A day in the life of me. The house is getting quiet. The dogs have been fed and let out and tucked in their beds for the night. The majority of the town is going to sleep. I just made a pot of coffee. I have been up since 7am, and it isn't likely that I will get to sleep until some time tomorrow. I am pretty tired. But there is no way that I am going to go to sleep. Dallie is in labor. The first signs are there. It is going to be a long night. So I made a pot of coffee, and came and sat down on my bed where I can see the baby monitor. She has been panting and has some discharge. Those are some of the first signs that puppies will be here soon. I spent quite a bit of time down there earlier, getting her whelping area all situated, supplies all set up and ready, and getting her settled into her area. I put a chair in her pen. I will need it in a little bit. I will spend most of the night sitting on that chair. I sat down there with her for a while. She is a lover. Very affectionate. She thinks she needs to be a lap dog. She likes putting her front legs up on my lap and snuggling herself into me, while I pet on her. She is so sweet. As sit there and scratch and pet on her, she just looks at me like I am the most special person in the world. She trusts me. She knows I will take good care of her. No contractions yet, so I came upstairs to make some coffee and lay on my bed a bit. I have a bad back and bad knees and sitting on that chair just about kills me. My knees are bad. They are about killing me from going up and down those stairs so much. So, I figured, I would come upstairs and get some caffeine and rest my back and knees a bit, while staring at the baby monitor. She looks like she is resting peacefully. I am going to let her rest, as I monitor her. At the first sign of her seeming restless, or sign of contractions, I will head right on back down there, so I can make sure to be there to tend to her and the newborn puppies. While sitting here, I am thinking about what I do. I am thinking about all of the awesome pics and comments I have gotten from people who have gotten puppies or retired dogs from me over the years. I am thinking about the service dog trainers that I have worked with, to be able to provide puppies for service work to people with disabilities. I am thinking about some of my puppies who went on to be pet assisted therapy dogs. I am thinking about all of the puppies who went on to be a child's best friend. I am thinking about a retired dog that was fully housebroke, socialized, and obedience trained, that went on to be a companion to an older woman who had recently been widowed. I am thinking about how these dogs that I have, are such a huge part of my life. They are my companions. They are my daughter's companions. They are my grandkids companions. I have so many photo's and video's of them with my grandkids. So many good memories. But, they are even more to me than that. You see, I am hearing impaired. I can't tell which direction a noise is coming from. I can't hear someone knock on my door. Sometimes I can't hear my grandbaby cry when he wakes up from a nap. I can't hear when my washing machine is out of balance. I can't hear when my doorbell rings. I read lips a lot. I keep the volume on my phone as high as it goes. If I am in my yard, I don't always hear if someone is approaching or trying to enter my yard. My dogs are not big barkers. They don't bark unless they have a reason to. They alert me to all of these things. They are my ears. My mom raised dogs while I was growing up. I have raised dogs most of my adult life. 30 plus years worth. Things have changed a lot since I first started. I have met so many awesome people over the years. I really enjoy the updates that they give me on my pups. I have enjoyed so much, being able to be a part of that special moment in their lives, when they adopted a new member into their family. Most people are very decent people, and very nice. Once in a while, you might get a bad egg, but generally, not very often. Things are changing tho. There are a group of people that despise me for what I do. They think it is wrong. They think everyone should go to the shelters and adopt, and that no one should get puppies from a breeder. I personally don't have anything against someone getting a rescue dog, if that is what they want to do. That is their choice. I have rescued many dogs over my lifetime. Everything from heinz 57's to purebreed dogs, that someone didn't want anymore. Some dogs I kept for their lifetime. Some dogs I nursed back to health and then rehomed. Some dogs I took in and put training on them, removing bad habits, and then rehomed. Here is the deal tho...I am an experienced dog handler and trainer. I know how to do it. I know how to evaluate a dog and determine whether they are a safe dog, or whether they are not. If you decide to rescue a dog and have small children, be very, very careful. There is usually a reason that a dog has been surrendered. Make sure you do what you can to find out what that reason is. Has the dog been aggressive? Can you trust that you are being told the truth about its history? Do they even know its history? Some dogs may have been surrendered just because it was a cute little furball when they got it, but then they realized that the little Jack Russel mix did not comply with the person's dream of having a little laid back snuggly lap dog. As much as people would like to try to convince you that it is all in how your raise a dog, it is not. How you raise your dog IS important, but much of their personality, temperament, instincts, and tendencies, are hard wired in their brains from birth. You are most likely going to be very disappointed, if you got a blue heeler, in hopes to have a good water fowl dog. And if you are getting a Golden Retriever in hopes that you will have a good cattle dog, you are very likely to be disappointed as well. The whole point of what a responsible breeder does, is to develop bloodlines that fits a certain need or purpose. To develop a fairly predictable outcome in what kind of dog that you are getting, in order to suit your particular need or desire. If you have allergies, you are probably not going to be very happy about the results of getting a Lab or Golden Retriever, or any mixed breed that is likely to shed. Many breeders have quit under the pressure. They get it from all angles. Many purebred dogs are now on the verge of extinction. The animal shelters are full of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes. It is a very rare occasion that you see a Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle in a shelter. There are reasons for that. The house is quiet. As I stare here at the baby monitor, and think about the fact that its not likely that I will be asleep until sometime tomorrow, I think about how tired I am. I think about how I was considering retiring from this a few years ago, and mentioned that to a service dog trainer that I was working with. I watched her evaluate my adult dogs and my litter of puppies for the person who had hired her. I saw her look at me and gasp "No!! We need you! We don't see nice dogs like these. We NEED dogs like these! Please don't retire!" I watched the family pick out their new puppy. I watch the girl with the disability hold that puppy tight and hug it. She was all smiles. The expression on her face was priceless. She was overwhelmed with happiness, knowing this puppy was going to grow up to be her best friend. The one companion that could help her have more of a "normal" life. I decided right then and there, my sleepless nights, my hard work, no days off, the dirty work, no freedom to just pick up and leave when you want, well..you know...its worth it. The joy in that girls face, made it all worth it. Dallie is big. I think she is going to have a good sized litter. I can see her in that baby monitor. She looks sort of funny laying there like she is. Lol! She rolled over on her back all stretched out with her legs sticking in the air and her big belly sticking out there. I wish that silly dog would get this show on the road. It's going to be a long night. A day in the life of me.