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Letting Go

As you probably know, I’ve written several blogs lately about my little baby Beagle munchkins and the cute things they do. Well, now that they’re getting older, you may be wondering, “What happens when the time comes to let some of them go?”

This is a question I consistently am asked by future owners, friends and outsiders to the dog world. The answer is always the same. I am happy to see them go to families that will love the puppies unconditionally and spoil them rotten. In some cases though, it’s definitely harder than in others.

My mother and I tend to agree on which pups we would like to see grow up for potential show dogs, but not always. Sometimes she lets me see on my own how I feel about keeping certain ones, but usually she wins because she is more experienced with evaluating the litters.

The decision to let a particular puppy go can be hard to make. But like my mom always says, “We can’t keep them all.” Of course this is true, but wouldn’t it be great if we could?

I remember when I was little how hard it was to let go of my favorite puppies. As a young child, I wasn’t thinking about dog shows or the breeding side of it. I was just thinking, “puppies!!!!!” As a young girl, of course, I loved them all.

After being asked so many times, “Aren’t you sad to see them leave?” it finally hit me. I am sad, but I’m used to it, and I know letting them go is the right thing to do.

Thinking back on it, not every kid gets to have puppies coming in and out of their life like I did. Heck, most kids are lucky if they even have a dog.

We had some puppies playing in our front yard just the other day, when our neighbor’s kids asked if they could come over and meet them. Of course we said yes. Most Beagle puppies are up for any kind of challenge, and it’s good for the pups to get used to some small hands.

During the visit, the puppies jumped right in with the little kids, and they all had a good time, except for one little boy who said he was “scared of dogs.” Initially, I couldn’t understand why. I’d never met a little kid who was honestly afraid of dogs, especially itty-bitty puppies.

His mom and dad said they didn’t know why either, except that they don’t have a dog, and their son doesn’t see dogs on a regular basis.

So yeah, I can see how my life as a kid – with puppies coming and going – was not like other kids’.

I’m glad to say that by the end of our meet-and-greet, this little boy let go of his fear, petted the puppies, and even held one of them. Who knows? Maybe this one good experience will change the way he feels about dogs…forever.

Letting go of fears, and letting go of special things in your life – like a favorite puppy – is hard. That’s the bottom line.

Even now, for me, though not a little kid anymore, I look at those puppies and say, “Awwww, I don’t want you to go.” I mean, who would?

Letting go may be difficult, but it’s something we all have to do, right?

No matter where they go, Dogs Freakin’ Rule.

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"
  • kirbys
    Deborah Kirby July 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    As a breeder, this is the hardest part for me too. My husband say he definitely DOES NOT LIKE IT. We all get close to the puppies and do miss them when they leave.

    I have someone coming to get a year old dog of ours on Monday and I find myself excited that this person and this dog are going to be together. I know it will be an excellent home for the dog, he will have new Beagle friends, and the woman getting the dog is very excited too.

    My dogs give me so much and my wise friend Phil said to me once, “Don’t you want someone else to experience that joy too ?” I certainly do !

  • Christopher R. Adams July 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    This is the hard part for me, too. I know it’s going to happen some day. My mate has that same ‘breeder mentality’, similar to the one presented in this article. Me? I get attached. I’m dreading the moment we have to send pups to their homes, no matter how much better off they’ll be. I know it’s best, but have a lot of love to go around, damnit. :/

  • Lynda Beam (Canine Candids by Lynda) July 30, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    I’ve always had a hard time with it and that’s why I’ve only bred 3 litters at my house in nearly 40 years, but I cherish the relationships that I have with my breeders because they are willing to deal with that part of breeding. It’s not easy being a breeder!

    Nice meeting you this weekend at Waukesha Kayla!

  • Steven Johns July 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Very Nice Article! Dogs Are The Sh**! Thats All I Have To Say About That!





    • kayla
      kayla July 31, 2012 at 7:13 AM

      Hi Steve, thank you for the comment! We do have to tidy up one of the words but we don’t believe it alters the message. Kayla

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