in the very best way possible. I have learned over the nearly 30 years of breeding, the ins and outs, not only for my own knowledge but to be able to share with my puppies new families, every detail with you, and to answer questions that sometimes you don’t even ask.
Then there were the years of watching your puppy’s parents and grandparents grow. I love them and enjoy watching them as a part of my family, training them, socializing them, watching how they fill out and asking myself if I had made the right choice in both of them. Scrutinizing their confirmation, health, and temperament, I prayed not only that my Poodles were healthy but that they had the genes and epigenetics behind them to make your puppy healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.
Finally came the time to put your puppy’s parents together. For the next 63 days, I obsessed, I grew excited! I watched your puppy’s mom like a hawk, making sure my special girl was okay, monitoring her raw diet, her exercise/play time and how she spent her days – even better than I do my own. Making sure that your growing puppy was getting the best start possible. I spent hours with her watching her tummy grow and anxiously waiting. I laid my hands on her tummy and felt the first movements of your puppy. I would talk to her and the puppies as I stroked her and the yet unborn puppies inside of her. I made sure she was happy and had fun and lots of cuddle time every day. As the time grew close, I spent lots of times at night in the whelping box with her, talking to her and the puppies making sure she didn’t go into labor without me knowing.
When labor started, my whole life stopped. Your puppy was born into my hands and I held my breath as I watched my girl clean them up, standing by if she should need any assistance, watching for movement and breathing, checking them over and wondering if you’d love them as much as I already did.
For the first 8 – 10 weeks of their lives, most of my life was filled with your puppy, watching them all grow and making sure I was doing everything possible to make ensure they started their lives the right way. It was my responsibility to make sure each one was getting enough to eat, enough socialization time, enough enrichment and early training time. I was the first person they saw when they opened their eyes, the first human voice they heard once their ears were open. I spent weeks playing with them, giving them the love and enrichment they deserved.
I read and re-read your application and compared against the others. I observed the puppies daily making mental notes as to their likes and dislikes – their unique personalities. As we spoke, I tried to read your character. Would you love them as much as I do? Would you make them a part of your family? Would you care for this tiny life in the healthiest and most natural way possible, the way I brought into this world and cared for them? Some of you were turned away as homes for these special and wonderful puppies but some of you were welcomed into and became part our family. The day you took your puppy home was harder than I’d ever let on. I was excited for you but I was also praying that you were going to be the best owner possible. Had I chosen correctly? Were you who you seemed to be? Would you really stay in touch with me?
My love and thoughts didn’t end there. I thought about your puppy regularly, I was saddened when I didn’t get updates, but ecstatic when I did. I hoped you were caring for your puppy the way I care for mine. I answered your questions happily and answered them again just as happily for your puppy’s siblings’ new parents.
I am so thrilled and excited when they turn out to be the beautiful and healthy Poodles I dreamed and worded at and prayed that they would be. I post pictures of them, showing how proud I am of them and you for your taking such wonderful care of them, giving them the life they more than deserve. I can’t help myself, I loved your puppy first and I will never stop loving them.
Jeannie (Jeanette) Thomason – Genteel Standard Poodles
adapted from a fellow breeder –
Heather Andelin of California Danes