I've been asked why I have chosen to have dogs, and am I a puppy mill,- just in it to make money. First of all, I have been inspected and licensed by the state of Georgia and am 100% in compliance with the regulations they require. Secondly, the term "puppy mill" makes me feel ill. Those places are truly horrible places that do not have any concern for what's best for the animals. Thirdly, as many people know, the number of dogs I have will not make me rich in the animal world, at least not "money" rich. I do believe I get rich in many other ways: love, caring, patience, kindness, strength, and perseverance.
Needless to say, it takes real "dog lovers" (or maybe crazy people) to take on the challenge of providing the best home and care that can possibly be given to my dogs. I strive very hard to meet all their needs. Some of my dogs live in my home with me. However, realistically I simply do not have a house large enough for all the dogs. Consequently, I do have a very nice kennel building that houses the Shibas.
This kennel is heated and cooled for the dogs' comfort. It includes indoor areas with soft rubber matting for the dogs to sleep on. Through a doggy door in each area, the dogs can exit into a covered area for fresh air and exercise (and hopefully to relieve themselves.). In addition to the indoor area and the outdoor covered areas, there are about 2 acres fenced in which they can run, play, and just be dogs. The dogs are grouped according to size, age, sex, etc. These groups take turns in the fenced in area.
Additionally, all my mother dogs live with me in my home from the confirmation of their pregnancies until their puppies are off to their new homes. All pups are whelped in my whelping area (the den), with my assistance if needed. After the birth, the moms and their pups have their own living area in my puppy room(used to be my music room). Here I can monitor the air temperature for each litter very closely. I can also make sure that the mother dog is eating her special diet and making progress in her recovery. In addition, each pup is weighed regularly to make sure they are gaining weight.
All Miniature Schnauzer pups have their tails and dewclaws removed at three days of age by a vet. Their ears are left natural, because I do not believe in putting a dog through a procedure that is so painful. All pups are wormed regularly, and receive their first puppy shot at six weeks of age. They have begun their weaning by this time, and are eating softened puppy food. The pups should receive another puppy shot at eight weeks to make sure their immunities are building before they go out into the world. Before they are sold, every pup receives a vet exam to determine if the pup has any heart, patella, or hip problems. The vet also checks them over for overall conformation, movement, and weight. Only if they receive a healthy vet check are they released to their new owners.I do not allow pick-up of new pups before eight weeks of age. Sometimes, a Miniature Schnauzer
will have to stay a short time longer, due to being smaller size, or if I feel that the pup needs to gain some maturity before leaving. I reserve the right to make that decision. My most important concern is the health and well-being of the pups.
After the pups go to their new homes, the moms get time off to receive some special TLC, relax, and just be a dog. This makes sure that any physical problems from delivering and nursing puppies will be seen very quickly, in order to take care of the problem. I want our ladies to be in their best health with me. There is indeed a never ending list of tasks to be done for the well being of my dogs.
I truly love my dogs, the joy my dogs bring to me, and the wonderful experiences of meeting other "dog lovers" when one of my dogs finds a new home. Even though there is a lot of work, time, and sometimes heartache involved with this adventure, I wouldn't change my journey at all. I hope this helps you better understand why I have chosen to share my life with my dogs, and then in turn I try very hard to provide a healthy, good quality, loving, and well socialized pup for a forever family. In other words, I am a person that has chosen to learn about, love, enjoy, and care for some very special dogs. In turn I want to share that knowledge, love, and joy with others. Perhaps I can lead or encourage others to give their hearts to that special dog. It will truly change their lives.
God Bless You