Thinking of Breeding?

First of all let me start by saying, if you have a heart and even half a concious, and a true love for animals, you won't attempt breeding dogs just to make money on thier reproductive systems.
Secondly, if you do truely want to breed quality animals to produce something competetive for the show ring, you won't just throw two dogs together and let them breed.
You will do your homework and research the breed of your choice. You will breed to the AKC standards and follow your breed clubs code of ethics.

Please read this story and then RE-THINK your decision carefully!

Breeding can be, no it IS VERY expensive and if you do it right you NEVER make money and hardly ever break even.

Then to say it is a heartbreaking endeavor would be an understatement!!

This story will be quite graphic and may not be for those with a weak stomach.
But it is something I wanted to share and let you know it CAN happen.

It all started on August 19th, 1999. Actually before that, I'll share that after this story.

I bred my black girl Linchris Ain't None Phyner (a CH Southland N Bev-Nor Tar Baby daughter)to my Woodrose's Dressed To Kill. (a CH Star Haven's Rock N James Brown son)
They were bred one time so her due date was August 25th. right?---NOT!!
Dolly went into labor at 2:30 pm on the 19th, her 58th gestation day which is not uncommon.
But usually most will go the 63 days.

Ok so by 3:30 no pup and she was panting very heavily. And I seen her break the water sack. Off to the vets we went.
She was checked out and the vet said she wasn't dialated,
for us to go home and give her some time in more comforatable surroundings.

Well by 5 there was still no puppy, so back to the vets we went, no dialation so into surgery we went for a c-section.

I was kinda worried about Dolly accepting the babies after the surgery as she was 4 years old, never been bred or had a litter and sometimes moms don't accept pups after coming out of anethesia.

Well to my surprize she came out of it rather quickly and I set her in the box with the babies and she immediately started licking them and layed down for them to nurse. She barely had any teats (which is not uncommn either) so I would express them enough for the puppies to latch on and get the "hang" of it.
Let me say before I go farther, I got one boy and one girl. I was estatic, the vet tech worked very hard on the pups to get them going and it worked!!

A friend of mine had drove over to watch the whelping as she had decided she wanted to show and get into breeding poms. So I called her when Dolly went into labor and she headed out (from Iowa) to come watch the whelping so she would "know" what to expect when she bred her girl. Poor dear Tracy got more than she bargained for!!

She missed the whelp anyway because it was a c-section and by the time she got thru traffic
and to my place we were already home and the pups were nursing :)

So now you're probably saying , well,... all is well, what's to this story???

NOPE here is where the nitemare started.

The following day Friday August 20th is one I will never forget as long as I live.

Tracy and I were sitting at the table talking, my oldest daughter and her husband had just left. They had went in to see Dolly and the babies, it was around 5:00 pm. They came out of my room (I whelp the pups in an x-pen set up in my bedroom complete with whelp box, heat pad, etc..) saying how cute they were and on and on.

At approx. 5:30 I heard a slight whimper and it just didn't sound "right". So I went to check in on them.
The site I came upon was to horrible for even words to describe.

There was blood everywhere, all over the papers, in the pen, in the whelp box itself, just everywhere. I literally freaked out. I thought oh my gosh, Dolly has killed her pups. So I leaned over to look in on them and both pups were moving and fine. Dolly was just standing there, up towards the front of the pen. After I checked the pups I picked up Dolly and let me tell you what I saw was gut wrenching. I about LOST it. I remember my knees going weak and me just screaming "OH MY GOD" .
Tracy came running in and she immedialtey said the same thing.

Dolly had evidently somehow tore her sutures open, licking/picking at them or however, but all I saw was her WHOLE insides hanging out of her incision.
I mean everything. Intestines, bowels, stomach you name it, it wasn't where it belonged........

I ran out the door with Dolly in my arms SCREAMING for my husband. We jumped in the truck and headed for the vets. I live appr. 15 minutes from my vet. (I think we made it in 7)
Thank God Tracy thought ahead, found the number for the vet and called them to let them know I was on my way. They normally close at 6 o'clock and I would have missed them. Dolly would not have made the trip to the emergency vet 30 minutes away.

When we arrived they of course rushed her right into surgery. They had to cleanse the area from debris and dirt and soak her insides in saline, so they would'nt dry out, then they dumped antibodies into her body cavity to help prevent infection.

Well an hour passed and the tech came out to tell me what they already done and what had to be done next.
I had to make a choice.

