Australian Shepherds
in Florida

    I am a breeder.....

    My food receipts for a family of 4 is less than half of my dog food bills each month.
    All my cardiac medications don't come near the expense of dog medications & vet bills
    each month.
    My water bill has tripled.
    My electricity bill has almost doubled.

    It is I, a breeder, who when my fridge quit, saved the dog meds and let the food go bad.
    My feet find the way to the puppies before I have even grabbed a Dr. Pepper in the
    morning and the puppies are my last stop before bed.
    While my friends are on a cruise to the Bahamas and my family meets for Christmas, I
    am home delivering puppies.
    I haven't had a real vacation in 8 years, but maybe soon. All plans are made around heat
    dates, whelp dates, vet dates, show dates and shipping dates.

    I shower and 10 minutes later I smell like a dog and am covered in paw prints and hair.
    My clothes are all stained with fecal matter, urine, afterbirth or bleach. I have to
    remember to clean my shoes before leaving the house, or if I dare to get into my
    sister's impeccable car!!

    Most of my friends breed dogs.
    Who else can you call at 3 am for support?
    Who else has the experience I sometimes need, the meds I sometimes need, or just an
    uplifting word I sometimes need?
    Who else would understand how it feels to have invested hours and hours in a weak puppy
    to lose it? Or the joy in investing hours in one that lives?

    I have slept on the floor beside a litter until the crucial 2 weeks have passed. I have
    bottle fed a litter of 15 … feeding every 2 hours and taking 90 minutes to do it until
    they're old enough to eat on their own.
    I have learned to be proficient at micro chipping, vaccinations, fluids, bottle feeding,
    tube feeding, tail cropping, and dewclaw removal, as well as diagnosing various ailments.

    My vet knows me by my first name, my grandchildren's first names, and knows my bank
    account and debit card numbers by heart.  So does Lowe's!!
    My vet takes his time to teach me what he knows, because he knows I care.  He also
    knows that I funded the new x-ray machine, the new floor scales, the new ultrasound
    machine, and his cruises.

    I am a breeder.

    It is to me that 63 days takes on new meaning, still excited by every new life.
    It is I who deliver all my pups, hemostats, scissors, styptic powder, towels and heat
    lamps on ready - happiness and sadness sometimes intermingled.

    Even though it increases my work load, I look forward to the 10-14 day stage when eyes
    open, and puppies begin to emerge from the helplessness of newborns:  puppy breath, a
    first bark and  hearts of exploration.  And, OH!, those puppy kisses and cute little wiggly

    I am not uneducated, unemployable, illiterate or lazy as some Animal Rights folks would
    imply of breeders.
    I am a conscientious lover of animals and I have found my niche.

    I am a breeder.

    And although I feel no shame, there is a part of me that feels the need to hide from
    powers that could come to invade my home and take my dogs .. maybe for
    .. finding a mild infraction,
    .. a leaf in the water dish
    .. a kennel not yet cleaned for the day
    .. a rash, cut or cold I am home treating?

    I feel I should tell the kids and friends to hush, do not tell others we are dog breeders,
    and I wonder when breeding puppies went into the same secret place as criminal activity?
    I am a breeder and I am not cruel, dumb, uncaring or criminal.

    I am not raking in money while sitting on my butt.
    Every penny I make I earn through blood, sweat and tears, and the greatest majority of
    it goes right back into the dogs!
    My greatest joy is a healthy puppy and a wonderful home. The cards of thanks and the
    pictures of my puppies with their new families are the fringe benefits of my efforts.

    I am an animal lover, registered nurse, midwife, vet tech, heavy laborer, customer
    service representative, photographer, website designer, secretary, marketer,
    dishwasher, maid, dietician, fence builder, driver, secretary, stay up all night worrier,
    HBIC, etc.....


    Borrowed with permission from Linda Axe's website
    and adapted for Peace Creek Mini Aussies.
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Who Are We?

    July 15, 2006
    Peace Creek Kennel is located on five acres in the heart of sunny
    Central Florida, in Winter Haven.  Peace Creek Miniature Australian
    Shepherds is owned by myself, Charlotte Upchurch, and four of my
    grandchildren.  I have always owned and bred dogs, and some very
    nice ones at that.  Many years ago, I used to show my dogs and
    friends' dogs in AKC conformation classes.  And then.... LIFE
    happened....I got married, went to nursing school, raised a family,
    and ran a contracting business on the side for my husband.  That was
    the end of my show career...or so I thought.  I had always kept as
    many dogs around me as possible, and raised a few very nice pups
    along the way.  But the years passed and the opportunity just never
    presented itself to get back into showing.

    In 1995, two of my granddaughters came to live with me, and in
    2002, another granddaughter and a grandson joined us.  I was in a
    quandary as to how to get these kids out from in front of the TV and
    to be more active.  They had always loved my dogs, and would watch
    me teach a puppy to heel, sit, etc., and decided that they could do
    that too.  That was when I discovered 4-H and the "Dog Project".  
    And THAT is how our adventure into the world of Miniature Australian
    Shepherds began.  With the help of my grandchildren, Caitlyn,
    Robbyn, Brittani, Scott (aka "Bubba"),& now my great grandson,
    Ryland, we will continue on with this adventure indefinitely, hoping to
    provide them with a life long interest, and a sense of responsibility to
    the breed that has given us so much.  I have decided that when my
    own personal pets (they're getting on up in years now) pass over the
    Rainbow Bridge, I will never have another breed of dog other than
    the Mini Aussie.
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