Ethics at Barking Brook
I believe strongly in ethical and compassionate care for my dogs, working on trust and love. I believe my dogs want to work, and that my job is to train them so they stay safe, and get as strong mentally and physically as they need to be. This training takes place all year, in obedience classes, on the trail or just during the daily events like feed time. When a dog frustrates me with his/her behavior, I try to figure out what this has to teach me, and how to work harder and with more love with that dog. I do not give up on the dog, though I may choose to live with the behavior and accept it.
I plan to keep each dog for his or her whole life. I care how they age, and I know their health is affected by what they eat, their medical care, how they were worked in harness, how clean the kennel is and everything I did or did not do. It is my responsibility to keep them as healthy and happy as I can. I do not race young dogs under age 2, and I baby the yearlings. I have the luxury of a B team where older dogs get to run, and they are the best for training the young dogs. The pace is slower, the older dogs have a lot to teach, and I keep the miles down.
I love each dog for who he or she is, not who they make me. For this reason, and for the fact that I love them, there is no reason for me to place out slower dogs to replace them with faster dogs. The kennel has grown, and the breedings I have done have improved the overall strength of the kennel. But I do not love a new fast pup more than I love the original dogs. I love to see the dogs excel, and I still get a kick out of my original team members and all the things they are so good at. In fact, the “B” team is the best team for lots of things, like exploring new places. I rely on them, and have years of mutual trust built up.
The kennel is their world and needs to be clean!Working hard to keep the kennel safe and clean is a big deal. The kennel is scooped multiple times a day. The patio bricks are hosed daily when the hose is not frozen and simple-greened and hosed 2x per week. Dog bowls are washed daily. In summer I typically get to give each dog a few baths and there is a lot of brushing. There is NO ONCE A DAY sweep through this kennel, the dogs are visited and loved and cleaned multiple times.
I am lucky enough to be married to a great guy who pitches in on the big things. Terry has built me the kennels I need, built the roofs over them, cleared me local trails, takes care of the dog truck, clears me new parking areas, builds new play areas, all sorts of stuff. He helps with kennel chores when I am sick or when he has spare time on a warm afternoon.
Even luckier still, during all the years I worked away from home the dogs benefited from daily care from my step daughter Alisha. She has loved the dogs and helped raise the pups, kept the kennel spic and span and the daily routine going. She still pitches in with coverage when needed and brings her beautiful baby daughter to visit the puppies and the house doggies.
On the topic of kennel help, we also rescued a kennel handler winter of 07-08 who worked here during the worst of that winter’s incredible snow dumps, and the mud of spring. Jesse is returned to PA, but then came back here when my baby daughter was due to be born in April of 09 and stayed until August. He was a life saver, shoveling the new piles of snow nearly every day during his winter stay and helping me keep two teams trained up on the weekends. He did heroic spring cleaning during his spring stay and covered the daily chores 7 days a week with little break. His incredible work ethic and love of dogs was unbeatable.
I believe since I breed occasionally I should work hard for rescue. I am currently the treasurer of PSHR, and make it my mission that anyone considering a puppy consider adopting an adult first. I personally cannot be involved in breeding for money. Most people who breed put nonsense about how they breed for the standard first or for themselves and their own needs. Don’t believe it!
So, those are the ethics, the people and the mission. There is always room to do better, more to learn, and limits to shatter. I am not perfect, just trying to be who my dogs need me to be.