May 30, 2021
I grew up in a very small village in Northwest Illinois. I was fortunate enough to have had a mom and a dad, who were animal lovers. Because of that, I was exposed to many animals from birth, which cultivated the love that I have for them.
I have never experienced not having a dog. The majority of my life, I have had multiple dogs at the same time. Over the years, I have had many. I have had big dogs, little dogs, and medium sized dogs. I have had mutts, mixed breeds and purebreds.
I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have grown up without one. They were a part of the family, a playmate and a best friend.
My dream was to become a Veterinarian, or at least a Vet tech. I excelled in Biology, so I thought it was possible to accomplish, until I realized that I didn't have what it would take to do certain parts of the job, such as cutting a dog open to do a surgery, or putting a dog down. I am just too much of a softy. I didn't think I could do it, so I tossed that idea aside.
As I was growing up, my mom had a love for the smaller breed dogs, and she raised a few litters. I got to help and watch and learn. I got to watch and learn about baby pigs on our pig farm too. The piglets were really cute, but for some reason, puppies just seemed a little more snuggly.
Because of my experiences growing up, I decided that I wanted to breed dogs too. Although I liked the smaller breeds, I liked the larger breeds a little better. My dream was to have "Lassie", so as an adult, I went out and found me a little collie puppy. She was so cute!!
I named her "Kali". Little did I know, how much this dog would teach me. I will reserve that story for another time, but that dog taught me a lot. She was the reason that I learned how to train dogs. After I got her trained, I used her for Pet Assisted Therapy. What a rewarding experience! Kali had just a couple of litters, then I spayed her and focused more on the Pet Assisted Therapy with her.
I really loved the Lassie type Collie's, and wanted to get my own male and breed Kali, but I was married at the time, and my husband had other ideas. He wanted a hunting dog. I researched many breeds thoroughly. I had small children at the time, and needed a kid friendly breed. I also wanted a pretty dog. Out of all of the breeds that I researched, the Golden Retriever won out, and I started down that path. That was 30 years ago. Around 20 years ago, I expanded into also breeding the Goldendoodles. Those two breeds have been amazing in a home that had very high amounts of non-stop kid traffic.
I took the dog breeding very seriously, and my goal became to develop bloodlines that would be suitable not only for a family pet, but also for a Pet Assisted Therapy Dog, and Service Work. I worked hard for those bloodlines and was very picky about what I put into my breeding program. Over the years, I have met and worked with many vets and dog trainers, concerning my dogs and breeding program. I have built friendships with many people who also had a lot of dog knowledge and experience with breeding. It has been such a huge help, to have those connections. I have learned so much over all of these years!
Another ambition that I had, was to become a dog groomer. I achieved that and groomed dogs for several years. I learned a lot doing that as well. I found it very interesting to handle and learn about all of the different breeds. Unfortunately, my back told me that I had to retire from grooming a few years ago. My chiropractor visits were eating into my profit way to much to make it worth continuing(and I was tired of hurting non-stop), but I gained a lot of skills and knowledge through that period of my life that I was able to groom.
I am not sure what life would be like without a dog. I have never experienced that, and I am hoping that I never will have to. Dogs have always been a HUGE part of my life, and I can't imagine how much I would have missed, if I had not had them. I am looking forward to sharing what I have learned with you, here on this blog. Thank you for visiting! - by KJE