I am fed up with the people who inquire about puppies or dogs and then tell me, “Oh no, I would never pay money for a DOG!”
My dogs are priceless. There is no way that I could set a value on them. How can you calculate the value of a friend and companion, someone who always greets me with joy when I come home, that is always ready to go anywhere with me no matter what time it is or how the weather may be. Someone who never complains that I haven’t been paying enough attention, or that I don’t provide a high enough standard of living. Someone who makes me laugh, even when I was not in a laughing mood. And who listens to every word that I say without ever a bad word.
My puppies are no less precious to me, but, to my sorrow, I can’t keep them all, some of them have to go to new homes.
I am not, however, selling puppies. I am selling the enormous amount of care, learning, and judgement involved in deciding who are to be the parents of the litter. I am selling the health examinations, genetic tests, and temperament tests to be sure that the parents are the best I can possibly find. I am selling the top quality food and other care the mother has received all her life to put her in optimum condition for having these puppies, the special room I built so that bitches could have their puppies comfortably in the house, close to me but with enough privacy to be able to remain calm and raise happy placid puppies. I am selling all the devoted care the puppies get from the day they are born, the premium food when they start to eat, the exams to make sure they are completely healthy and strong, the vaccinations to keep them that way, the microchip so that they will never get lost, the petrol it costs when I start driving them around in the car to introduce them to new people, places, and experiences when they are old enough, so that they will easily fit into their new homes without stress and will understand that the world out there is a fun place with wonderful and exciting things happening, and many friendly people that like to pet little dogs.
Whenever a puppy leaves here, it leaves a hole in my heart. I watch every puppy as it grows and develops to the age when it can leave it’s mother for a new home with the feeling that, maybe, this one should stay here. I know that life here is the best but I can’t keep them all, and it is satisfying to have the right people come for each particular puppy, where I feel confident that they will be loved and cared for and bring happiness and companionship and live a long life together. But I still miss each one when it goes, and the money I get is far from a fair exchange.
How can I believe that someone who is not willing to pay for the privilege of having one of these priceless puppies will then be willing to spend what is necessary to give it the best possible life – the best food, veterinary care, and living conditions – which do not come for free.
I do not wish these people ill. I hope that their cheap dog will live a long and happy life and bring them much joy. But I believe that you get the value that you paid for, and that you have to pay for value. My dogs have value that is beyond anything that could be calculated in money, but to enjoy that value, I pay what is necessary to ensure that quality. What you pay me for one of my puppies is infinitely less than the true value of the puppy, but it certainly helps to make sure that you get the value that will make the next fifteen or so years of companionship a joy.