Minding your own business
By Dan Ellison, Living Waters Labradors
BREEDING Labradors can be a very terrifying experience if you are not "minding your own business". That quote was taken from the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a book about making money.
I have never thought of my hobby of breeding Labradors as a business, but in a sense you can say that even a hobby needs the same attention as a business if you want to be successful with it. And, if you wanted to start good business habits at their beginning, we would have to go straight to the whelping box ... the place where we see the beginning of new life.
A few weeks ago I asked my daughter who is seven and my son who is 20 to feed, water and care for a litter of four-week-old pups since I had school and work to attend to. I explained to them the importance of not only feeding, but also watering the pups regularly, as although the task seemed so simple any detail can be overlooked by a young mind.
|Dan Ellison's daughter Katie, with Jenny, one of the pups that had a lucky escape from the kennel fire.
The following day I went out to the yard to do my normal duties and much to my amazement I could smell smoke coming from the kennel. I rushed to open the door of the kennel and was met by the sight of flames coming from the kennel where the puppies were housed. I quickly opened the door of the kennel and doused the flames with a nearby water bowl.
On investigation of the fire I found that the heat lamp had been moved from a position of about 18 inches high to about six inches from the floor of the whelping box and the heat had apparently built up and started the fire. By the time I reached it the flames had totally surrounded the puppies, who were huddled together in the centre of the whelping box.
Lucky for both the pups and me the children had at least filled the water bowl with water the night before and I was able to rescue them from the fire without harm to either the pups or myself.
Later, the lesson that seemed to echo in my mind was that to be sure any job was done properly and to the standard I required it was important I "mind my own business"!