Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here’s your obligatory “what are you thankful for?” blog post.

I’m thankful for so many things; my family, my friends who stick by me no matter what, the opportunity to be in veterinary school pursuing a rewarding career, my horses, this lovely farm, and the opportunity to be part of this universe. But I want to use this post to tell you how thankful I am for my dogs and my breeding program and the time I spend producing great dogs all the things that are somehow connected to it.

I’m thankful for the ability to do something that makes my soul sing. Being a part of bringing dogs into the world that will grow to be integral parts of other humans’ lives is an honor. When puppies are born here, they are the result of my dreams and ideas and often risks I decided to take. The amount of time, energy, thought, and grit that goes into each and every litter before it is even born rivals that which I put into my formal education. Before they even take their first breath, I have dreamt of their future. I have hoped for them, wished for them, and loved them.

I love to show my dogs. Not for the accolades or ribbons, though it is always nice to be rewarded for hard work, but I love to show my dogs because I am an artist. I love the beauty; I love the silent, subtle, hidden communication we share in the show ring. I love the balance, the movement, the elegance and the thrill that comes with being so connected with another being that I can shift my weight or change the glance of my eyes and have their foot shift a centimeter in the direction I intended. But I do not breed my dogs for the sole purpose of breeding show dogs, and I never will. I breed show dogs, yes, because I love to show and I love beauty and art and balance and by default that produces beautiful show dogs. But I breed dogs because I believe that the joy, connection, and value that is added to my life from owning dogs with fantastic temperaments is something that everyone should have a chance to experience.

I am thankful that I am able to produce puppies that will hopefully change your life. I strive to imbue them with kindness, love, joy, confidence, and all of the raw materials they need to succeed in this world. When I hand you your new puppy, I am handing over a piece of me, a piece of my dream, of my heart, of the work I truly believe matters.  What you do from there is yours. This is my heart’s work and I am so thankful that you trust me to do it.

I am thankful for the people I have met through my various litters. I have formed friendships, learned so much, laughed, cried when dogs have left us too soon, and you have each contributed to my story. The web of connectedness gets bigger and bigger with each litter, and it is a comforting envelope around my future ideas and dreams. I feel like I have little pieces of me in your family, and I trust you wholeheartedly to take care of them. I have given you dogs that will be there for weddings, births, deaths, celebrations, tragedies, and quiet moments. That is why I breed dogs. What an indescribable honor.

I am thankful for the people who trusted me enough to give me my first show/breeding dogs in both of these wonderful breeds. They took a chance on a newcomer, and I have given 110% in an effort do right by them, to honor the pieces of their dream that they trusted me with, and to make them proud. And through this, I have formed some of my deepest relationships with friends I love to the end of the earth. I would do anything to help them and I know they would do the same for me. We share this passion, and the dogs interweave us all into a complicated, but seemingly impenetrable, web.

Lastly, I am thankful for all of my dogs and the individual contributions they have made to my story. I have often said that the chapters of my life are defined by the dogs that are walking next to me. Each provides a different lesson, a different need, a different feeling. Flea is my rock, my compass, my steadfast companion and best friend. Harriet is my comedian, my happy, hysterical little brat, always reminding me to have fun. Gracie is my cuddly girl, with so much love for me oozing from her every pore. I won’t bore you with listing what each dog brings me…but I assure you, it is life-altering, some in minor ways and some in major ways. I hold strong to my belief that a well-bred dog can be the most amazing addition to your life, because I’m living it.