Last week I was surfing through some of the dog groups on Facebook that I belong to (something I don’t do very often anymore) and I kept seeing a pattern of people being ashamed of their Newfoundland.
Maybe not so much ashamed of the actual dog per se but ashamed of where the dog came from.
I saw a person apologize to another poster for where she got her first Newfoundland from, a pet store.
This appears to be many years ago but still, it got to me that this person was apologizing.
And it wasn’t just one case of this, I saw several different posts/comments centering around this same topic.
Now, I’m going to state the obvious.
We all start somewhere and most of us, including myself, didn’t start at the top.
My first Newfie, Thunder, came from a less than stellar breeder.
He. Had. Severe. SAS.
I was told it was a mild heart murmur only to find out later that he probably wouldn’t live past 1.5 years old because his heart was so bad.
I was mad.
I wanted a Newfie that was healthy and would be with me for many years.
I didn’t want my heart broken so soon.
Thunder shouldn’t have been.
He never should have been conceived.
But back then, I wasn’t ashamed.
I didn’t know enough to be ashamed.
I was new to this so I moved forward.
We got Thunder the best treatment for his SAS and I learned as much about this condition as I could.
While I was learning about that I also was learning about the Newfie.
I didn’t have a breeder holding my hand through this and I didn’t have FB groups to run to for advice.
It was the beginning of a wonderful and lifelong study.
I fell in love.
Thunder led to Sherman. Sherman led to Leroy.
Leroy led to the blog.
The blog led to Odin.
Odin is going to lead to something one day.
And they have all fueled my passion.
Your first Newfie may have come from a pet store or a backyard breeder but please, don’t be ashamed of that or of your Newfie.
That Newfie is teaching you and leading you to places that you never knew existed.
I know he/she is because they all do.
Even the best of the best Newfie mentors started somewhere and each time they moved forward they did so with more knowledge.
Now, of course, I’m not telling future Newfie owners to run out to Amish country and get a Newfie today, these days we have the resources to avoid that, but if your 5-year-old Newfie is from a less than a reputable Newfoundland breeder, take what you’ve learned and move forward.
Any decent person in this Newfie world of ours is not going to shame you for that and if they do, they’re the problem, not you.
And that’s another big issue I’ve been seeing.
You keyboard warriors who think that you’re the elite and shame all these newbies, you’re part of the problem.
And most of you are breeders.
Look, I know that you’re busy taking care of Newfs and planning the next top litter for your cliche, but I’m getting several emails a week asking for a breeder on the NCA breeder list that actually responds to people.
Or even a breeder that doesn’t mock an email on social media that they received from a newbie.
Your litter may be all taken but a little education and a point in the right direction will go a long way and only takes a minute.
For those searching for a breeder, I promise you that there are good ones out there. (end of rant on that)
So, to get back to my original reason for this post, stop apologizing for where your Newfoundland came from and start embracing them instead.
You didn’t make a mistake because if you made a mistake, then I made a mistake and I would never call any of this a mistake.