Thursday, July 21, 2022

What Dogs Really Need

I get lots of emails every day asking for Shiba puppies from very nice people not all of whom will end up being appropriate for the breed but I trust everyone is well meaning and kind and loves meeting well behaved Shibas they see and they genuinely feel they can raise a great Shiba. The fact is most people have it all wrong Here is an example of what people THINK a dog needs most, love and exercise.

Hi! My name is _______.  We are looking for a Shiba Inu puppy. The reason why we choose to keep a Shiba is that they are loyal, intelligent and confident. We would love its companionship, an additional family member that can offer unconditional love and emotional support to us, and we feel that the time is right to bring a puppy into our home and into our life.

My husband works from home during most of the week. I am currently a housewife.  For most of the time we will be available to take care of the puppy.  My son is 15 years old and he will be able to help to walk and take care of the puppy. So the puppy will be left alone at home very rarely. 

We live in a comfortable condominium with a 1700 sq. ft. livable area and it is near Redmond downtown. We live near Marymoor Park, where there is a large off-leash dog area. We plan to take our puppy there frequently so the puppy can get a lot of chances to socialize with the other dogs.  In addition, there is also a scenic walking trail near where we live. We enjoy walking on it and are really looking forward to going on nice walks with our puppy. We ensure that our puppy will have plenty of opportunities to exercise on and off leash so the puppy will live both healthily and happily.

I would appreciate if you can consider my application. Should you have any questions, please call me. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Kind regards,

My response......

Thank you for the nice introduction of your family.  Sounds like lots of exercise for your puppy how bout training?  Have you thought of that?  I have a mentee in Kirkland that could possibly help you with some of that BUT I do require my puppy people come to my home on weekends for Shiba training and you are very far away to drive here every weekend.  

While exercise is wonderful to keep a puppy fit the most important part of creating a well behaved and well adjust Shiba that doesn't bite is TRAINING.  A balance of exercise, training and affection is the key to proper communication and relationship with any companion animal and it is sadly imbalanced in all the cases bad behavior I see in my animal training practice every single day.  Giving lavish affection and over stimulating fondling & petting and letting a dog go wild in dog parks and pointless long walks is all one sided without a goal in mind this will back fire on you.   So it is my goal to teach proper interaction and create calm and gentle Shibas which after all, is what most people really want.

It is awesome that someone can always take care of your puppy but puppy must also learn to be alone at home without stressing out becoming destructive or barking and howling not to mention punishing YOU when you come home!  HA!  Being alone is not natural for many animals BUT they live in our society and I bet if you think about it there is more time your home is empty of people then you realize.  Staying alone is skill that must be taught to your puppy for his own mental health and safety.

I bet you did not think owning a dog would be so difficult.  Training is necessary for your Shiba but your family also needs to learn how dogs think, what motivates their behavior we deem "naughty" and how to avoid creating bad habits.  I find it is human nature to inadvertently reward Shibas when you think you are doing the right thing.  I can point it out all day just sitting in a park and watching people with their dogs or horses.  It is MY nature to think like an animal most of the time since I am surrounded by them on my farm.

Next, did you know you have a Shiba breeder in your same town????  It really would be to your advantage to work with a breeder who is closer to you that way she can help you with hands on instruction when you need it.  Her name is _________ and her information can be found on the breeder directory of the national Shiba club at  If she can't help you will see other breeders closer to you than I am.

I hope the information I provided helps you in your search for an appropriate companion from a fabulous breeder who will be there to support you while raising your new puppy.


In my years as an animal trainer and Shiba breeder I see and hear about it all the time.  Untrained & disciplined dogs, cats, horses & birds and children are everywhere you look.  This makes all involved unhappy, sad and disappointed in a dream they had for themselves AND for that animal or little human.  It sucks.  Frankly no wants to be around these undisciplined beings and their humans as they cause annoyance and in some cases chaos and fear.

