All the flying monkeys have had fun trashing my house. And a lot of very kind people have visited to weigh in on matters that are near and dear to me and to stand in support of me and Abby, as well. But I am done being bullied. I have a life to live and much better things to do with my time. I am closing comments on my blog for a while. I am going to The Ranch - The Karen Pryor National Training Center, in Washington State, to take a week long All Species Clicker Training course with my dear friend and Maremma Trainer Extraordinaire, Cindy Benson. I am going to learn how to clicker train my goats and lots of other animals, as well! Then I am going to visit Cindy's amazing Ranch in Oregon and meet all her amazing Maremmas and other animals. I will get out of the California heat and see two beautiful states I've never visited, get to further my professional education as a breeder and trainer and also get to have a lot of fun. And if I'm lucky I might get to meet up with my BFF for life, Becky, and maybe see a few other special people as well. These last few weeks and months I truly feel I have been through The Hunger Games. So I am going to take the words of Effie Trinket to heart. I am going to find then life of a victor. Because I have earned it.
Finally, someone gets it. I have absolutely no idea who this person is but she said every single thing I have been trying to say for months. She did get a couple of minor details wrong (the ages) but overall, she is spot on. I absolutely love this woman. She’s right. She is a professional trainer and breeder and very intelligent woman and she said everything I have been begging people to listen to.
*****Update: As of 8/30/22 I am still under attack by this Social Media Influencer and his fans. He just this week made a new video about me, asking his fans what they think. And as expected, his fans have come to let ME know what they think with fresh attacks. I don’t see this stopping anytime soon because he’s making too much money off of attacking me, especially since it’s so popular to bash breeders.
Social media is a great platform for educating and entertaining people. But when an individual uses their platform to bully and harass other people that is just wrong, no matter how you look at it. And people who follow such a person are as guilty at the person doing the bullying.*****
I have been fielding, answering and deleting nasty and bullying texts from psychopaths since the afternoon of 8/2/22, when the "Social Media Influencer" posted his "call to action" video titled "Spilling the Tea on the Abby Drama". There was no explaining done, just more lies and half truths and garbage. But there were several very loud and clear admonitions to not "go harass the breeder" from the SMI. And like good little fan boys they got the REAL message loud and clear. If January 6th was an insurrection then this was the copycat crime. They came, they saw, and they raised hell.
I had a long post almost finished but I accidentally deleted it. I don't know how except that I have been dealing with this garbage on my blog and social media accounts for over 24 hours straight with no sleep. At first I tried to answer good and bad comments. Then I got weary and disgusted and started deleting the bad ones. And of course, the more I deleted the more rabid they became. I have heard of cyber bullying, but until now I never understood the sheer evilness of it. With the stroke of a keyboard countless cowardly bullies from all over the world can viciously attack a person they have never met and know nothing about. They can cause the most unimaginable pain, stress, sorrow and PTSD imaginable, all to hurt someone who never did anything to them. And all it takes is one cruel, heartless person to make the call to action. Then he just sits back and pretends to be the affable, humble homesteader from Vermont.
After spending half the day deleting these horrible comments I went and put them all back up on my blog. Every single one. And then I opened comments so the flying monkeys could have at it. I didn't put the comments back on Facebook but don't worry, they will be back there soon enough. But I think there is nothing better to illustrate who this person truly is and what his intentions have been all along than the words of his own rabid fans. I said it in my blog post a few days ago, with great power comes great responsibility. Whether you have 10 followers, a hundred, a thousand or a million or two, you decide what to do with that power every time you post a video, blog post or photo. And this Social Media Influencer has decided to use his huge platform to Cyberbully someone who wanted nothing more than to sell him a beautiful, wonderful puppy she bred and lovingly raised, and then later to advocate for that puppy and defend herself from his premeditated attacks. I hope you are proud of your god now.
I will continue to allow these horrific posts so the world can see who this man really is. I won't respond to the psychopaths, but I'll let them run roughshod over my blog. The world can see the man that incited death threats to an elderly hunter and picked fights with any business or individual that seemed like a good target. Then they can watch him attack me, through his fans. And when he is done with me he will come for you. Just wait. Don't think it will happen to you? I never did, either. But here we are.
