Open reply to the person pleased with their breeder but offended by me….
I thank you for being motivated enough by an “Investment Offer” made to the public by a dog breeder to send me messages this week. The scheme has gained a lot of attention, including an interview in Dog World magazine, not really surprisingly when we see what got people excited, including you, in fact enough to go to the trouble of contacting me:
“I am in a fortunate position with my breeding that demand now outweighs supply. I need to buy some more bitch pups to keep me in good stead for next year! Therefore I am offering six people the chance to invest £500 each for 18 months with a guaranteed return of £1,000 each.
“I have calculated all the worst-case scenarios and it shows a healthy enough profit to guarantee your return. The benefit to me is I can add to my breeding stock without affecting my cash flow. The benefit to any potential investor is a guaranteed 100 per cent profit, far better than any bank. This offer is limited to only six people.”
The puppy business is booming as campaigners like me know, and certain types of breeders certainly don’t wish to miss out on grabbing what they can from the market. The full interview with this particularly keen breeder can be read here, this little detail has attracted a fair bit of online commentary:
“…described himself as a small-time breeder for ’13 or 14 years’, with eight breeding bitches who produce between 40 and 46 puppies a year.
“I’m not churning them out,” he said.
What I find curious is that it is not the scheme you are exercised by, as most people paying any attention to this have been, one way or another, nor the volume of dogs being bred, but my public comments. Comments which you consider to be, let me see exactly what you said, “accusations” and “outbursts” towards “innocent puppy owners”. This presumably, is where I have asked people politely, certainly not in a bursting out kind of way, that’s not really my style, to see behind the puppies, and to really think about the parent dogs. The people who have no hesitation recommending this breeder, or buying again from him, like you, as you told me.
My public posts, and by which I fully stand, ask them to think, when they say their puppies are happy – which I have no doubt they are as they get out to live the life of a family pet in the home – whether the life of a kennelled breeding dog is one they would wish for their own puppy. Especially a companion breed like a miniature schnauzer, a breed that craves company. If not, why is it acceptable that some dogs are kept in kennels and given tantalising glimpses of life in a home for a few days when whelping, yet returned to the kennel, until their breeding lives are over? Until they have earned their retirement from this particular breeder and he replaces his, what did he call his dogs again, oh yes “breeding stock”.
I did take the time to reply to your first message fully, as I didn’t like to assume that you know much about my writing and campaigning, and I believed, you may be open to changing your understanding of why I campaign. That is, to encourage anyone who might not quite realise what lies behind some breeding practices, to do their bit not to support an industry which considers dogs as nothing more than a cash crop. Especially when it is so openly outlined as in this case, or, in the words of the Vice-chair of the Miniature Schnauzer Club, Caroline Wareing, who is responsible for rescue and rehoming,
“It caused an uproar – he seems so brazen. There was no end of comment about it.”
Uproar over an invitation to investors so the breeder’s cash flow remains unaffected, this is a striking detail many have indeed been, well, struck by. I thought my reply might prompt you to question whether it’s ethical to view our canine companions as stock to be used to produce the goods from, then to be retired, or discarded, same thing, when they are fortunate enough, only of course to be replaced in a cycle that goes on and on sadly. A cycle fuelled by puppy buyers, as to use this man’s own words, “Demand now outweighs supply” one that will continue all the time the puppy buyers do not realise what they are unwittingly, or, in some cases, wilfully, supporting.
I told you in my reply, that I have been in the position, with my first puppy, of supporting this industry, but I know better these days, and wish to stop others from making that mistake. A mistake that condemns thousands of parent dogs to a life of isolation, and poverty of love and companionship. Until, if they are lucky, they go to a kind retirement home that can care for them so that they can put their breeding past behind them.
But you don’t seem to want to change your understanding, although you do go to the bother of following my work which is curious. Although not that carefully I suspect, if these words you chose to write about me are anything to by:
“you are an author of a book portraying your puppy purchased from a puppy farmer. In fact your avatar at times is splashed all over the internet wherever possible and perhaps even more so now that a sequel is about to be published from your first book.”
I feel I should correct your understanding, although maybe you’ve decided to buy “Saving Susie-Belle” to get to know me better, which, if you have, I thank you for, but in case not, Susie-Belle is not a puppy purchased from a puppy farmer, she was a breeding dog kept in confinement and abused for years by a puppy farmer. I did, as I told you in my reply, buy my first dog from someone I suspect now was a puppy farmer, and therefore, contrary to what you accuse me of, do not judge others who fall into their traps, but I do urge them not to turn a blind eye if others are doing the same.
This is one of my key messages in my campaigning, that it is only by us all speaking up, doing something good for the dogs, when we do know better, that dogs like mine will not have to suffer to supply the booming puppy market.
But, clearly, I mistook you for someone who might care and was worth my time.
I did reply to you at first, doing my best to meet your criteria on the basis that you are:
“accepting of coherent and pleasant written words” (this is a topic where it is not all about nice, pleasantries sadly, but I did my best) but you replied with words that reveal a mind-set that I find hard to fathom. For, despite bothering to locate and message me you obviously haven’t followed my work quite as thoroughly as might be assumed by the assertions you freely throw around. Like this one:
“Therefore, I hope exploiting your little dogs miseries and indignities by the written word helps you become as rich as you wish to become”.
So many assumptions in those 24 words it is truly breath taking. And, gave us all here quite a giggle, which is always good, priceless in fact. Especially when you also wrote this,
“to accuse someone of being or doing something which is not quite correct can be very disturbing indeed”
Yes, we have disturbed the peace here today with our laughing, so thank you for that at least.
Finally, I thank you for telling me you will not correspond further with me, but if you would like to read more of my words so you can decide properly whether I can make a coherent sentence, Saving One More will be out in September.