Anyone who is familiar with the Midwest knows our winters are cold (sub zero cold!) and can be snowy. Spending a lot more time indoors, with a fire glowing, snow flakes falling outside and a cup of steaming green tea; leads one down the summery path of dreaming. You know......dreaming of losing weight or a vacation you have in mind. Some sit and pour over magazines, read books and surf the net on days like this. I was pouring over Poodle Variety magazine and reading books on reproduction! Yes, I was dreaming of breeding.......and a kennel called Winters Wind! Now at this point I was surrounded by 2 poodles, snoozing by the fireplace and 2 puppy poodles playing tug of war.......2 Yorkies asleep in their basket and a Pomeranian resting on the recliner! Anyone looking at this scene would say I already had a kennel! Not me......what I saw was 3 pets and 4 show poodles and the sparkle of a vision. Like that red head, Lucy, who would have a dream and then spring it on poor Desi........well you get my drift.
So as mid winter set in, I began to spoon feed my dream and idea to my wonderful Hubby. When I first broached the subject; I could see terror rising in his eyes. Desi, with his wide brown eyes surrounded by white.....well that was my Rob. Unlike Desi, he didn't go into a tirade in Cuban Spanish......just a quiet pondering of what was coming next! I slowly laid out my 3-5 year plan, being very careful to not freak him out. I wisely shared on how I would achieve the finances and a breeding strategy and plan. See, I know my husband, he likes facts and figures; unlike me, who just loves to dream big and then go for it! Opposites really do attract! Rob took my plan and idea under advisement.
It wasn't long and I had the approval to move forward! So the wheels began to turn and I sought out mentors, read more books and tweaked my plans. I researched my dogs pedigree's and began to search for pedigree's and dogs that would blend to create my idea of the perfect poodle. Every good breeder does their homework, studies pedigree's and health testing, to ensure they are producing a poodle that is as close to the standard as possible and has a wonderful temperament and intelligence. I wanted to be a good breeder; a kennel that would have a reputation for producing quality.
I soon learned the hard part of being a kennel.......if you have a dog that isn't what you need or desire for your breeding program....re-home. I was now faced with this tough decision; a dog I loved, but was not what I needed for the direction of our kennel. I agonized over this decision; trying to justify keeping her as pet. My mentors and Rob all gently convinced me that you can only reasonably keep so many dogs. It was in her best interest to find her a home where she could be the queen bee and be loved. After a month or two of thinking it over, I finally listed her on the breeder site who I purchased her from. In a matter of days I had to go over applications. I made phone interviews and decided on a family. They came in a matter of days to meet her; it was love at first site. My heart broke as she walked the down the sidewalk and into their waiting car. I bawled as they drove away; the family waving happily. What a mixed bag of emotions this being a breeder is! My first taste was bittersweet, I still get choked up when I think of her; but I know that I made the best decision for her and for us. I get emails still every 2 weeks or so from the family; they are in love and she is the queen bee!
Where would we be without Dreams? In achieving a vision I have learned that it is not without heartache. My respect for my fellow breeders was always high but now; understanding the hard decisions that must be made, my regard has grown. Really Great Kennels and Breeders make dreams happen......not only for themselves but for every family that backs down their driveway, waving madly and thrilled that they have a new family member!