NOTE: I am no longer taking comments on this post or defending my position. Since the “Spilling the Tea” video Abby’s owner put out I have been inundated with hundreds of comments to my blog and social media as well as by phone and email. Many were kind and supportive but many most definitely were not. I have been called every name in the book and even been told to kill myself. I have been threatened and harassed relentlessly. I have also had countless people try to argue with me and convince me that I am wrong or must not have watched the videos. In fact I did watch them several times, and I know a lot of background information that the viewers don’t know and I can’t share for legal reasons or because I’m protecting the privacy of certain people.
I also know perfectly well how to use quotation marks but was trying to put emphasis on certain important points. More like “air quotes”. But since that bothered a lot of you I fixed that. The ones I left are actual quotes.
Another thing the fans keep insisting is that I started all this. That is 100% false. This was started by Abby’s owner with the “Our Puppy Had Surgery” and it progressed from there. Go read the comments in that video if you don’t believe me. The fans had some really choice things to say about me and their leader let them do it. That was the point of the video and with each video after that he continued to push his narrative that I had somehow cheated him and that Abby was badly bred. (An insult to any breeder.) I truly tried to ignore it and wait for things to settle down but there came a point when I could no longer do that. That point was the video in which Abby’s owner called me a puppy mill and placed “Failure” next to her photo. I know it was clickbait, but it was not ok with me for him to do that, and I spoke up.
The fans keep insisting that Abby’s owner has a right to his opinion and a right to share his opinion, while simultaneously saying I do not have the same right. That double standard is ridiculous. I have the same right to free speech that Abby’s owner does. Just because some people don’t like what I have to say that doesn’t mean I should not say what I feel needs to be said.
I let the fans have their way with my blog and social media accounts for a while just so the world could see what he unleashed on me, but I’m not going to let that trash ruin things for everyone else so I deleted all the garbage. After taking screenshots, of course.
I have spent a lot of time defending myself to his fans, trying to explain my position to the people who disagree with me and want to defend their star. Obviously I’m not going to change anyone’s mind and I am done trying to do so. People just keep asking me questions I’ve already answered and arguing the same arguments over and over. It’s not helping anyone: not me, not Abby, not her owner and not her fans. It’s pointless and we all have better things to do with our time. At least I do. So as of now we will just have to agree to disagree. If you have kind or constructive things to say you’re welcome to contact me privately. I’ll be happy to discuss the matter with polite people. But if you just want to argue or be nasty I will delete your comments and block you. I’m done letting hateful people ruin things for everyone else.
Some people are claiming that I offered to "make restitution" to Abby's owner. That is NOT what I did. I offered to BUY HER BACK. I did this because I truly felt that Abby was not a good match for his farm and because he was unhappy with her. It was an extremely generous offer. He could have taken the money and bought a dog that wouldn't frustrate him so much, and she would have been able to be placed in a setting more suited to her. He came back and asked me to pay him $4000 and let him keep Abby. How was that supposed to help him or her?
And why, if he and so many of his fans keep insisting she "doesn't have the genetics" to be a poultry guardian, wouldn't he take me up on my offer? If it's because he loves her then I can understand that. But the constant videos where he clearly expresses his frustration tell a different story to me. I know he said she's "not really" all those mean words. But I don't buy that he doesn't think it and that he's not making her out to be just the failure he says she "really not". After all, he told his fans "don't go attack the breeder" and yet, here you all are.
A few people have commented that it's "not a big deal" that Abby's owner called me a Puppy Mill, or that "that's just his opinion. I'm not sure you understand the gravity of saying something like that to ANY breeder. It's the highest insult you can possibly hurl at a breeder. Puppy mills are real and they are horrible. The abuse and mistreat dogs and every single one should be shut down. But what makes a puppy mill is not how many puppies a breeder produces. It's how they treat their dogs, as well as the quality of those dogs. So to call a breeder a puppy mill is, quite frankly, "fighting words" with any breeder.
But I am not just ANY breeder. I am a MSCA Code of Ethics breeder. I voluntarily signed a pledge to hold myself to the highest standards in the MSCA. I get a special listing on the MSCA website, with the other COE breeders. I agree to meet certain standards on all my dogs, including health testing, conformation and temperaments. I agree to use a contract and to take my puppies back at any time in their lives - forever. That means my puppies will never end up in a rescue situation because they have a home here, for life. Currently there are 21 breeders listed on the MSCA website. There are only 7 Code of Ethics breeders. I am one of seven.