I take full responsibility for making mistakes in a few placements of puppies over the years. It happens to all breeders. The people are nice and they SINCERELY think they can handle a Shiba even after I give them my spiel about how spoiled Shibas bite.  I also think going to shows and visiting breeders such as myself is misleading because it looks easy and the reality is that it is far from easy.  Returning a dog to the breeder because he is biting the family is devastating. Families love their Shiba regardless of it abusing them. Both the breeder and the buyer are emotionally and financially invested in the dog.  I have taken 2 males back recently, retrained them, discovered their quirks and placed them more appropriately and they are now freaking fabulous dogs for their new very strict owners.  I do the best I can to place appropriately the first time but sometimes you take a chance on a family and it doesn't work out.  All I can do as a responsible breeder is take the dog back.  

If you are reading my blog I hope you get something out of my honesty.  Breeders are human too and we all make mistakes.  Luckily dogs are the most forgiving animals created.  Humans can and do withstand outrageous trauma and drama and can bounce back but they aren't nearly as forgiving as a dog who lives its life in the moment.

Best wishes to you and the animals.


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Worldwide Pet Shipping

I get a lot of inquiries from people all over the US and occasionally from around the world asking me to ship them a Shiba puppy as a pet. When I give a simple NO they start asking a lot of questions that I wish I didn't have to elaborate on but I've made a comittment to my breed so I'm obligated to explain this to them.

Hopefully the world will read this and have a better understanding of how breeders think and will self assess themselves as potential Shiba owners.....or not.

You just want a pet right? Responsible breeders don't sell pets outside a certain radius from their home. I find it's based on what they are personally comfortable with. One breeder I know only places puppies within 60 miles! I thought that was a little to restrictive for me. I personally say 1/2 a day's or 250 miles for first time Shiba owners and I only ship pets on the west coast to people who have had a Shiba before and I really prefer they fly in to pick them up personally. With Covid I've shipped two puppies on the 90 minute flight to CA.

Why do breeders have a personal pet puppy placement radius? Because this breed is very complicated and requires help from the breeder to raise it properly. What the heck does that mean? It means 50-75% of first time Shiba owners create spoiled, ill-mannered & unruly Shibas that BITE them indiscriminately. Owners just don't understand why the Shiba they treated so well and gave everything they ever wanted, still bites them. Owners learn from these first mistakes and do much better with their next Shiba by setting limits and enforcing good behavior and actually following their breeder's instructions for raising a nice Shiba. THIS IS WHY YOU WANT YOUR BREEDER CLOSE TO YOU.

Most people buy a dog for enjoyment, to enhance their life as a companion to their family and NOT for a lot of added stress to their lives. When you have a Shiba their will be some stress at times which is created by the drama. Shibas are dramatic. Dramatic look and dramatic behavior. Fun and interesting to some people, giant pain in rear to other people who would be so much happier with a more "simple" and "normal" dog.

Yes, breeders do sell to other breeders all over the world. They still take time to develop a relationship with each other and they want to be sure their dogs will be treated & cared for well and well loved just like they would with a pet owner. Most of us will not sell a dog to anyone we think will just keep the Shiba in their kennel and not treat like a pet as well as a show & breeding dog. We know Shibas don't thrive in kennel environments.

Breeders see no purpose in shipping puppies strictly as pets across the country or world. It's a lot of work to arrange and not necessarily kind to the puppy. It's not unnecessary as you can find a pet within driving distance IF a breeder thinks you can properly raise a Shiba puppy. If you have been turned down by several local breeders you should probably accept the consensus that the breeders believe this isn't the right breed for you. It's NOT that you are a bad person or bad dog owner just that you will do better with another breed.

EVERYONE wants a Shiba based on the cute looks but I tell them all dogs are a lot more than just looks. Then they tell me they also like the independance, spunkiness and brilliance. What people don't understand (until they are living it) is that with those characteristics are the reason for all the problems people have with the breed like running off and not coming when called, fighting with other dogs, hunting and killing smaller animals to name a few. It's because they are so smart that they get bored and constantly create new problems to keep their owners busy 24/7 solving those problems not to mention making home repairs.

