After a few months long hiatus from writing this blog I am sitting again at a whelping box hovering over newborns and receiving many requests to document this new litter. I am going to do that, especially as I am adding some new protocols and polishing the old ones. However, before I can embark on that journey I feel that I need to put my work in perspective.
This is a shout out to a loving dog owner!
A puppy spends a very short time at a breeder’s place. Most of the dog’s life will be shaped elsewhere. Yes, science tells us that the early weeks of life have life-long effects, making the breeder’s influence disproportional to the time spent with the puppy. Still the point remains that majority of the dog’s life is shaped by its owners.
There is a distinction between a predisposition/ temperament and character. A character is a result of the interplay between the puppy’s temperament and its environment. The environment being in the most part the dog’s owners, because they shape every minute of the dog’s life. No matter its inborn predispositions, the character of a dog left alone for long hours each day and interacted with as an afterthought will be markedly different than a character of a dog that has a clearly spelled out role in the family and whose emotional as well as physical needs are considered daily.
One of the most difficult and yet one of the most rewarding aspects of breeder’s work is choosing the right family for each pup. Puppy buyers have different ideas on what their day to day life with a dog will be. They have different emotional expectations that will affect how they raise their dog. And the dog’s entire life will be doomed, blessed, or fall somewhere in between. No reprieve. A choice of the right puppy buyer is everything.
There is no overstating the gratitude that great dog owners deserve. I would go as far as to say that a successful breeding program relies on collaboration with wonderful owners. I cannot say enough about the caring, loving effort that buyers of my puppies have shown. I feel deep gratitude for knowing that all the pups I brought into this world have full, emotionally rich lives.
I thank each and every one of you with a Dignpop dog! I think of you as my extended family and I love you! So many of you became close friends sharing other aspects of our lives in addition to our shared passion for dogs. Each owner of a puppy that was born at Dignpop kennel has been a stellar example of a great owner. You bring out the best in canine-human relationship and are a shining example for others. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I do my best to give the puppies a great start. Where they end up is a credit to their owners.
For those who have followed my last year’s litter featured in this blog here is an update on the lives of those four boys. Their lives are fabulous, because they have wonderful owners.
Rolo (formerly Nugget)
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Photos and updates of Rolo’s life are always depicting fun: learning, exploring, playing. Rolo is being trained for an agility career to follow in the footsteps of Ace, the other Norwich in the family.
He is also attending an obedience class and already skipped ahead a level. I always feel so pumped up with pride when I hear how easily Rolo learns, how enthusiastic he is to try new things.
I can’t say which of Rolo’s photos are my favorite because I love them all, but probably if I was to use one photo to show confidence in a young pup it would be this one. It is showing a 7 months old Rolo holding a fabulous sit-stay next to a giant blow up dog, in a place new to him. This was taken at Eukanuba national in December.
A little pup looking confident and poised while holding a stay, with the whole big world round him!
Such a visual metaphor for where he is headed. Watch out the world!
Digby (formerly Banzo)
The red pup we called Banzo, our Garbanzo Bean, a poster pup for cuteness, was renamed as Digby.
Digby moved to picturesque Alberta in Canada, where he enjoys a charmed life. All the descriptions of his adventures bring to life the confident pup I knew him to be through and through from the beginning.
His owners reported on Digby’s successes in puppy kindergarten classes, Puppy Obedience and Intermediate. I’m told he passed each course with flying colors and is now attending Advanced Obedience classes.
These are such thrilling news for a breeder. I love receiving colorful stories about his friendly interaction with all humans and animals he meets.
In his spare time Digby’s hobbies include greeting everyone he sees, finding every sunny spot to claim as his own, digging in his very own sandbox (yes, you heard me!) and helping with house chores, especially laundry.
I smile every time I get an email from Digby’s owners in anticipation of joy that reading of it is sure to bring.
Derby is my buddy. He goes to work with me and is my constant companion.
We are playing with some puppy steps in dog sports. Derby has been learning some basic obedience, without a formal class yet, and we have started nosework. We took one outdoor nosework class together in the fall and trained at home in the winter. I also plan to show Derby in conformation in a little while.
Occasionally, while in the office with me Derby takes his work duties a bit too seriously as architectural critic…
He brightens my every day.
Pete (formerly Primo)
Pete went to live with his dam’s breeder in Michigan, with a show and stud career planned for him.
I am told that he is the sunshine personality I saw in him as a pup. He loves everyone and is unfazed by anything, the consummate optimist.
Pete is lucky to train for a show ring with junior handlers. He is crazy for his young trainers.
He will debut in the show ring later in the summer, probably about the same time when Derby will be ready to take his first steps in the show ring.
A little post scriptum story about the name Digby
This is the third pup born here that was named Digby. The first one was named so by me and registered as Dignpop Digby. The “original” Digby is owned by a lovely couple of dog sport enthusiasts from Virginia. Their Digby has accumulated a super impressive list of advanced performance titles in three dog sport disciplines in his 8 years of life. His name now reads Dignpop Digby CD BN RE MX AXJ NF. The letters after the name stand for titles in Rally, Agility and Obedience. Imagine the dedication of his fabulous owners.
The “second” Digby was named by me Big B. His registered name is Dignpop Big Bang. His owner renamed him to a similar sounding name Digby. Because it was a second Digby from Dignpop, she calls him Dig for short. Again, this Digby was born under the lucky stars. Dig is only 3 years old and is walking in the footsteps of the “original” Digby. So far, although still very young he is already Dignpop Big Bang BN RA. BN is an obedience title and RA is Rally Advanced, his second title in Rally (more advanced titles replace the lower ones in the official title used after the registered name).
When Banzo’s owners told me that they loved the name Digby and would want to rename their pup I told them he will have a lot to live up to. And guess what? They had already planned to train him in Obedience!
To distinguish between the three Digby boys when my husband and I refer to them we say “Digby”, “Dig” and “Digby-eh” (our Canadian Digby).