I own dogs from the best breeding programs in the USA and Italy. All of my American dogs were bred by myself or other Code of Ethics breeders. My Italian imported dog was bred by the VP of the Italian Maremma registry and one of the best kennels in Europe. All of my registered Maremmas of breeding age have had PennHip exams to screen for hip dysplasia, with scores that well exceed the MSCA Code of Ethics requirements. They have also been DNA tested to screen for genetic defects. All of my Maremma are proven working LGD's with excellent temperaments and conformation.
I am an experienced trainer of LGD's who has taken many courses on Positive Reinforcement training and dog breeding. I breed dairy goats and own a variety of livestock. I understand what makes a good LGD and how to train puppies to turn into great LGD's. All of my dogs live with and actively guard livestock 24/7 and always work with at least one other dog.
I have a climate controlled dedicated Puppy whelping facility with a puppy incubator and oxygen unit, a full sized dog grooming tub and electric grooming table and two whelping suites with indoor/outdoor access to the pasture. I also have a second, fully equipped dog grooming parlor with tub, table and all the grooming equipment. I have a mobile veterinarian on call 24/7 who visits my farm on a regular basis and works with me to keep my dogs healthy.
I hand feed every dog and puppy I own every day, spending time with them individually, training them, grooming them, petting them and giving them lots of attention. Every one of them is happy to see me and happy with their lives. I love my dogs and they love me. And they have a wonderful life. So for someone to even hint that I'm a Puppy Mill, that is the most ignorant statement anyone could possibly make. And if you believe ANYTHING else a man who said that has to say, then I have a bridge to sell you.
Click to Learn More About the MSCA Code of Ethics:
Raven asked some good questions and I am having trouble commenting on my own blog, so I am just going to try to address them in separate posts. If I forget something please let me know.
As to the registration of the male dog I need to explain that a bit. I believe his dog is at least three years old, correct? He states that he hasn't gotten around to registering him yet. You should know that it's customary for breeders to give the new puppy owners a registration application when they buy their pups, or soon after. There is also a form the breeder fills out with the info for each puppy and owner. The breeder send this form in to MSCA and the buyer sends their form in, or some breeders send the puppy application in for their client. As I said, this is usually done at pick up or soon after, not when the dog is 3 years old.
Abby's owner states that he's "working with the MSCA" to get his male registered. The MSCA can't register the dog without the breeder's permission. How do I know this? Because I bought my first Maremma, Olaf, from a MSCA breeder who didn't register the litter. The puppies were eligible for registration, the breeder just didn't want to bother. I did later contact the MSCA to see if they could help me get Olaf registered. They told me that unless the breeder was willing to help me there was nothing they could do. Period. I finally gave up trying to get Olaf registered and bought a registered male dog.
I was told by a very reliable source that the male dog can't be registered because there was something fishy about the parentage on the dog. The daddy ain't the daddy, I was told. But I don't have proof of that.
But the fact is if the breeder of the male dog never gave Abby's owner a registration application there's nothing the MSCA can do. They can't register a litter or a dog without the breeder's permission. And if the breeder had ever given him a registration application he would know it. I do know he reached out to the former BOD member of the MSCA, or actually she reached out to him. I know because she told me. And it appears that, just like I have been saying, she was not able to help him. That person is no longer on the BOD, nor are 4 other BOD members he was "working with". And I'm pretty sure the new board isn't going to be willing or able to help him. Only the breeder can and I haven't seen her weighing in on this subject. But someone could ask him why he didn't receive a registration application when he bought his dog.
This was in March when a BOD member "reached out to him", to help him get his dog registered. So why is it August and the dog is still not registered?
I'm really not trying to ignore polite people with legitimate questions. I'm just not used to having so many comments on my blog. I already don't have enough time to devote to this and I am having a lot of trouble navigating the comments. It doesn't always seem to work. So Sometimes it might be easier just to make a new short post on a topic someone asked about. I'll try to reply when I can, but if I don't I'm sorry. That's to polite people, of course. I am ignoring the rude people.
I have been getting a lot of criticism from people because my animals "live on dirt". I would just like to explain to you all that farming doesn't look the same in California as it looks in Vermont, Virginia or pretty much most of the rest of the country and if you are expecting my farm to look like yours and judging me because it doesn't you are both ignorant and cruel.
