After nearly 15 years of living and breathing all things dachshund, David and I have decided the time has come to retire.
Ironically, this only began to crystallise in early October after we received the personal nod from the Victorian Minister for Agriculture that we had her special permission (via exemption under new laws) to continue our business as we have been.
Instead of being elated, we were flat and exhausted. And this feeling did not pass in the weeks ahead.
Reality is that it's a hollow victory to find yourselves the only breeders in the entire country to have this accreditation. It wasn't our vision to be here alone. Even before our first litter was born in 2005, my vision was to build a professional pet dog breeding sector. I soon found others breeders of the same mind set and together we worked long and hard over many years to share our vision nationally with governments, other breeders and the public.
The public always understood. So too did other quality pet dog breeders and other governments in Australia. But in the state of Victoria - our state - the government was intractable.
So here we are now, with two levels of government compliance upon us. Namely: the original Victorian breeding code for pet dog breeders (strictest in the world) administered by the local council; and a second Commercial breeder compliance code administered by the state government.
This dual arrangement is for Dachshund Australia alone. Two lots of fees, two lots of compliance, and the prospect of multiple audits from council officers and state government officers throughout any year.
Consider this scenario set in an industry whereby most dog breeders in Victoria operate under no breeding code at all. No checks on their dogs, no fees, no accountability. These dogs and their puppies deserve better than 'buyer beware' system to determine their welfare. The government hypocrisy is startling.
So! Add to all that our very positive realisation that Dachshund Australia has actually achieved everything else it set out to do. We had realised our vision in every other aspect: bringing quality pet dachshunds to families here and around the world. Not to mention introducing and establishing the stunning piebald dachshund pattern in Australia. And also a sense of pride in bringing employment and outside income into our regional community in Gippsland.
We are now winding down. We have had our last litter - AKC Opal's litter of one little puppy, a little blue long hair girl just like her. :))
Our business is not for sale. Our breeding dogs are all being desexed. In fact the doggery building will be dismantled and repurposed. We know how much commitment it takes to care for dogs and we could not bear the thought, years into the future, of who-knows-what is happening in a facility that we built.
There are so many very wonderful memories of the people who's lives we briefly entered over very many years. We have truly lovely owners, many of whom keep in contact and these memories immortalised in thousands of internet postings.
In the weeks ahead we will be posting on Instagram and the website our desexed youngsters who we had selected as future parents. Some might remember DA Butters who was named by the public on Instagram:)). Butters and five little friends will soon be posted. They are about 7 months old now and are a delight, of course. And we currently have our last puppies available right now.
David and I look forward to reflecting with great affection on this amazing chapter in our lives. We thank everyone who joined us on the journey.
Retired mum DA Caboose (far right) has regular catchup up days with two of her children.
(They all look the same age!)
And Here’s birthday boy DA Bailey with his two birthday siblings 🎉 DA Bella and DA Hugo. What a beautiful sight; three big pups reunited for celebrations.
Many DA pups have gone to their owners overseas.
Here's DA Elvis with his mum at their favourite French bakery in Hong Kong
When you become a DA owner you become part of a community that goes back to our first puppies bred 15 years ago.
For many years DA owners have got together to enjoy social times; and what can be better than a social where you can be entertained by watching the antics of your mini dachsies at play? All from the same DA stable!
Our Instagram feed is a good place to link up. We also find people just run into each other by accident (well, their dogs tend to spot each other too). So next time you meet another dachshund owner, maybe check if you are both DA. Exciting if you are ... because ... you might be related!! And you'll be able to find out thanks to your DA pedigree papers.
Dachshund owners, in our experience of very many years, are fabulous humans. It's something about loving the dachshund breed.