A good question to ask yourself is would you still want a Shiba if it was hairless. Your decisions would be based only on the characteristics and temperament of the breed. It would still be independent, spunky and brilliant. If you say no then you should look at another breed.

That's my honest truth. It's the only way I operate, with true and tough information that people don't always like to hear. You can find someone to take your money and sell you a Shiba puppy if you keep looking but you won't be getting the best quality & healthy Shiba you are expecting. Anyone who would ship a pet quality puppy OF ANY BREED a long way doesn't care about their dogs at all. These purchases are done with puppy mills and dog brokers. It is bad enough to send top quality puppies across the world, breeders don't like doing it but sometimes it is the right thing to do to help build a healthy breeding program in that country. That is the ONLY reason to be shipping animals across the world.

I hope this information helps you understand breeders views on shipping pet puppies and also helps you make a good decision on whether this breed is right for you or not.

As usual, wishing you all good health and much happiness.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Choosing sire & dams

This was going to be an post about how I choose males for my lovely female Shibas but it's turned into something else with my over flowing of words and information.  

The males we choose to breed to our lovely Shiba girls are usually not the same dogs as the breeders around us use or the newest champion in town.  There usually end up an abundance of offspring from new champions in what is called  "popular male syndrome."  Luckily in the PNW we have some great breeders and above average quality in our dogs but I am usually looking for something completely different then show wins and pretty faces when I choose a sire for a litter.

First of all a breeder has to know their female dogs well. Know their natural tendencies in behavior that is called their temperament.  Are they over reactive to stimuli? Are they more active then you'd like in a house dog? Are they a bit shy or timid in new surroundings?  Those are things you can modify with exposure and training so you have to know what they would do naturally in those situations because that is what their pups will tend to be like also and pet owners don't have the skills to deal with an already difficult breed that has a lot of hurdles to overcome to create a great pet.  Then you look at the physical qualities you may want to change.  Is the topline soft, or is the tail too tight, do you want more pigment in the coat? More slant to the eye or ear pitch.  And of course their is personality traits are also passed.  Are they sweet natured and kind, do they play with other dogs or go all Cujo, do they enjoy training?  Then I know the kind of males I am looking for to enhance the temperament and personality of the females.  

Something I've learned over the years is most breeders don't learn enough about their dog's trainability and tractability if they don't teach their dogs strict manners and basic to advanced obedience so always keep that in mind when interviewing breeders.  Good breeders show their dogs in conformation but only minimal training is required to be successful.  GREAT breeders ALSO train their dogs in performance events like FORMAL obedience, agility & tracking.  Less training is required for rally, scent work, barn hunt, lure coursing, tricks and all the other kooky events AKC has come up with in an attempt to create attainable titles for the average owner and to stimulate income in what can only be called the dying sport of dog shows.  STILL with a Shiba ANY performance sport is a MAJOR deal because their nature is so independent. It's not in their DNA to play as a team like it is for other AKC breeds.

In the male, of course I want a beautiful dog with great features but I'm always wanting to improve upon on the female I am considering breeding him to.  I tend to go with an older male 5-7 years old who is MELLOW, easy going, non dog aggressive and a great companion and house dog.  Then I look at his overall health and the puppies he has produced in the past.

My main goal is great temperament and personality, health and beauty.  If a Shiba doesn't have a fantastic personality and good heart and isn't adored by his owner they won't pay a giant vet bill in an emergency.  If an owner pays a $40,000 vet bill to save their Shiba they really love that Shiba!  Realistically I know I can't pay that kind of a vet bill nor do I expect any of my young pet owners to pay that kind of bill but when an owner does decide to go in major debt for a pet you stand up and take notice.  You know who you are............Ichi.  As a breeder I know I did something right and produced a great family dog when the family loves them that much.  Sigh of awwwwww.