Dolly had evidently severed her bowels and a portion was wrapped around her leg when I brought her in. So this had to be removed as it was now dead tissue.
They came out to let me know that a six inch portion of the bowel had to be removed and then reconstructed. A very delicate and expensive procedure, and the survival rate was 50/50 at best. Even if she survived the surgery, I stood the chance of loosing her to infection with the weeks to follow.

Well what's a mother to do.

Why the surgery of course.

I told them even if she only had that 50/50 chance I HAD to give that to her. NO CHOICE, she was my baby and it was only fair to her.

Well 2 hours later (what seemed like days) the vet came out to talk to me and told me Dolly did make it thru the surgery and now it was the waiting game to see if she reacted to anything or if infection set in. Or when the time came for her to have a bowel movement. They wasn't even sure if she would be able to pass it and her bowels could have burst.

They kept her til Monday in intensive care on IV's and under close watch by my vet.

I went the following day (Sat) to visit Dolly and the vet was amazed at how well she was doing. Dolly was up and very alert and so happy to see me, she was full of kisses for me, and I knew then that she would be alright. She did have a couple days where she was sick, throwing up and I was worried/panicked etc.., that something was wrong. But by Monday she was ready to come home. Yet every slightest thing I was on the phone to vet or taking her back in to be checked. But the third day home she coughed up a hairball and from then on she was fine.

So yes this story does have a happy ending, BUT it could have just as well taken a turn in the opposite direction and I could have lost my Dolly girl as well as her pups.... Many situations don't work out for the better.

So PLEASE any of you thinking of breeding, take it very seriously. It takes a very strong, sincere heart to breed. There are many, many disappointments as well as many deaths to the mom's as well as loosing the pups.
There is nothing harder than burying one of your fur-kids who didn't ask to be brought into this world.

It also takes money, considerabla amounts of it. I never thought twice about having to pay the bill when I opted for the surgery. But boy the shock when I recieved the bill. I was ready to mortage the house if need be, and to some I know this has happened.

Would I have done anything differntly? I doubt it, I would do the same thing again in a heartbeat I'm sure, whether or not they survive. As Dolly's was a rare case of survival. It is my responsibility to my animals to do what's right for them.

Now I mentioned earlier I would share the other things that have happened. So here goes.

I had been waiting the year to breed my girls having purchased them after a previous litter. So generally it is the right thing to do and give them a break. (some breeders will breed 2 skip 2)

Well to make another long story short. I had bred all girls. Cause I know what can happen and it did, a couple missed, a couple aborted a week prior to whelp date, then Dolly's c-section, Girlie also had a section and I lost both puppies, and Kali had 2 pups, one of which I lost after 2 weeks of tube feeding. He was born 2.6 oz and died 2.6 oz, and I don't know what from.!(fading puppy is my guess)

Actually I had to make the decision to have one of Girlie's puppies put down. He was very "strange" looking, he also had cleft palate and was hydrocephalic, with complete open fontanel. Oh sure I could have fought to keep him alive and pawned him off on some unexpeting puppy buyer. Who then would of had many health problems and large vet bills and heartache later on when he passed away from the "defects"! But that is neither ethical or fair to a baby I choose to bring into this world.

So I have 3 puppies 2-two weeks old, and one-10 weeks old, out of the girls I bred.
Also goes with this is the extensive vet bill for testing and blood work to try and find out why these girls missed or aborted. And then times you never do know, it's one of those "breeders nightmares"

I am not going to give an itemized list as to everything in detail. But I will say within this 4 month period of when I bred the first girl, my vet bill is well in excess of $2500.00. And I have a reasonable vet, who will give me a discount. Someone in a larger city or different parts of the US would be looking at well into $4000.00 or more.
So take this vet amount and include with it the feeding bill, vaccinations and wormings puppies will need at the appropriate age, and you are talking substansial amounts already invested before the pups are every ready to leave your home.
If you are lucky enough to get 300.00 - 600.00 per puppy, that is still a loss of 700.00 and that's not including your food, worming meds nor vaccinations.
Also consider that you probably will end up keeping at least one if not 2 of those puppies.
Well deduct another x amount of dollars from the pocketbook.

Now for the heart, soul and time involved. My friend Tracy that I spoke of earlier stayed on to help me and for this I can never thank her enough. She was a godsend to me during this time.

We spent the next 4 days and nights following Dolly's surgery with round the clock 2 hour bottle feedings. And with each feeding they had to be burped like a human baby and stimulated so they could go potty. Money was also spent for supplies and formula to keep these pups going. Tracy helped out here also, another act of "pure" kindness.
Tracy went home on Tuesday morning and I continued with the feedings myself til the following Monday when I decided Dolly was ready to fully take over her motherly role. The pups were placed in with Dolly inbetween bottle feedings so she could clean them prior to this.

