As a breeder one of my main worries is finding homes for puppies. We only ever breed when we want something for ourselves, whether for the ring or to maintain a particular breeding line. In an ideal world I would be happy with a singleton litter of "the one" everytime, but that just isn't going to happen. So where does that leave us??? It leaves us having raised these gorgeous, healthy puppies through their first weeks now sending them off into the big wide world hoping and praying the families we are sending them to are the right ones.
I always tell puppy owners that we are here as support for the lifetime of their puppy. I don't know whether some think I'm just waxing lyrical, but I really do mean it. That first contact after a puppy has left whether it be a text message, e-mail or phone call is so very important to us. For some puppy owners that may be the last we hear, others sporadically send us updates or anniversary photos. Others we are in regular contact with and like to think we have become firm friends.
A few years ago I created a Facebook group just for people who owned a "Waterswarren" with perhaps a couple of honourary members too. I thought this gives us a chance to remain in touch and also share our experiences. It has become a great group of people from across the country and different walks of life, the thing that unites us all is our love of ESS and especially Waterswarren ESS.
On my 40th Birthday a package arrived an inside was a calendar created by the group, this is how it came about.............................................
The Waterswarren FB group has allowed owners of these lovely dogs to share stories, photos and to make new friends. As Vicky's 40th birthday approached we decided to organise a birthday present and also to say thank you. Even the most seasoned dog owner can find themselves in need of some advice and Vicky has always made herself available.
The group decided the best idea was to create a calendar, made up entirely of Waterswarren photos. Members of the group submitted their favourite photos and we had great fun creating our one off design.
Once the calendar was ready to print, it became apparent that everyone wanted a copy for themselves. Vicky received hers as a complete surprise and we ordered extra for ourselves. 12 months later, people started to ask if we could make a new one.
So three years later we now have an annual treat (running from September to keep with Vicky's birthday). Anyone who submits a photo will find themselves welcomed. No Waterswarren photo is ever turned away and its lovely tradition which helps to illustrate how these beautiful dogs bring us together.
by A Proud Waterswarren Owner