A day/weekend to give thanks, to contemplate gratitude and all that it encompasses … what makes our lives whole, what brings us joy. You are here because, most likely, you share your heart and home with an ancient breed, the Lhasa Apso (or have in the past, hope to at some point or perhaps just stumbled upon this page).
Me … I’m thankful that dedicated breeders saw the historical significance in this sturdy little Tibetan mountain dog starting in the 1930s. That they brought it through at least two genetic bottlenecks. Have worked tirelessly to ensure breed health with selective breeding practices as well as participating in and/or funding canine medical studies. Breeders turned mentors who share their knowledge with a new generation or anyone simply interested in learning more about this unique landrace.
Those same breeders started the original breed rescue program, recognizing that Apsos not of their breeding required assistance for a myriad of reasons. Quietly and without fanfare, they stepped in to ensure these dogs’ needs were met using personal funds. Long before rescue became the cause du jour.
Breeders have been vilified in recent years by the animal rights movement, with no distinction between dedicated responsible breeders — preservation breeders — and those whose sole motivation is profit without regard for health and temperament or where that puppy will ultimately end up in its lifetime.
Having been involved in breed rescue for 20 years, I believe in the system. However, I also believe that one should be able to choose what works best for one’s lifestyle and household. The right to choose a breeder that stands behind a puppy and its new owner for a lifetime (and beyond). The right to choose a puppy from health-tested parents with stable temperaments … puppies produced from a much-planned and researched breeding, not as an accident or source of income … puppies that have been doted over, handled and socialized from the very day of their much-anticipated arrival through placement … puppies that have the qualities and characteristics that make an Apso “an Apso.”
Ethical/responsible breeding and rescue are not mutually exclusive … each has its place and purpose. And for that, I’m grateful.