Yesterday we got both our dogs "fixed". It's traumatic. For me, anyway.
Poor Delilah- looks up at me with those very sad hound-puppy eyes. She hurts- and yesterday she was abandoned to strangers all day. That had never happened in her world before. Today she's mostly just lying down. And looking at me.
Luckily, she had Theodore with her in the same cage all day. They are such buddies- they eat, always, from the same dish; often at the same time. In fact we got two dishes- and regularly kept them both filled. Every day, one dish would be sparkling clean; and one untouched. Then they'd start, together, on the second dish.
Delilah is just over a full year old, and mature for her age. Catahoula mom, Boxer dad. At the vet's, they told us she now weighs 47 lbs. Theodore is less than 4 months; Anatolian mom, probably Australian shepherd dad - he's 49 lbs, and a little taller than Delilah already. Both dogs are nowhere near as hard headed as you'd expect their moms to be; both are very smart and very willing.
But- we got them fixed for 2 reasons- a) the genetics of their offspring would be much less predictable than their own; and b) we want them to stay home, and not get involved in mating battles that can shorten their lives. (Oh, yeah, and c) we had to promise to fix them when we got them from the shelter. That counts. But she still looks at me.)
Genetically, they are like F1 hybrid corn- a cross between two unrelated highly inbred (homozygous) lines. Hybrid vigor is maximized in that situation. But in the next cross, unless you're a geneticist and willing to discard a lot of progeny- the hybrid vigor starts to fall apart, and the pups get unpredictable, in a lot of ways. Not what we need, either.
It's all morally confusing. Theodore is eating and wants to get into my lap. But sweet, grown up, well mannered Delilah- looks at me, all the time.