The Year of the Dog

December 01, 2018

By, Julie Morrill

It’s already December and I am finally getting around to writing an article about our past year of 2018, the Year of the Dog in Chinese culture. It’s probably because, for us here at Marble Mountain Kennels, every year is the year of the dog.

You may think it romantic and glamourous to live and work at a kennel, but just try to imagine how much our lives are positively inundated with dogs. Of course, we don’t really mind, since loving and caring for dogs is burden we gladly choose to bear. Just how often our dogs in our home? Our birthing kennel is only about 40 yards away from our house, so they’re practically in our home. Sometimes a mama dog resides in our entryway with her litter, so that we can keep a closer eye on the little family. Then there are times when Pete sets his alarm clock for every 2-3 hours throughout the night so he can care for a mama dog are in labor. He’ll tromp back and forth through cold, rain, and snow to make sure everything goes smoothly—or to apply his veterinary skills (which he learned on-the-job, from our local veterinarian, from books, and from videos, rather than in school, by the way) when things do not go smoothly. When a dam’s contractions stop or she gets too tired to push in delivery, a shot of oxytocin or even pulling out a puppy may be necessary. Other tasks involve removing newborns from amniotic sacks, suctioning out tiny noses, and stimulating puppies that aren’t breathing properly.

As a rule, we do not keep dogs as pets in our home per se, but they are in our home a lot. I often find dogs in Pete’s office, where they enjoy a spoiled existence being loved and trained at the same time. The removal of dewclaws takes place when puppies are very young, and that takes place in our dining room, as does the administration of immunizations. In cold or inclement weather, puppy photo and video shoots take place in our home. Puppy baths often take place in our laundry washbasin. When a client’s dog is receiving advanced training, he rests on a pillow by the door in our house. When a newborn puppy is ailing and having trouble nursing, she sits in our laps for bottle feedings. In cold weather, she sleeps curled up on a blanket in a basket beside the fire. When an older puppy is sick, we bring him in for IV hydration or other emergency care. When clients come to our place, they gather in our dining room with their puppies so that we can inject a microchip and, of course, the puppies love being held and cuddled, so they remain to bond with their new owners. Sometimes I find working in his office with a puppy tucked into his shirt or jacket. And there’s our daughter Lexi, who sneaks puppies into the house to sit in her lap while she’s working on her computer.

Since we are absolutely drowning in dogs on a daily basis, sometimes I wonder if we need a celebration of the Year of the Human Being. But what am I saying? Our human existence would be deplorably lonely and lacking without a dog. And, from the dogs’ point of view, it seems they celebrate the Year of the Human Being every year as evidenced by their lavish affections toward us.

So, although 2018 is the official Year of the Dog, we wish you all a happy holiday season and a happy new year as we all continue to shamelessly celebrate the Year of the Dog for many years to come.


« Back to All Posts