So a breeder has to focus on a lot more than just putting two pretty dogs together.  There is an old saying that many of you have probably have never heard before, "pretty is and pretty does."  I actually said that once and was asked what that meant.  In such a superficial world everyone should know that saying.  A pretty dog, human, horse, cat, whatever is only as beautiful as his or her actions.  Example: a pretty dog that bites everyone is only a pretty big asshole and has no redeeming qualities worth reproducing.

While no being is perfect, when breeding dogs you want the scale to tip to freaking awesome!  

Then there is health to consider.  I'm going to write another post on it in detail but genetic and physical testing is very important.  We rarely have hip dysplasia in Shibas yet we always test for it.  Why?  Because if we stop it will creep back into the genepool when we aren't looking.  The Shiba is overall a very healthy breed compared to a dog like a Golden Retriever who probably has about ever health problem you could possibly think of and a ton more to be yet discovered.  It is probably the most popular dog in the entire world and for good reason.  The funny thing is the Shiba and the Golden are about as far apart as you can get if you start comparing temperament and behavioral traits.  Very rarely do I have a person who owns a Golden inquire about a Shiba.  I can think of 2 times and one was actually a Goldendoodle............yikes, don't get me started.

Behavioral traits and personality are import to me.  Not many breeders are professional dog trainers who study dog behavior.  Most people and most breeders just lump temperament & personality together and I don't.  While both temperament and personality have genetic markers to pass them on personality is a little trickier.  Maybe a better example is this, a good temperament is a good temperament in any breed.  Stable minded, proper energy level for the breeds purpose, no extreme reactions to stimuli.  But a good personality in a Golden is totally different then a good personality in a Shiba.  So if you were doing an AKC temperament test for Shibas and Goldens you would get different reactions to some of the portions of the test because of breed differences.

All my dogs have excellent temperaments for Shibas but each one has a different personality.  Some are super attentive, always near you, willing to please, wanting to do tricks for treats and others don't give a rip what you are doing or what you might ask of them they just go through life happily chasing butterflies and killing bunnies.  Both are totally great Shibas.  More on the difference between male and female pets in another article.

Below is Haku with Darla looking on (horse right above Darla's tail).  These dogs are soooo different, both great Shibas.  Darla is my mock border collie and is honest as the day is long. She waits for instructions while Haku doesn't give a second though about darting out an open door in impetuous Shiba fashion.  Haku is more the norm but my goal will always be for another Darla because it is my personal preference in a pet.  Darla is a tad more active in the house then I typically like but she can control her impulses pretty well.  Haku is a great house dog and if I am still he will mimic me and lay down to wait until I move again.  I have to TELL Darla to lay down but luckily she listens.  So they both have great temperament and different personalities, both great dogs.  A Darla type dog is usually easier for a pet owner to "train" and Haku dog is the kind of dog best managed with baby gates.

I love the tail on Darla, Haku's is OK but less curled tails balance out the front and the back of the dog better but Haku has soooo many other good traits I use him to enhance a female lacking in those traits.  Goals, goals, goals.  And I'll leave you with that.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Holiday memories with dogs and their people

I want to tell about a wonderful memory of the holidays we had when we lived in California.

We used to have a haunted cemetery at my parents house every year and I considered that my very own birthday celebration. It came complete with the fog and lightning machines and all the other possible goodies and gadgets from the current Halloween technology of the time. I had painted a castle structure to surround for the porch and a big sign for the opening of the cemetery complete with a lounging skeleton on the top that said " The Fellinger's Very Scary Cemetery." It was way cool.

All my available friends would come over all dressed up to "work the grave yard." We'd have snacks and drank adult punch (tee hee) and could chat to catch up while I did their zombie makeup and everyone got into character. Tina would stir the giant bubbling kettle dressed like a witch. Joy would pop out of the coffin and I would draw attention on the street and guide passers by through the maze of tombstones. We have several zombies, a devil and even more ghosts hiding amount the tombstones. My friends all knew they couldn't do anything more wonderful for my birthday then making these memories every year as it's my favorite day of the year.....Halloween.

