Well, it’s done. Hagar’s encroaching doghood has been nipped in the, well, bud.
As a rescue, there was never any question that he would be neutered. It’s in the contract and I take that agreement seriously. I also take the health of the breed seriously and with no background information for him or his sire or dam or siblings or grand-sire and -dam, etc, etc, even if Hagar were gorgeous and typey and a well-behaved agile herder and drafter, it would still be wrong.
I cannot imagine life without Berners. But not at the expense of a healthy breed. I would rather do without Bernese of my own than see their already precarious health tipped over the edge just to ‘meet consumer demand.’
And that’s probably the biggest difference between those who can ‘justify’ so-called Professional Kennels (commercial kennels sounds soooo crass, doesn’t it, yet that’s really what they are, or, not to put too fine a point on it, puppy mills) and people like me who actually care about the “product” of those kennels.
“Oooh, that one’s damaged? Sorry, we’ll make some more.”
should have been
“A genetic problem? Let’s see whether the same issue is showing up in related litters or anywhere else on the family tree. If we find it, we will remove the parents and siblings from our breeding program right away!”
No dog is going to be perfect, but the honest, ethical breeders I know go through a lot of work and a lot of heartache trying to find the best combinations of breeding lines to try to IMPROVE the overall health of the breed. The status quo really isn’t good enough, not when the life expectancy of the breed is still less than 8 years.
So as a rescue, who had to be neutered as a condition of adoption, and an unknown quantity in terms of the genetics behind him, today he lost his marbles.
With luck, since he will be playing at least one fewer party game, maybe the brain fairy will find him *before* he’s two years old.
I can dream, can’t I?