Tuesday, February 4, 2014

From Karlen's Closet to Karlen's Garden

     I once ran a women’s clothing store and I was lousy at it. Main reason? I loved the merchandise and went to market with me in mind. My attitude going in was “Oh that’s cute. If it doesn’t sell, I’ll wear it myself,” which for anyone who knows anything about women’s clothing and retail knows this is the #1 way to be out of business fast. My dad used to say I was going to be the best dressed girl in bankruptcy court. Fortunately I shut ‘er down before we got that far, but he was right. I would’ve had any number of cute outfits to choose from had it come to that.

     Was talking with a fellow writer last week... I asked how he kept from taking on projects that didn’t excite. (Unlike me with cookbooks, my friend takes on various assignments, meaning he ghostwrites, has several successful biographies to his credit, covers the music industry….that sort of thing.) His answer: I up my price.  Seemed a good strategy, after all, writers have to eat too, and like any profession until you get going, it can be tempting to take any and all paying gigs if it means you’re writing. But I get what he was saying. If the passion’s not there, you might as well ask big, cause you obviously don’t care if you get the job or not. But if it pays off your car, well…you could justify that for a little while anyway. (Fortunately for my friend, he’s got a waiting list of folks wanting his talents so his car is paid for.)

     I thought about our conversation this morning when someone FB’d to ask what I was selling the puppies for. For the record, I decided to breed Rosey for two reasons: 1) her temperament is so unique, I wanted to clone her...But since that wasn’t an option, allowing her 1 litter of pups was the next best thing; 2) I had at least 3 farmer friends whose working Pyrs were aging. Making her offspring available to those I love looking to replace their own working farm dogs seemed a reasonable proposition, ‘cause Lord knows, I’m not making a dime off any goats for fear someone might eat one.

     But when I looked around this morning at the batch of pups she’s hatched…
     When I got down on my knees as I do about 20 times a day, to have puppies crawling all over me, sucking on my nose, my earlobes, my fingers…
     When I fell into a sea of white fluff, their little tails wagging and their little chunky legs wobbling all over me, the floor, each other…I realized I’m no wiser than I was back when trying to run a clothing store…if anything, I’m worse, cause these are living, breathing, adorable angels with fur. To say I’m in love with the inventory would be an understatement.

     With three of the seven pups spoken for before they were even born, it’s starting to dawn on me I’ve got more than enough people now, wanting the rest, which means I’ve got about 2 more weeks of this bliss…and then what? A silent basement? No puppies to come home to? No cute little wobbly things to cuddle, coddle and cradle?

     Going rate for a purebred Pyr with no AKC papers ranges anywhere from $250 - $500 in these parts. Given vet bills, food costs and the like, I’ve priced Rosey’s at $300, though I’m now rethinking that proposition.

     For those of you who’ve left deposits, your price remains the same. For the rest of you, I’m thinking -- $5,000 a pup?

     (I am, of course, kidding. Much as I’m gonna miss these little buggers, I am looking forward to having Rosey back to myself and TJ looks forward to having his sister back on duty watching the goats.) Still and so, what a journey this has been.  If I had to put a price tag on the many “now” moments I’ve been blessed with these past 4 weeks, it would, without a doubt, prove priceless.

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