My parents got a kick out of counting the trick or treaters and families that came from other neighborhoods. One year 650! Every year my parents would say they had to buy more and more candy but I could tell they really loved it. We did that for about 10 years. After Marcel and I moved to WA my parents said people would come to the door and asked what happened. My nephews tried to carry on but they didn't quite have the finesse it took to be just scary enough NOT to scare the little ones.

My obedience school students had a doggie costume contest and many of them helped put on a dog & owner Halloween costume contest at the Pleasant Hill October Fest celebration to raise money for local animal charities and we had a decorated graveyard backdrop for $5 photos.

For Christmas we had dress up again at dog school and we also put on pictures with Santa at any pet related store that would have us. Marcel got peed on a lot. That's pretty funny.

We also went in several parades each year. You've probably read my earlier posts about how we met our first Shiba. If you look closely at the picture below you will see Marcel in the middle with Spencer the Poodle and Kiko the first Shiba we ever met and who inspired us to get our own Shiba. Kiko was a dog training project since 3 other trainers had deemed her emotionally "unreachable' and "untrainable." Sheesh. She turned out great under our tutelage and her owner added Spencer to the family. We were their pet sitters and they joined us in adventures until we moved to WA.

Funny story.....Liz and Lola (the dog) who went to my dog school became best friends of ours and since Liz lived several cities away she would bring Lola to the house before work then come get her before we left for dog school. She said she wondered what we did all day. One day she got of work early and snuck up to the house and peering through the screen door she saw Taboo and Lola sitting next to my sewing machine, each with bunny ears on their heads! BUSTED! We still laugh about that.

Marcel's mom worked at a convalescent facility as a nurse her entire carrier and Marcel and I went there for a few house every holiday because we figured it was the most lonely time for those who didn't have family or who's family did not come visit or take them home for the holidays. We started a group of interested students in joining us. We did visitations to 3 local facilities and started our own chapter of therapy dogs.

We got to know several of the full time residence at the facility mom worked at because we picked her up every day after work. Sometimes we would go in to say hi if we arrived before mom got off duty. Mom said the elderly folks really liked seeing young people and we brightened up the place. Sometimes we would bring little things for people to enjoy like flowers or pictures to hang in the communal areas.

One young resident had been brain damaged by gun fire in a robbery. When we would stop in to see how his day was going he would always say "it's a good day to be alive" with a big smile. He really enjoyed our Rottweiler Taboo. That nice young man passed away from complications of his injury eventually. One day we went to pick up mom and she said he had passed.

Another permanent resident was a dedicated & decorated veteran. We really enjoyed talking to him because he had spent time in Japan and he knew what our Shiba Inu was as soon as he saw her and told us about the different Shibas and other Japanese breeds he'd met while stationed there. He talked through a machine that looked like a tiny laptop computer. I can't remember exactly why he had lost the ability to speak, maybe throat cancer but we had to be patient while he typed. He was a very intelligent and charming man.

Our dogs had a lot of different costumes we would put on them when we'd go visiting. Taboo pulled a cart that we could put decorations in. She had a sleigh, an Easter basket, a Conestoga chuck wagon and an American flag covered wagon she'd wear with her uncle Sam hat and cap for 4th of July. Taboo was not good with other people and I could never leave her alone in the house with anyone (even Marcel for a while) but the two things she loved were obedience shows and pully that cart. Her face would light up and her little nubby tail just wiggled. She was always good when I was present but I think she just enjoyed frightening people. It was just her personality and she got a kick out of it. Nobody else did though.

Every animal you meet or own will teach you something new if you just pay attention to them. It can be hard to see them as teachers when they are being naughty but as I think back to all our pets that have passed and all the people and their animals I've met during my training career it has been a fantastic life and quite the education. Enjoy these pictures I know I did looking at them again.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Evacuation from Summer Fires

 E-gads.  Like we don't have enough to worry about with Covid and of course with life in general now the fires are crazy on the west coast.  Talk about culling the herd.  Geez.  We are basically surrounded by them and anyone could end up trapped.  It's not very often that civilians die in fires but I know that some died in OR.  This is terrible.

