It was springtime 1997, and I was six years old. We had visited some friends in the hills of Virginia, and were coming home with a puppy! Talk about excitement! We had been raised with dogs, but they had been full-grown.
Our puppy’s name was Miriam Matzah. We got her at the time of the feast of Passover, and named her “Miriam” after Moses’ sister, and “Matzah” after the unleavened bread that is eaten at Passover! She was an AKC registered, female, yellow Labrador. I can still remember how excited we were! My brother (age four) and I were sitting in the back of the van, with Miriam in a box of wood chips. At one point, she decided to jump out of the box, spilling the chips, and we were horrified!
We bought Miriam with the goal of raising puppies. A year later, she had her first litter. We found that the puppy business was quite profitable. My father would joke that my mother sometimes made more money in a day than he did! From then on, we gradually expanded our business, until we had four females at one point. They were classified as yellow Labs, but were actually very white, and that seemed to make the puppies more valuable.
Shortly before our family moved to Israel, we got rid of all our dogs. About a year and a half after our return, my parents allowed my brother to get a male, yellow Lab that some friends had offered us. Once we had “Moshe”, I started shopping around for a female Lab. I was eager to get back into the puppy business. After looking for quite awhile, the Heavenly Father provided the perfect dog, who went into heat and was bred within a couple weeks of my purchasing her. Good start!
That was in February 2009. At the time of this writing, we now have ten dogs. They all are family pets, and they all are money-making canines.
The purpose for my writing this article was not to give you a detailed history of our dogs, but rather to share some of my experience with starting a home business. As young ladies who believe that we should remain in our parents’ home until marriage, the question inevitably comes; “What do I do now?” Many of us stay busy being a daughter and sister, and that is indeed the highest calling that we can fulfill at this time in our lives. If you are looking to begin a home business though, you may want to pray about dog- breeding. In studying Proverbs 31, it is obvious to see that she created income from her home! I am glad to be able to do the same thing, with my parents’ blessing and approval.
At Happy Hill Pups, we are offering four different breeds of dogs. First and foremost, Labrador Retrievers!
We also raise Beagliers, Cavachons, and our newest arrivals … the Coton de Tulear. I love raising puppies! It’s not always easy or pleasant, but it’s so rewarding. In our experience, people have often waited awhile, trying to find the particular dog that is right for them, and are so happy and grateful for the puppies that we raise. We enjoy seeing the puppies go to good homes with people that really take good care of them.
The Heavenly Father has blessed us incredibly in our business. We have known numerous people who have tried to get into the dog-breeding business, and it has been an utter failure. One family in particular invested thousands of dollars in trying to get set up, and it did not go well at all. The only reason that we have succeeded, has been because of the blessing of the Heavenly Father. If you are planning to raise puppies, I would encourage you to seriously pray and seek the Father. Don’t just jump in … it could be disastrous!
I found dog-breeding to be a much larger responsibility than I had expected. When my parents were raising dogs, they took care of the responsibility, and we children got to play with roly-poly pups, and feed them or clean their pens when we were directed too! I’ve quickly discovered that dog-breeding involves a lot more than just having fun with the puppies, and I discovered prayer to be an essential.
With my first litter, I had an experience that strengthened my faith incredibly. There were eight puppies in the litter, and by the time they were seven weeks old, I had only sold one. That was highly unusual. I lowered the price and prayed for buyers to come.
Our family observes the seventh day Sabbath, in accordance with the fourth commandment and a number of other passages. Part of observing the Sabbath, for our family, is the resolution not to buy or sell, as we believe that we are not to obtain provisions on that day. When we have puppies for sale, I normally change the message on our answering machine, specifying that if someone is calling about a puppy, to please leave their name and number and I will get back with them as soon as possible.
The Sabbath after I lowered the price for the puppies, I forgot to change the message. A man named Charles W— called about a puppy, and my parents suggested that I call him back to let him know that I would be available the following day, and then change the message! I reached his voicemail, and was grateful because that way I would not be asked to discuss the puppies. I left a message saying that I would be available the following day, and he was welcome to come out and look at the puppies. Mr. W— called back later that day, but I screened the call and waited until Sabbath was over to talk business. When I returned his call, I left another voicemail, and figured that he would return the call and come out the following day.
