Sad Farewells

Many people ask us how are we able to say goodbye to our puppies after 8 weeks, so I wanted to write a little about that farewell process.  Feelings of sadness mixed with joy and wonder describe this amazing experience, beginning with conception.

Every puppy we bring into this world is special, loved and treasured by our entire family. We have not only a deep love for each puppy born,  but a commitment to ensure that puppy is raised loved and treasured for his or her entire life. We take this responsibility very seriously as essentially we are raising a loyal friend, lifetime companion and treasured pet for you. We need to ensure our babies go to homes where they will be loved, treasured and spoilt.


Grace hillhavendachshund (1)

Grace hillhavendachshund


Our role is to extensive and diverse. Initially it involves the loving care and nurture of the puppies parents. This is often underestimated and most puppy buyers don’t realise the importance of the love provided for the parents long before conception. Many studies show if parents are not happy, well cared for and well socialised the puppies will suffer. Puppies born from anxious, stressed parents, particularly breeders who don’t treat their dogs as family pets first, can live anxious lives themselves, never reaching their full potential. Nutrition obviously is very important for parents, before conception just as much as during and after, but so is their stress and anxiety levels.

When time for delivery arrives we are always present and marvel at the arrival of each tiny perfect new life. We treat every puppy as a precious gift, knowing full well they are another families puppy from 8 weeks. But if puppies aren’t loved and socialised well in their first 8 weeks of life they are being set up for a lifetime of misery for themselves and their new families. We are all aware these puppies are not our puppies, and we are blessed with the privilege of orchestrating and assisting this journey each pup will embark on.

We marvel at their development from a tiny helpless, blind and deaf baby, weighing approximately 150g,  whose only senses that are functioning are smell and touch, but who can use those senses to navigate perfectly to find Mum and their source of food. Over the next 3 weeks, they little eyes and ears begin to open and they can discover the big world apart from the smell and touch of mum and siblings.

By 4 weeks they are up and about, still very reliant on mum, but discovering we can also offer love and comfort and seeking that affection from people. This is when many different stimuli need to be added to their little lives to ensure they experience as many different tastes, sounds, sights and textures as possible without overwhelming them. They gaze up at us with their adoring  little eyes and begin communicating their little wants and needs, as their littler personalities develop.  By 6 weeks they are ready to accept and give total affection, trust and loyalty to us, with the security of their siblings, and occasionally Mum. Mums role is nearly completed. She no longer chooses to feed them, only allowing an occasional feed but still teaches them incredibly important life skills like the beginning of bite inhibition. By 8 weeks they are ready to embark on the next stage of their journey. They are independent of mum and seeking people to show this unconditional love and loyalty to.

This journey from helpless babe to independence which takes a fleeting 8 weeks is really nothing  but a miracle. At birth they are not even aware we exist, and when we do impose ourselves on them the complaints are loud and leave us in no uncertain terms that these puppies want nothing to do with us, but all their little protests and cries are for Mum. Yet in 8 short weeks they are ready to shower all the love their little hearts can hold on the fortunate humans in their lives. This initially is us, and each puppy brings us so much joy and love, yet we know we need to say goodbye. We can’t detach ourselves from each puppy while they are with us, as many breeders do, as they need that love, affection and interaction to be able to form strong bonds with their new family. They need to experience as much of life as we can offer them while with us,  to help prepare them for what the rest of their life in their new home. Yes its busy, hard exhausting and full time work, but ever so rewarding. At the end of this short 8 weeks our primary caring and nurturing role is drawing to an end. Of course our love and responsibility for each puppy never ends, and our owners know if at any stage their life throws unexpected twists we will always welcome their puppy/dog back.

Pouring so much of ourselves into each little life often brings great sadness and many tears from our children (and I would be lying if I didn’t admit the same), but they are tears of joy intermingled with the tears of sadness,  as we know we have done all we can to prepare them for the next stage of their life.

Our motto is it is better to love and lose than ever love at all. We are constantly pouring ourselves into new little lives, so they can then bless many families around Australia. The joy we experience when our puppies arrive at their new home is generally worth the sad farewells. The love our new puppy owners have for their puppies is obvious,  evident and even palpable, often for weeks before their puppy joins them in their new home. The eager anticipation they display helps to ease the heartache of this parting, and injects a sweet joy and sense of wonder in this process. The communication we continue to have with each owner certainly helps ease our sadness and illustrates what a blessing it is to be involved in this journey of contributing to the joy and happiness of others. Everyone loves the photos and updates we receive from new owners

Yes it is hard to say goodbye, but also intermingled with great joy and a sense of satisfaction. So despite, and in light of all the above it really is our pleasure to raise, love, nurture and hand over our puppies to enthusiastic and loving new families.

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