|Posted by douggoodman on March 11, 2010 at 12:04 AM|
I took Rider to the vet yesterday to have her spayed. It was not an easy decision. I seriously considered breeding her. I wasn't looking at this as a money-making scheme. The idea to breed her came as a result of all the difficulties I crossed in trying to find her. Getting to Rider took almost half a year, and I thought that maybe I could provide some kind of service to people who wanted the kind of German Shepherd I liked. What I mean is, breeding towards a dog with good temperment, sound body, and the kind of mental stuff/drive needed for SAR work.
On the other hand, breeding takes a lot of effort. For starters, when in heat, she would attract every male stray dog this side of Galveston Bay. And Mojo can be territorial. To me, this was creating a bad situation. Neurotic dog on one hand, sex-starved dogs on the other. Bad. Very bad.
Also, I have heard tales of owners watching their dogs around the clock, but that one time they had their backs turned is when the dog got pregnant. I don't want to go through all this trouble just to have Rider get pregnant at a time that would either a. disrupt her training, b. prevent her from testing, or c. prevent her from working. So I decided on the ovariohysterectomy.
Ovariohysterectomy is the scientific term for spaying a female dog. In an ovariohysterectomy, both the uterus and ovaries are removed. Longterm, this will help detract certain cancers. In the meantime, I don't have to worry about having to stop Rider's training due to her being knocked up.
Take a turn with me now...
As I was going through the medicine cabinet this evening, I found an old bag from when we brought Voodoo back from the vet. There was special diet food, dewormer meds, and several additional syringes to help with giving her iron.
I was a little taken aback by finding this little treasure. It reminds me of all the struggles with Voodoo, and me being up with her all night to try to nurse her back to health, but the meds and iron weren't working. Hookworms took her, and I still feel bad about it. But even back then, I remember telling my daughter when this happened that "God has a reason." I said that if God was taking the animal away, maybe that meant a better animal was on the way.
I would like to think that Rider is a better animal than Voodoo. Certainly, she is healthier. Right now she is sacked out on the trainer pads I bought Voodoo and put into Rider's cage. She is 5 months old, and I hope she will live a long life. I think the lessons learned from Voodoo (for example, take a puppy to the vet IMMEDIATELY upon purchasing the animal) will make me a better pet owner, and the lessons learned from Mojo and Princess will make Rider a better search dog. Time will tell...