~ Jonathan Jeffery Kimes (Pluperfect Kennels)
VII - YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR MORALS
My last axiom addresses the whole issue of morality. It has many facets and many ways of expressing itself. Spreading rumors, the accuracy of which might be doubtful, is one very good example. Selling dogs on co-owner-ships as a means to control other breeders is certainly another. Accusing other lines of genetic problems while being less than entirely honest about your own is yet another. In all, it goes to the very core of who we are. Do we know right from wrong? Do we practice right in all circumstances? Dog breeding is not about that one great win or that one great winner. It is about breed improvement over time, it is about protecting a breed. Too many people are in search of some kind of sign of their self worth and they think they will obtain some special level of respect and honor if they have a big winner. Dog breeding is a lifetime's work. It is a continuum of which, no matter how quickly you want to "put yourself on the map," will ultimately be a reflection of your true character. To wit, you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
There is no honor in "adjusting" reality to give you the appearance of achieving something you have not. Politicking for wins will not make your dogs any better than they are. Faking your dogs will not make them any better than they are. You may think you can fool the world, but you will ultimately pay the price. No one wants to be a pretender. And yet, some of the worst pre-tenders are people who seem to be infatuated with spreading rumors about other people and dogs. These people live in glass houses and invariably they know it. The breeding of dogs is not about how you impress the neighbors, your peers or anyone else. It is the _expression of your love of dogs and your personal pursuit in creating an art. You cannot lie about the art you create; you cannot lie to yourself.
While this list, I am quite sure, sounds like a sermon from the mount, it encompasses the many pitfalls that we dog breeders face every day. Some of us are equipped to navigate these disturbances better than others, but all of us CAN navigate them. We are all tested from time to time, even the most educated, psychologically balanced, intelligent and honest amongst us. There are times when it feels much better to zing someone who has been hurtful, to control those whom we feel do not have the proper motivation, to become the ones who attract the adulation. Only through careful thought and well-considered action can we hope to become better people and therefore better dog breeders.