I got very lucky in the fact that Dolly survived, let alone the fact that she still was producing milk and able to nurse these pups or even wanted anything to do with them after what she had just went thru.

There are situations where the puppies have to be hand raised for the entire time, until they can eat/drink from a dish themselves. Which i usually around 5 weeks of age.
And that is IF they survive.
I have tubed/bottle fed puppies for 3 weeks only to still have them go down on me and die. Try burying a puppy that you have nursed and burped and pottied and completely devoted your days and nights to with little or no sleep.
Talk about sheer HEARTACHE!!!

As of the day I wrote this the pups are 2 weeks old. So things still could go wrong. They could become hypoglycemic, start loosing weight, fading puppy syndrome could set in etc.... you name it. They are NOT out of the woods yet!

DO NOT think it CAN'T happen to you, cause it CAN!!

I guess what I'm saying is----I hope anyone reading this takes ALL these things into consideration before jumping in and taking on the role of a "BREEDER"!!!

Thank you for taking time to read this and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Here are a few pictures of my Dolly and her pups. Believe me when I tell you I am thrilled beyond words that they are all alive and I can share them with you. :)

Here they are at 3 weeks.

I am happy to report that Louie and Millie both have survived and as of this date of 10-26-00,
Louie is in a wonderful pet home traveling the United States with his new Mom & Dad.
Millie has free whelped her first litter and is now in her new home at LaDreya Poms in Ronan, MT.
Millie is doing conformation, obedience, and has earned her CGC certificate.

But please remember not ALL stories have a "happy" ending.
If you continue reading, you will see.

Kissami's Amazing Grace

A story of a miracle baby born here.

I had a singleton litter (yes lots of those in this breed too) born on June 2, 2001. A girl weighing in at 5.9 ounces. I thought yeah alright, I fianlly got a girl and she's gonna be big enough to breed and carry on. (I don't get many girls here) Well at 3 days old I noticed her starting to fall out on me, so I picked her up and give her some nutri drops and begin to check her over. All looked well from that point but she wouldn't nurse. So with further investigation of her I found it.! Much to my amazement, she had NO rectal opening in which to fecate from.
The mother had been licking and cleaning her so I didn't give it a second thought after she was first born. Well after checking this out and watching her, within a couple hours I noticed she was fecating from her vulva.

I had already called the vet and had an appointment for later that afternoon. When we got there the vet looked her over and said it was a defect that happens about one in a million. My luck huh?
Well she give me two options, since she had already ruptured her vistula I could leave it at that and hope she made it long enough to gain weight and have a surgery done to repair the vistula (vet didn't think she would make it a week) and go in and give her a rectal opening to poo from. Or I could opt for the other choice and have her put to sleep.! Well fat chance, I had already fell in love with her. So I took the antibiotics and drove home dreading the fact of having to tell my husband of the days events and knowing what he would tell me to do.
And had cried most the way home, knowing I had to choose the operative. I told myslef if she didn't nurse on her own and gain, I would have her put to rest within 2 days. Well when I pulled in the drive I reached in to get the pup and much to my surprize she was latched onto her mom & nursing. So I waited til she was done nursing before taking her abck in the house and decided then to call her Gracie and to give her that "one in a million" chance.

Gracie had to have constant watch, and her butt wiped often. We had to keep it extra clean to prevent infection.

I won't go into detail of the surgeries she has endured or the dollar amounts invloved. But I will say she is one hell of a fighter and has stole the heart of the vet clinic. I had a friend who had been visitng often thru this ordeal and knowing Gracies' story and all invloved, she still wanted her. So I gave her to this wonderful person who is now and even better friend, Cathy.( Cath, you're one in a million yourself ) and she (Gracie)naturally stole the hearts of the vet staff there where Cathy goes. Gracie still leads the life of a much loved spoiled brat and I get to see her every chance I can.

Gracie Poo as we call her, just seen a specialist 3 weeks ago, thanks to Cathy's faith and determination to find someone to help her. This vet went in and repaired the vistula, and built a wall between the vaginal and anal tubing she was missing. She has recovered wonderfully and is now pooing like a normal doggie. She is a whopping 2.6 pounds in weight but a 1000 pounds of LOVE. She still has to have her butt wiped and cleaned regularly, but it is something she has become accustomed to.

This is Gracie after her first surgey at 8 weeks old.

Here is Gracie at her new home at 14 weeks.

And recent photos I just received of her after her last round of surgery, at ONE YEAR OLD!!!

Then photos taken aftery her recovery, talk about a bouncin' bundle of joy.