I live in the Central Valley of California. This is where most of the food in the country is grown, all watered by a huge irrigation system. Back when we first moved here (I'm from Tennessee and my husband is from Maryland) it used to rain only in the winter. We had two seasons. Dirt and Mud. But for about a decade we have been in a severe drought. We get almost no rain and very little snowfall. The snow is what our irrigation systems run on. We have been in such a severe drought for so long that wells are drying up, mature trees are dying and farms are closing. New housing developments are not even allowed to put in lawns in some areas. Only rock gardens and drought tolerant plants. Or fake grass. In some areas entire towns have dried up. On our farm alone we have lost 30-40 mature trees. They just died and fell down or had to be cut down. Almost all of my neighbors and friends have had to put in new wells, because their wells dried up. We are just waiting for it to be our turn.
So why do my animals "live on dirt"? Because there's no water to make grass grow. There's no rain and not enough water to irrigate such luxuries as grass. Even our small lawn struggles to make it. I buy every bite my horses and goats eat, in the form of alfalfa and other hay. This costs me over $2000 a month and it's getting harder and harder to even find, much less afford.
I love grass, rain and trees. Unfortunately those are luxuries I can't have, at least not enough of. So why do I stay in such an ugly, brown dust bowl, you ask? My family. My husband served 40 years in the Navy. We had 6 kids during that career and we spent the last part of his tour here, in the dust bowl. And our children grew up, settled down, got married and had kids. We now have 12 grandkids and they all live in California. We did move back east for a time. Bought a farm in Virginia, where we had all the grass, rain and trees we wanted. But we left half of our family here, in the dust bowl. And with it we left our hearts. So we moved back here. We gave up our 12 acres of green grass in Virginia and willingly moved to the ugliest place on earth. Because though we love grass, trees and rain, we love our family more. So if you want to criticize me because my animals "live on dirt" and everything I own is coated with a thick layer of dust you go right ahead. I know what really matters. And I know farms shouldn't be judged on such silly things are whether they are made of grass or dirt.
Below is the letter where I informed Abby's owner about the hernias. I spent quite a bit of time explaining everything to him, telling him I didn't think they were genetic but of course, I couldn't know that for sure. I explained that if they were genetic that might mean they could be passed on to any future puppies, but no one could say for sure. I explained that some people don't think hernias are a concern and others very clearly do. I told him I don't have a strong opinion, either way, but would prefer to avoid them if I could. But at the same time I feel other traits (temperament, conformation, good hips, etc) are much more important.
And most importantly, I told him he needed to do his own research and decide. He came back to me 4 days later and told me he had been "thinking long and hard" and that the "dog personality" was the "most important trait" to him. When he said this, after 4 days, I assumed he had actually done the research I told him to do. But he later claimed that he "did research" long after he took Abby home. So why didn't he do his research when I told him to? He is not taking responsibility for his own choices and that's not fair. This is a man who does research on EVERYTHING and he couldn't get this right? I thought I was dealing with an intelligent, responsible adult who could be trusted to do his own research and make his own decisions and didn't feel the need to treat him like a baby. I honestly told a friend of mine that I was proud of him for making a wise decision. Dumb me. I must have sucker written on my forehead.
If people want to believe I set out to cheat this man I really can't help them. I had absolutely NOTHING to gain by him taking Abby. I had FIVE puppies without hernias he could have taken. I( only gave him all the choices out of the generosity of my heart. I don't usually let customers choose their puppies but I wanted him to be happy. Not only did I let him choose, I offered my pick puppy. I could have easily assigned him the puppy without the hernia from that litter and kept Abby, but the other puppy was not the best puppy in temperament or conformation. I felt if I withheld Abby, who was the pick puppy, I would have been selfish, and i was worried he wouldn't like the other puppy as much. And it was very important to me to be extra generous with this man and to give him as much control as possible. So I gave him the choice of five puppies, including the best from that litter. And he chose the best puppy. I gave him a gift I never give anyone and he repaid that gift with hate.
Author Hi I'm Kim. I love all animals but goats and dogs are my favorites so I built a business around them, breeding miniature dairy goats and Maremma Sheepdogs. I love sharing my passion and knowelege of these amazing creatures with others.