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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hedlund Husky Preservation Frustrations

McKenzie, a foundation of the present day Hedlund line.

I'm fairly renown for my ability to speak my mind, tell it like it is (or how I perceive it to be, anyway), get to the point and various other versions of the same thing that can be considered both an attribute and a curse.Call it what you like. It is what it is. Why should this topic be any different? Now, having said that, I've been working to accumulate the various tools over the years to be able to present "my" truth in a diplomatic manner and as one of the 6.93 billion humans occupying our world, I do admit that I can occasionally fall short of that goal but not for lack of good intent. Keep this in mind as you read on.

It has not been an easy task; organizing and participating in an effort to preserve this exceptional line of Alaskan Husky called a Hedlund Husky. I have made some of my very best friends during this quest over the past 7 years and have also faced some immensely frustrating challenges to the point of  throwing in the towel at the general population and just concentrating on my own kennel. My love and devotion to the line continues to put me out there, seeking like-minded people to help with this long term project. This opens me up to not only feeling the joy of finding the perfect placement for a particular dog but to confronting the extreme disappointment when finding myself in situations where failed placements, despite the intense diligence prior to placement, come back and knock the wind out of me and threaten to crush my spirit and trust for the human side of the equation.

Then there are the inquiries. And there are lots of them. Someone wants to know if puppies are available this very moment to purchase. First of all, who are you? Why think that you can buy your way into such a rare and special line without as much as a paragraph indicating your intentions and who you are? I know why. Sadly, this is the culture.  There have got to be billions of dogs out there; maybe even zillions (Neil loves that word). And you can buy many of those dogs as long as you've got the cash. In the dog mushing arena, there is so much swapping, selling and disposing of dogs that people wanting a sled dog expect this to be the case. Sorry folks. Not here.  My hat goes off to all of those responsible breeders out there, although there are few, who seek to find the very best placements for each and every puppy and do intense background checks prior to even discussing the potential for receiving said puppy. 

From the 2009 Hedlund Litter - Topa, Tumac and Hana.
I would rather the Hedlund Husky line fizzle out and become extinct after my lifetime than to place any of my dogs in a home that doesn't meet our criteria. If you want a puppy, which by default means being a part of the preservation efforts of this line, then:

1)Contact us and tell us about yourself and your intentions and desire for this line. We so welcome like-minded people who truly and honestly want to contribute to our efforts and we will welcome you with open arms if we feel you are sincere. We don't play games. Life is way to short. You get what you see.

2)Provide your current and past dogs with the very best you have available and be able to prove it; proper nutrition and vet care, proper and varied shelter, exercise and love and devotion. Let us know the ways you provide them with the types of on-going stimulation that this type of northern breed dog, or any dog for that matter, needs in order to thrive and tell us what you will do to ensure any puppy from our program will have the same.

3)Stay in contact with us and keep reminding us that you are interested. We may not have puppies available at the moment but if you are truly interested, you won't want a quick fix and will wait. It is your job to convince us that you would be an excellent home for one of our dogs.

4)Follow through and communicate. If you are unable to communicate with us prior to receiving a dog, we know that the likelihood of your communicating once you've received the dog is low. These dogs are so precious to us that communication is a MUST if we are to properly preserve this line for future generations.

5)Come and visit one of the affiliated kennels to find out first hand if this line is for you. Ask questions. Be curious about those dogs related to your potential puppy and find out as much as you can about them and the line. We've got nothing to hide and will share any information with you about the line we can and provide our philosophy from breeding to raising to retiring. Just ask!

6)Expect to sign a contract. How can we expect to do a proper job of preserving the line without setting forth some standards by which each puppy is being placed? Sadly, we have had too many failed verbal agreements in our preservation journey to risk a placement without a written agreement.

There are then a long list of DON'Ts but I'm sure the picture has been painted and enough said for the moment.

In a nutshell, our puppies are chosen to go to folks we can then consider "family". We're here for emotional and informational support throughout the life of the dog. There are expectations that need to be firmly in place on both sides.

Left to right -  Ilo, Tulipq, McKenzie.
For those of you truly interested in the line, we would love to hear from you and will do our best to give you as much information as you need to determine if the Hedlund Husky could be a match for you. If you're just looking for a quick dog to add to your menagerie with no true vision or commitment to its future and the future of the line, then the Hedlund Husky is not for you.

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