Being a dog breeder is never easy. You carefully plan, choosing the best stud dog for your bitch. Sometimes there are difficulties, and you end up spending thousands to produce that highly desired litter. And then even after all that time, planning and expense, you end up with either no puppies or a singleton.
You bring your puppy home, and you take turns sleeping in shifts for the first two weeks. You don't dare leave that precious puppy alone for even a minute, because even the best dog mom can roll over and smother the tiny pup or accidently step on him and break a leg or worse. So you grab a few hours of sleep when you can, and watch your pup grow. You watch his eyes open, you watch him learn to walk and play. You watch him become confident and begin to explore his surroundings.
You wean him from his mother's milk to the best kibble you can buy. You take him for whatever health checks are required for your breed, because you are a responsible, reputable breeder. You socialize him, play with him, guide him and love him.
And then, no matter how perfect and adorable he is, if he isn't exactly what you need in continuing your line of collies...you have to let him go. Because you know you can't keep them all. So you choose the best home you can, and with pride in the beautiful puppy you have produced and sadness in your heart, you hug and kiss him good-bye.
Today was little Tate's 3 month birthday. And today Tate left us to live with his new mom, and his new collie brothers and sisters. But he was sold on a co-ownership, so he will make appearances on the collie blog from time to time, so it isn't really good-bye. But the house is so quiet without him, we sure miss our little man.