We are in level 1 preparation mode at this time. There is a fire 16 miles up the road where an evacuation is in order but it's only 8 miles as the crow flies.  Poor Marcel has asthma and of course I can't expect him to help much in this situation because he has to stay inside so it's all on me and I'm so tired.  Loaded trailer for horse, dogs and cats yesterday.  Luckily a friend stopped by to help me before she got her own pets out of town.  Wow. 

I am blessed with many fabulous friends.  I had a place to take my menagerie of animals offered to me.  I didn't even have to ask and Marcel has a room closer to work so if it gets to that point so we are covered that way thank goodness.  My friends keep calling to check on me.  

It really is important to be ready for the worst case scenario.  I got the basics covered but I have things in the house I need to look for while I still have the time so that is my goal today.  Photographs are important to me so it's a scary movie and going through the boxes and boxes of photos.  Of course I had to take the many many boxes of cremains I have from pets.....and a few people.  I'm sentimental and can't leave them behind especially since I have time but man, they weigh a lot!

And of course I'm still getting puppy inquiries.  During this plethora of inquiries I have found many great people and families and many of them have had Shibas before but of course I have to turn away a lot of people too.  By now I am booked for my next 7 litters. That's at least two years work for me. Could take longer if the female only has a one puppy litter but it could be a shorter wait if there are 4 or more in a litter. That is all I can say at this time.  All the best breeders are booked out a year or more.

Well that's all for now.  I hope anyone who reads this is safe, healthy and happy.


Monday, July 27, 2020

Finding perfect homes for dogs and puppies

Marcel and I both grew up with animals in our respective families and once we moved in together we've never had a pet-less moment.  Our lives pretty much revolve around our animal pets.  We've had many breeds of dogs, cats, horses, rats & mice, birds, rabbits and hedgehogs.  We've taken in many animals in need and found them their perfect forever homes.  My lifelong friend Tina says "You have a knack for finding perfect homes for animals" and that has always been a blessing.

Most of the dogs we breed ourselves will be placed as pets either as 8 week old pups or as a young adult after a career as a show & breeding dog. I think it's even better to find homes for mature animals because we really know them and know what kind of situation will make them happiest.

As rule my Shiba girls will have 3 chances to produce their female puppy replacement utilizing 3 different sires.  The puppy should be better than her mother and hopefully ads the qualities of the sire I picked for her as well.  If I haven't gotten a puppy from the female after 3 litters there just isn't any reason to breed her again.  She will be spayed and "career change" to a super pet for someone.

The majority of my girls fit right in the pet home I place them in like they have lived there for their entire life and go on to be the best dog their owners have ever had.  I hear that over and over again.  Or how they are thrilled that their last Shiba's negative behaviors aren't present in the girl I placed with them. It never grows old hearing how loved my girls are in their second home.

Knowing my Shiba girls the way I do it's usually pretty easy to find them a perfect home.  Luckily my dogs are well adjusted and fit in just about anywhere a person is somewhat Shiba savvy.  The one thing I'm sure is of they are used to running and sunning in large paddocks and while most would rather be having their turn inside the house with us they still like to go for a yard patrol and potty break so I don't place them in apartments of condos.

What becomes a problem is when a person makes comparisons to their last dog, be it Shiba or another breed.  People who have had other breeds are surprised by the Shibas non dog-like behaviors.  Even people who had Shibas before forget what it was like when  their Shiba was a puppy, they only remember the last few well behaved years together.

New dogs of any age in a new home must be treated like puppies when it comes to bathroom habits and taken out every few hours until you see regular success.  Dogs that must now go potty on leash can have bashful bladders.  Shibas have been known to "hold it" for 4 days or more until they get home to familiar grass or gravel or whatever.  Shibas are truly creatures of habit which can work for you or against you.

