Obsessions and Stockdog Nazis

I am not and never will be cut out to be a breeder. I know that, I knew it when I stopped breeding cats. While I am glad I did not terminate Midge’s pregnancy (because I wouldn’t have Fern); I wish things had gone differently in some respects. Oh well, water over the dam. It won’t happen again. I’d like another puppy off Gel and it looks like that may very well happen, but more on that later.

I was told last night that I was not qualified to breed stockdogs and that I should leave it to the “experts” whomever they may be. I replied telling the individual that I was not breeding stockdogs and that if I bred another litter (which I will not) it will be because I want a puppy for me. Any of the others will go to sport or hobby herding homes (where all the puppies from Midge’s litter went). No, I am not breeding for sport dogs either.

So, what qualifies you as an “expert” at breeding stockdogs? Running and sometimes winning at the open level of trialing? Ten, twenty or thirty years raising Border Collies? The willingness to do what you have to do in order to frequently win at the open level? The ability to look at a dog as a tool to make money rather than as a living, breathing, feeling being?

I am no expert and probably never will be. I’ll keep trying to be as good as I can be, but I’m not so sure I want to be an expert at this or anything. Once you designate yourself as an expert, you give yourself the option of stopping the learning process. Once you stop learning, you might as well die.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”

— Shunryu Suzuki