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Starting Dog Breeding - things to consider

  IN A small town of Missouri a dispute had arisen over the killing of a dog by a neighbor. After all the witnesses had been heard, a young lawyer by the name of Vest, who later became a United States Senator, got to his feet and addressed the jury on behalf of the owner of the dog. 

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   "The best friend a man has in the world," said Vest, "may turn against him and become his enemy. His sonor daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money a man has he may lose. It flies away from him when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw stones of malice when failure settles its clouds upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.

  "A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the sores and wounds that come in encounter withthe roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

  "If misfortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true, even in death."

  If you can read that without feeling a catch in your throat, or maybe a little moisture about your eyes, dog breeding is not for you. But to those who respond to that eloquent appeal, this volume is inscribed with the intention of lending a helping hand. It is not designed as a handbook for use in the larger kennels, but is inspired by some vivid memories of my own early days in "the game." Days of trial and error—mostly error.
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