Note: I received the following comment posted on December 25 regarding the death of Tilly. I did delete the comment on the post but wanted to highlight it here. It was sent by an anonymous poster:
I am wondering why you profess to be a dog-loving, ethical breeder when the truth is that your dogs NEVER step foot in your house (oh wait, you consider your attached garage the house) and you consistently sell temperament and congenitally-impaired dogs to unknowing people. Congratulations! You're a true testament to this wonderful breed. Poor Tilly deserved to live out her years in the confort of a loving home, but all she got was the hard, cold floor of a garage. Rest in peace sweet girl. May the gates of heaven show you all the life luxuries you missed living with the Wenners.
I am wondering whether I know you and how much time you have spent in my home. If you have, I know that you were welcomed hospitably. I wonder what I have done to you to deserve this comment. Maybe you were just having a bad Christmas. I don't suppose you would call me or email to actually let me know what the reasons were, but I would appreciate it if you would.
I'm wondering how often you visited my home over the 14 years of Tilly's life. Since it appears you have been there a lot, then you must know that the "doggy" room is heated and air conditioned, has three large dog beds, lots of toys, and music. You are right that while we were both working during the day, the older dogs spent their day in this room. Once we were home from work, they were turned out and at night come in the house. When my husband retired, Tilly and the two greyhounds were turned out in the paddocks for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Tilly especially enjoyed watching the greyhounds run around.
As far as selling impaired dogs with bad temperaments to unknowing people, I have had few complaints over all these years about the dogs. In fact, I have been most grateful that there have been so few problems. Tilly was a great producer and much of the soundness in the lines, I attribute to her. Again, I would like to talk with you since you seem to have much more information than I do. I think that it's rare indeed for any breeder to never produce a problem. In fact, I don't know of anyone who has not produced some kind of problem when breeding Labradors. These are dogs that we are breeding not machines.
About two years ago, after becoming an AKC judge, I made a decision to not breed anymore. It was a difficult decision. And it largely had to do with the stress of whelping puppies, seeing the bitches in labor, and worrying about the dogs. You probably understand this and know a lot about the trials and tribulations of breeding. It is a difficult and often heartbreaking hobby.
Well, I hope that you give me a call or email me. Maybe we can load up all the dogs and have them come to visit your house.
Best wishes to you in the coming year,