The expenses of breeding.
... I could go on about the dollar and cents involved in breeding properly. However, that reflects only the monetary, cold, cost of breeding.
There is so much more.
This last round of breeding shattered us to the core.
We openly say we have a motto in our household of "you can't have nice things", and by golly does it painfully ring true for us at every turn.
I have been chewing on how best to share this, and although a video perhaps would be more attractive, I do not think I could do it. I would not hold together.
People think breeding is just putting dogs together, they pop out puppies, and voila! Sell them like stuffed toys and make the next round. We can't do that. We put our heart and souls into these dogs.
I was terrified this time. I was so scared, and trying so hard to keep it together so my girls would not be afraid too. I am their rock, I cannot waver.
Cari went six days early.
<I initially was going to write out exactly what happened, but have realized I cannot. I am not ready for that.>
The long and short is that we lost 10 puppies via c-section. There are many details I could go into, but the end result is the veterinarian had no idea why.
Cari is okay. Cari did so well. We are so proud of her, and so grateful she was able to come home with us. She has two little girls, Cloud and Espe. We love them so much. Cari is doing very well helping Acadia with her 10 puppies (story for another day).
... when I think of what was lost, it is not the monetary value that was spent or will not be recouped. It is the terror, the sadness, the emotional burden that registers. The frustration. The unknowable. The doubt. The guilt. The image of Cari when she first got home from the vet and she checked her girls and groaned and muttered to them as she counted and counted, because there were not enough.
The tears. Crying in the car. Crying at night. Crying as I write this. Crying because what else could have been done?
This is the cost of breeding.
Fellow breeders will say "you have to have a thick skin for breeding" or "breeding is not easy" and they are right... but it doesn't make it easier.
We do everything right, but it is life, not a manufacturing process, and things can go wrong.
Not every time is like this. But these are the times you remember.