I didn’t hear anything from Mr. W—. By Monday or Tuesday, I was feeling kind of stressed. So I prayed, and my prayer went something like this; “Father, I really want to sell these puppies. They are nearly eight weeks old, and I’ve already lowered the price. You’ve said that You will honor those who honor You (1Samuel 2:30), and I’ve honored You. I could have taken the call from Mr. W—‘ on Sabbath, but I chose to honor Your Word instead. Please honor me and send buyers for these puppies!”
By Thursday morning, I had three puppies still available, and they were eight weeks old. I received a call that morning, and the name on the caller ID was something like Seth Homayoon. The man (whom I suspected must be Mr. Homayoon) told me that he and his wife were interested in a puppy, and would like to come out that afternoon to pick one out. Perfectly fine with me! A bit later, he called back and said that his father-in-law wanted a puppy too, and so they would like to get two when they come, if possible. Absolutely!
That afternoon, a vehicle pulled up in our driveway … a man stepped out and said something like; “Hi, I’m Charles W—. I spoke with you on the phone earlier today about getting two puppies. This is my wife …” as he went on to introduce his wife, I was shocked. Charles W—? I have no clue what connection Charles W— had to Seth Homayoon! I can only try to express my excitement when they picked out not only two puppies, but Mrs. W—‘ sister and husband (who had come along for the ride) took home a puppy as well. My three puppies were sold! I was thrilled! That has never happened in our history of selling puppies.
The following morning, I was talking with my mother about the incident. She said; “Do you see how YHWH honored you? You honored Him by not doing business on Sabbath, and He honored you by selling those three puppies.”
The funny thing was, I had forgotten all about my prayer! Until she said that, I had totally forgotten that I had prayed, and asked Him to honor me for honoring Him!
With my second and third litters, I think I have relaxed a good bit! I have learned time and time again that everything is in His control. My father will often say, when we’re facing a difficult situation; “This one didn’t take our Heavenly Father by surprise! He didn’t fall off of His throne today, and forget about us!” It’s so simple … and so profound. We believe that He has the “whole world in His hands”, and if that is true, then He has my puppies under control. If He sees every sparrow that falls to the ground, then I’m sure He knows all about these puppies that He has blessed me with! What a relief it is to turn to Him with every little difficulty.
My second litter of Labradors was ready to sell this past January. We sometimes had difficulty selling puppies at that time of they year, so I prayed that each of the puppies would sell quickly and for the price that I was asking. It happened! They were all gone by the time they were seven weeks old, and I received my asking price for each of them.
I’ve lost track of how many answered prayers I’ve seen in regards to our puppy business. Often it’s something simple. Maybe someone has said that they are sending a deposit, and I haven’t heard anything. I pray and ask that I would hear from them. Other times it may have something to do with the health of the puppies. On one occasion, I saw signs of the puppies having upset stomachs, and immediately began to worry about parvo. Parvo is a very bad word in the ears of a breeder! But then I realized, why worry when I can pray?
Whether or not it was the beginning of parvo, I do not know. I just know that all the signs disappeared, and I had a pen of healthy, happy, playful puppies.
At this point in time, we have been blessed with ten dogs. We hardly pursued obtaining any of them. It is as if the Father just put them in our laps! Labradors celebrated their nineteenth consecutive year as the most popular purebred dog in the States, in 2009. We have always liked our Labs, and think that they are the best dogs in the world! The Cavachons, Cotons, and Beagliers are rare breeds here in the States, and are expensive. We have been very blessed that the Father has provided these dogs for us.
If you are looking for an entrepreneurial endeavor, and have some time and money to invest, I would recommend that you pray about dog-breeding. It’s not always a bed of roses, but can be oh so rewarding!
In concluding, I want to recommend caution. In the Scriptures, we find many warnings about trusting in riches. It is too easy to be consumed with “making money”. If it is your desire to create some income from home, remember that the Heavenly Father blesses us with riches, so that we can bless others. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re supposed to give away all of our income (though we should be willing to do so, if He instructs us to). Rather it means that we need to be focused on Him, and what he wants us to do with it. We should never get so caught up in a money-making venture, that we neglect our duties in fulfilling the role that the Father has given us. May we always remember that as we seek to be a Proverbs 31 woman. May we remember that “favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that fears YHWH, she shall be praised”.