Shibas that are well adjusted are more likely to be open to new situations and in forming new habits in new homes.  Dogs that are not well socialized and haven't been challenged with new experiences as puppies have a hard time with changing homes.

We always give people 21 days to return a puppy or dog that doesn't work for them for any reason.  I seriously try to impress upon the new owner that this time should be spent really observing the dog in their home and looking for potential deal breakers and then sticking to their guns.  It's hard for most people to think with their minds and not their hearts when it comes to pets.  I would not offer to take the dog back if it didn't matter to me.  A pet is supposed to add enjoyment to your life not make it more complicated, difficult, sad, messy or angry.  There is always another dog that will fit better and make you both happy.

Over the years we have only gotten a handful of dogs returned because we usually place them wisely but circumstances do change and sometime choices need to be made.  I don't condem those that return a dog, I think they are strong and caring and probably thinking with their mind which they need to do in this situation.  Most of these dogs are rehomed with no problem.  Some have been real gems.  We finally kept one Rottweiler that was returned 3 times.  I think he was the best Rottweiler we've ever had and I miss him every day.

How deeply do we need investigate the the people who inquire about a puppy?  Usually I get a feeling about a person whom I've talked to a few times and then eventually they come to house to meet face to face and I can observe how the adults supervise their children's interaction with the dogs. Marcel and I make a great team because he thinks to ask all the questions I've forgotten to ask about.  Then we discuss our instincts about the potential puppy owners we've met.  We do home checks on local people and I have a network of other breeders all over the US that can do home checks for us.  Google satellite is awesome.  References are called.  A google search, Facebook scan and in some cases a background check will reveal something that makes placing a puppy with them not possible.  Also, the Shiba community will go on alert if a questionable person is making the rounds to breeders searching for a puppy.  Unfortunately there is always someone who will sell them a puppy.

Finding great homes can be a challenge for animal breeders that really care about the sweet baby animals they produce.  Those babies depend on us, their breeder, to find them the best homes we can.

Time for goodbye to a good dog.

The sad fact is that animal lovers will outlive many pets. How do we deal with this loss?

Many people tell me they just can't stand the loss of another animal so they won't get another cat, dog, insert animal here.  I don't understand this way of thinking at all.

I used to get sad and depressed and stay in bed for weeks but I've overcome that.  Now too many animals depend on me for their care to take the time to grieve in that manner.

Now I focus on the good times and remember my animals fondly and without so much sadness.  Instead I am happy in the knowledge that I gave them the best life I could and I let them leave this earth with their dignity.

So how do you know when it's the best time to take your pet his last visit to the vet for euthanasia?  Everyone has a different opinion for this but Marcel and I have decided that we would rather not see any animal suffer much further than the regular woes of old age.  Once an animal shows us his quality of life is gone we have the discussion about the next move.  I have my own way of finding the best time to end my animal friend's life.

If you listen your dog, cat, horse he will tell you when he's ready to go.  Have a quiet moment alone together.  Clear your mind of all thoughts and breath deep and slow.  Relax your body all over. You can speak or you can just think it but ask the question "are you ready to go?" then being quiet and concentrating on your breathing wait for a response and his answer should just pop into your mind. Some people have the "gift" and can do this easily and other people never achieve the ability to communicate with animals in this manner.  I seem to only be able to do to it when the situation is very serious and the weight is heavy on my mind about an issue being passing or doing something else like moving one to a new home.

Many people keep their animals alive simply because they can't let go.  I do not think of that as kindness.  To me it is very sad situation.  Animals live in the moment, that is what they have to teach us silly humans.  When there are no more good moments for them it is kinder to let them go. This is against the grain for us humans who typically live in the past and then spend our lives planning for some uncertain future.

Animals bring such joy and special knowledge to us humans I can't imagine not having some kind of pet in my life.  I hope there is never a time when I can't take care of a pet because that will be the time I'm ready to leave this world and see all my past pets in the next phase of my being.  And what's sad about that??????