Saturday, October 27, 2007

Five Generations

This week has been so hard for me. Learning that my little Crystal is dying has tragically rocked my world. The hardest part is facing the choice of choosing to not put her through surgery and chemo and ultimately not knowing when her last breath will come. So instead of focusing on this, I am trying to make her final days happy and comfortable. I see her smile when she is outdoors - her favorite room of the house here. She lays on the patio overlooking the yard, just daring those birds to stop by so she can run and give chase. Seeing her this happy makes me smile. It seems she's got some good times left yet.

Today one of my co-workers came over with her daughter and they helped me take pictures of Crystal and her legacy - five generations. I am blessed with a part of her being passed down to each of these wonderful reminders of what a Shih Tzu should be. And it all started with Crystal.

Today reminded me of all that I have even though I feel great loss on the horizon.
Shown above is Crystal with her daughter Iris, her grand-son Magic, her great grand-daughter Violet and her great great grand-son Tuxedo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Today I learned that my Crystal - truly my foundation bitch - has what is most likely a malignant mass in her abdomen. I have cried rivers of tears. My heart aches.

My goal is to keep her happy and painfree as long as I can. No heroics. I want her to know she is loved. And I want her to travel to the angels and the bridge peacefully.

This is the part about breeding dogs that really stinks. No matter how long they live, it is never long enough.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

American International CH WoTeH'sin If It Happens In Vegas

My second home bred champion finished this weekend with back to back majors in Springfield, IL! Lucky was handled by Corrine Thellman and went BW both days for his final 3 and 4 point majors. He'll be home soon sporting a new haircut!

Lucky is my fourth overall champion Shih Tzu and I couldn't be more proud. He is pictured above with me after his Group win in Tucson, AZ at the IABCA Desert Sieger last December.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I think I'm going to have myself a good cry right now.

I want to breed because I want another dog just like the one I have.

I can't afford to get my dog spayed/neutered.

It just isn't right to neuter a dog.

All of my neighbors said they would buy a dog if I bred my girl.

Backyard Breeders


Designer Dogs

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Surfing breeder sites on the internet usually is an unpleasant experience for me. It opens my eyes even further to the fact that the breed I love is being abusively bred by people that don't have a clue about the breed standard. Why on earth would someone enter into breeding dogs without a blueprint?

When I first thought about getting involved "in dogs" my first thought was to show dogs, not breed them. I thought it would be a wonderful way to learn about a breed I really found to be adorable. I guess I'm different. I had heard all of the arguments against showing - the money, the politics. But I moved forward anyway and finished my first champion with a little help for a short time. But I was on the lead for one of the majors and that oh so perfect finishing point - winning over handlers to boot. What a feeling!

Yes showing is expensive. But when you work smart you can do this and finish a dog for far less than paying a professional. I've done it both ways. And today I still go out there and show my own dogs. I use handlers too as my current job doesn't allow me the time off necessary to do it all by myself anymore. It does however afford me the luxury of using professionals thanks to my pay scale. And frankly, since I'm not out there week in and week out, sometimes the clout of a face on the lead helps win a major. But what I have truly found is that if a dog is meant to finish it will - regardless of who is on the lead.

This leads me to my next point of breeding for improvement. If a dog can't finish why breed it? I understand the arguments of both sides to this question, but frankly if you're not out there learning about the standard to make the judgement call - you shouldn't be breeding in the first place.

When I surf the net I see all kinds of people out there pumping out puppies that don't even look like Shih Tzu. I mean, you can go to any puppy site or just Google Shih Tzu breeders and start viewing exactly what I'm writing about. My stomach turns and my heart aches when I see galleries of puppies with price tags on them. What that tells me is that the person who put Fluffy and Muffy together did it with high hopes to make money. It's their cash crop if you will. There was no regard to the breed standard or giving back to the breed or improving what you have to move forward. They advertise tinies and imperials, rare colors and show quality puppies that don't even look like Shih Tzu. Pardon me while I vomit.

I've been accused of being a snob in the past and I suppose this argument will not result in anything otherwise. However, if you have chosen to be responsible for bringing life into the world, shouldn't it be with some conscience? Shouldn't you want to do this the best way possible? Shouldn't you know what a Shih Tzu is SUPPOSED to look like before you start? Shouldn't you do this without gimmicks? Shouldn't you care about the health, conformation and temperament of what you are breeding?

Some would ask how I "advertise" my puppies. Valid question. I do have ads out there on the internet. One would be on a site called "Puppies By Champions". I also have a little info on a site that I believe is called Top Showdogs where the dogs listed have to be champions. I also donated money to an all breed rescue in Arizona and in return they offered to list my "kennel" on their site. In hindsight maybe it wasn't the best idea to post my name up there, but it's there and it's on an obscure place on the net. Maybe I should have it taken down, but I figure if someone is looking for a good breeder and they find me on a rescue site, they will know I give back.

My other form of advertising is within breed publications to announce wins and champions.

I really don't have a need to advertise puppies or young adults I have available for placment. I've never had a problem selling my puppies. I breed one litter per year on an average. By the time I trade back for stud service if I've gone out and I take my pick puppy (because I breed to move forward), I might have one or two puppies left. I now have people coming to me on referral. I don't keep a waiting list normally. And I have no need to post puppy galleries to place my puppies in wonderful homes. I have also found great homes for some young adults and rescues. All without posting Puppy A, Puppy B and Puppy C - GAG.

I don't do this to make money. I have what is known as a JOB to support myself. If I have to stoop to the level of millers and backyard breeders to sell puppies I have available, shoot me. Because it will be time to get out at that point any way as I would have lost the true meaning of why I do this in the first place.

If you are a breeder and you are advertising your puppies, shouldn't you really be advertising why you are a breeder? Or simply putting your stuff out there and saying, hey these are the dogs I'm breeding. If you're doing it right, you will always be able to find good homes for your puppies.

Shown above are "Trouble" Rogers and my pick of the litter girl Holly at about three weeks old.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

How cute is this??

Here's Solo, just snoozin' away this morning with his blue dog. His momma dog isn't spending the nights with him much anymore. She sleeps on the bed next to his crate and hops in when he cries for her. He's eating solid food now and drinking from his water bottle at 5-1/2 weeks. Next weekend he'll get his first booster shot.

Time flies. He's growing up nicely!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Only 4 more single points to go!

Here is Holly's picture from her 5 point major win. She has grown into a beautiful girl! She should be a champion real soon!