I always knew breeding boxers was something I wanted to do, but when I was sixteen, the dream seemed to be a lot more realistic. After a lot of praying, saving money from the part time job I was working at, and searching high and low for that "perfect puppy" I came across my first little angel, Dolly. My mother went with me to the north side of Atlanta to pick her up two days after I turned seventeen. When we pulled into the breeders driveway, we saw seven boxer puppies jumping around and being chased all over the yard. (It was adorable.) The cutest one (I may be biased, just because she's mine) ran to me and licked ALL over my face. Without a doubt, I knew she was mine. All of a sudden, I found myself overwhelmed and overjoyed with this nine week old puppy that depended on me for everything. The first night I had her at home, I didn't sleep a wink. Of course she slept with me, curled up by my side. As a few months pasted, I was starting to learn how the whole "puppy parent" thing worked.
After becoming established with one puppy, I had the crazy idea to get another, and that's how Hank came along. I began the search again and found him two towns over from mine. When I went to see him for the first time, he barreled out of his bed and rushed to his gate to see me. Another little love had stolen my heart! I talked with his breeder for awhile and he informed me that Hank was part of his mother's first litter. She had complications giving birth and would be unable to care for or have anymore puppies. I had a unique little guy. After we talked for a while, the breeders son came out. He was a boy with special needs and was the sweetest soul I had ever met. He told me to take care of his little baby, because he had bottle fed him every four hours since he was born. Of course, I obliged. I took Hank home and Dolly was thrilled to have a boxer friend! The two have been best friends ever since.
When Dolly was old enough to have her first litter of puppies, I carried her to a friend who lives in Elberton, Georgia. After two months had passed, I almost had myself convinced she was having a false pregnancy. But, my dad came into my room one morning and asked if I had checked on Dolly yet. (He knew she had puppies, but wanted me to find out for myself.) I went upstairs and my mom hollered, "You're a grandmother!" Super excited, I ran outside to find Dolly in her kennel snuggling the three most angelic faces I had ever seen. I was absolutely thrilled! Two brindle males, one "black" and white female. The first three to four weeks of their lives, I was a nervous wreck. It was early in December and cold out. I sent hours upon hours curled up with Dolly and her puppies in their house. (Thanks to my dad and papa for hooking me up with a huge dog house with carpet and a heat lamp!) I was terrified that something would happen to the three itty bitty babies that depended on Dolly and I to care for them. Dolly is an outstanding mother, even with her first litter. She wouldn't leave their side unless I was "babysitting." After all the hours were spent watching over the puppies, they finally got old enough to open their eyes, move around, and even crawl in and out of their house. Their personalities were so sweet, and at some times, hilarious. Just as children do their siblings, they would pick on each other. As clumsy puppies learning to walk, they would tumble over one another. Dixie got to the point where she would howl and "puppy growl" at her two brothers.
The days came where the two males went home with their forever families. If there was such a thing as perfect families, they were the ones who took Rio and Miles home. Watching their cars drive away, I realized that the feeling I had was the reason I started breeding in the first place. I watched the families' faces light up when they got to hold their puppy and listened to the kids argue about which bed the puppy would sleep in which night. It was so heart warming and I wouldn't give anything in the world for it.
Being sixteen years old, attending high school, college, and working, running a kennel seemed like a big feat. There was at least a hundred times I doubted myself and I often worried that I wouldn't be able to get through. But it was a dream of mine that I was bound and determined to achieve. With a ton of support, love, and prayers from my family and friends, I conquered my dream. So here I am, two years later, and it's the greatest source of happiness I could imagine.
I'm happy, established, and credit my success to the Lord and all the amazing people He's blessed me with.