Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fly Away Home

It has taken me weeks of thought to come to actually write this particular blog. Sometimes, when making a choice, you have to give it time to become the right decision before it actually is the right decision. However, this does not make the decision any easier.

As a breeder I have a particular idea in mind when I breed two dogs together - this is the primary reason ethical breeders are so picky about who is bred to who - the image in my mind is set and what I want to see in a Ridgeback is what I am striving for whenever I breed a litter.

Leeloo is my only girl and I have intentions to breed her to Raimi in about 6 or 8 months - thankfully they have both developed into dogs who will likely compliment each other (and I have made peace with the size I am likely to get!). It will set certain traits in the line that I desire and hopefully strike a balance between their faults and virtues.

Then, looking to the future, I laid out in my mind who else I wanted to breed Leeloo to based on my 'perfect Ridgeback'. Sadly, Archer was not on the list. He seems pretty happy about it though!

There is no sense in keeping an intact male 'just because' that will not be used at stud.  Archer, like Halo before him, is in limbo and that is not fair to him. Most people own dogs just to have and enjoy them(which I of course do)  but I also breed them toward a purpose. A dog that doesn't quite fit with the program is a draw on resources that could better be utilized toward progressing the line - in short, I am not a dog collector, I am a dog breeder.  Archer needs a home that will pay attention to only him and not expect more from him that simply to be the best Archer he can be.

I have said Archer is the most beautiful boy. In fact, in my house, as regards type and structure, he is far and away the most correct Ridgeback I live with. However, in my breeding plans he just does not fit where he should. Bred to Leeloo he would, in my opinion, not produce what I want to see. It's a complicated mess in my brain and hard to put into words, but when I look at the three dogs I want to breed to Leeloo he is a completely different type. In breeding a line you want to establish type and unfortunately Archer deviates from that ... and not just a little bit. 

Archer is gorgeous, sweet, lovable, cuddly, smart, active, silly, happy, bouncy, respectful, mannerly, and impossibly cheerful. He is the little ray of sunshine in my house and only the very best home will do. Fortunately I have met a family that is willing to give him the attention he deserves. They met him yesterday and believe he will fit very nicely into their home and I think they will make a great new family for him. Since he is on 8 of 10 points they are willing to keep him intact until I can get those last two Championship points. Since there is really no class competition here chances are it could be quite a while before he can finish but both his new family and I are willing and prepared to wait. Trusting someone to ensure he does not breed some neighbour's unspayed crossbreed is a leap of faith in a province that does not seem to believe in fences!

Baby Archer of the now well known beach photo is going to a new home in August. It's hard to type and hard to imagine.

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