Thursday, September 22, 2011

A must-read for breeders out there...

Every once in a while AKC sends me a newsletter with a hidden gem. Today's edition of "AKC Breeder" contained one such gem written by 88 year old Carol Harris. The teaser text of the piece entitled "Accumulated Wisdom" by Carol Harris:
Nearing 80 years in dogs, Bo-Bett's Carol Harris is still "madly searching for improvement."  
I live in North Central Florida, in the heart of Marion County's famous horse country. I moved here from New Jersey in 1963 with my horses and dogs in tow. Since I needed to be outdoors with my dogs and horses, I felt that conditions in the South were more suitable for not only me but also my animals. Twelve months a year I have great climate, excellent water, beneficial minerals in the ground, and plenty of sunshine. All this, I believe, enhances my chances to produce and raise strong, healthy dogs that can enjoy their lives, most of the time outdoors safely and in comfort.

I have been breeding dogs for at least 78 years, many different breeds, but for the past 30 or 40 years I have seriously appreciated Whippets and Italian Greyhounds. I'm now 88 years old and, believe it or not, I'm still actively enjoying every aspect of my 24-hour-a-day hobby/business. 

Go read the full text of the article here:

What I love the most is Ms Harris' dedication to the dogs as well as the breeds she's stewarded over the years. Honest, frank and sensible. Something we can all learn from.

Ms. Harris' "Words to Breed by":
• While trying to respect the standards of my two breeds, I became aware that it might be polite for me to tell some of my competitors how nice their dogs looked. I had noticed that this was something way too many exhibitors were reluctant to do, and I think this is sad because it's such an easy way to make people feel good.

• Someone recently asked me to name in two words the worst disease a dog can have. I said, "Distemper, parvo." I asked them to name in two words the worst disease a breeder can have. They said, "Kennel blind." Actually, both diseases can be fatal! – C.H.

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