I spend my life looking at pedigrees, reading, attending seminars, going over dogs, talking, and learning from those in my breed, and especially those outside it. At this point I would like to say a special "thank you" to Helen Davenport Willis and of course, the late Dr Malcolm Willis, who encouraged me to start breeding, and also pushed home the importance of breeding for health, all those years ago.
I share my knowledge and socialise my dogs so that they will be an advertisement of my dedication. I don't keep track of the money and time both Hugh and I put into our love of dogs; it would not be an accurate measure of how I feel. The price I charge for my puppies is never profit, but investment in the next generation. I support each family who chose one of my puppies and let them know they are now a part of our extended family. I am there if one needs to come back and will aggressively pursue the return of one of my dogs if it's in the wrong place. I support my breed in rescue, education and Charity. I hold them when they arrive and leave this world.
We work hard at what we do here at The Bonaforte Kennel, Hugh, myself and our team, despite it being a hobby. We all take such pleasure from our hounds, and when asked how can you possibly let your puppies leave, my answer is, "look at the joy and delight they bring their new owners, who also become part of the Bonaforte Family.
I am a breeder, and I am proud of it. I raise each litter as if I gave birth to them and spend an equal amount of time finding them loving homes forever. I only put puppies on this planet that I think will be the healthiest (mentally and physically) and most the delightful examples of their breed.
Harder than you think as breeding does throw its curve balls, and I would be lying if I said it doesn't and will leave you with a quote from the late Dr Malcolm Willis, one which is always in my mind:
"Finally, all breeders will produce defects if they breed long enough. Those who tell you that they do not produce defects have either stopped breeding, breed hardly at all or are being economical with the truth. There is no crime in producing a defect. The crime, if any, lies in what you do about a defect. If you bury yours quickly and keep quiet about it, and I do the same with mine, then sooner or later we may use each other's dogs and pay the penalty for not having been honest with one another and with the breed we probably profess to love."
If we don't support each other - we are doomed, as is our breed.