So you see, maybe another "happy ending" but not without substancial amounts of time and devotion involved along with more financial loss.

A heartache to much to bare.

On a sadder note, I had a litter of 3 born here on 9-11-01. yes while our country was under terrorism attack I was in with the mother assisiting in bring beautiful lives into this world. Well all was well and THEN, at about 5 weeks of age the mother jumped into the whelp box and landed on the little girl pup. (yes it's usually always my girls who get hurt) I heard her whimper and when I picked her up, she SCREAMED!! So I headed for the vets. They could find nothing visible to the eye. We were sent home on prednisolone and I started hand feeding her. As she couldn't nurse or hold her head up to eat from a dish. Well this went on for a week and she seemed to get better. She had gained about 1/2 ounce a day and seemed to be doing fine. Then at 8 weeks she took a turn for the worse and started going hypoglycemic on me. She went down on me about every 3 days. She was normal otherwise, played and barked and demanded attention just like a pom should! This went on for about a week --week n half maybe. And then she continued to do ok till about 14 weeks old. Well on her next bout, when she went down it was bad and she had a seizure. We went to the vets and he give me lactated ringer and we give her sub q fluids every 4 hours to combat dehydration as she had quit eating on me that morning and everything she drank she squirted out her rear end. Well that lasted a day, the following morning she had another bad seizure on me and died about 3-4 hours later.

I was so devestated I could not even function for quite a while afterwords. She was a little over 3 months old, weighed 15 ounces and had me and my husband wrapped around her little paw.

So try that for a breeding experience, I almost quit after this episode. But my strong love and dedication for the breed has kept me here.

Here is a photo of Precious taken 4 days before she passed.
Rest in Peace sweet baby girl, we loved you so much.

We've also had a litter of 5 in August of 2001 (NEVER had that big of a litter before) born via c-section. Mother had a bad infection after that and was in the hospital for 4 days while I hand fed this litter of five. Within 7 days I lost the whole litter, to what? No one knows for sure, I suspect they were tainted from mothers bad milk. But one by one, day by day they were dieing in my hands.
Is this something you could handle??
So think very hard about it before you embark on this endeavor of breeding.! It could bring you more heartache than you are ready for.

Another episode.!

We also had a litter of 3 born, free whelped out of my Champion girl and sired by my Champion male. Well one was born dead, one I lost at 4 days old, and the other I had hand fed for 8 weeks. (the first week was tube feeding, following that was by eye dropper. I had named him Trooper, as he held right in there and fought with everythng he had. Well at 8 weeks old I lost him. He was small enough he was buried inside a checkbook box. Why did we loose him? I have no idea, hydrocephaulic would be my guess. His head was to large for his little body and as he grew his head got bigger and retained water and it killed him.

This was another incident that sent me into greiving for days and again thinking whether or not breeding was for me.

But I was determined to continue as I love the breed unconditionally. And kept my promise to myself and my dear friend Judy that I would be strong enough to encounter what heartbreak and travisty that breeding poms would lay before me.

I ASSURE you it is not for everyone. If you do not have the heart nor the time to devote 1000 percent into your dogs and your breeding program. Then let me suggest you find another hobby.

Thank You


This is one of me while feeding Little Trooper, you can barely seen him in my hands.

Well here it is october of 2004 and I'm still at it, and still enduring deep heartaches.

Just this past week I had a beautiful 5 week old red female puppy die on me. No post mortem was done, but due to the high fever and tinge of blood coming from her stomach when she vomited at vets, the vet suspected bacterial/viral infection.
Totally normal puppy, free whelped, nursed perfectly on her own and then boom, here one day, gone the next.!

AGAIN, I urge you to think very hard and seriously before taking on the role as a breeder.

Here is a special little insert I got from the net. And it couldn't be more ture.

Ten things a Dog asks of it's Person!

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful for me.
Remember that before you buy me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me -- it's crucial for my well being.

4. Don't be angry at me for long and don't lock me up as punishment.
You have your work, your entertainment and your friends. I only have you.

5. Talk to me sometimes.
Even though I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it's speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will not forget.

7. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones of your hand,
but that I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being "uncooperative" or "obstinate" or "lazy",
ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I am not getting the right food,
or I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.

9. Take care of me when I get old; you too, will grow old.

10. Go with me on difficult journeys.
Never say "I can't bear to watch" or "Let it happen in my absence."
Everything is easier for me if you are there.

Author unknown


Email me if you have any questions or would like to talk about this story.

Roxanne Collins

ALL contents of this story are copyright by myself, and may not be reproduced or copied without my express permission.