In the Dog House: My Life Living Among 32 Dogs (Student Blog Series)


To call Laurel Springs School sophomore Olivia F. an animal enthusiast would be an understatement. In her latest blog, she details what it's like to live with the many doggie friends that live on her family's property.

Two Standard Poodles, four German Shepherds, and twenty-six German Shepherd puppies.

That’s a lot of dogs.

To be fair, only one Poodle and two German Shepherds live in my house. The other Poodle lives at my grandma’s house (which is located about ten feet away from my family’s home). Two of the German Shepherds and all of the puppies live outside, going back and forth between our yard and the family kennel.

My family operates a German Shepherd breeding program called Trusted Guardan German Shepherds. It’s important to differentiate between an ethical breeding business and what is known as a puppy mill – there is a huge difference.

A puppy mill is an inhumane, large-scale commercial dog breeding business run by those who are interested in making a profit and who do not care about the well-being of the dogs. Our family loves our dogs and play with each and every one of them (including the puppies) every single day. We built a dog kennel for our dogs so that they would have a great living space. It has heating and air conditioning, dog beds, a huge backyard, a grooming table, washer/dryer, and more.

A lot of my friends ask me what it’s like to have so many dogs around, especially puppies. I give them all the same answer: it’s awesome!

Petting dogs, especially puppies, is really relaxing. How can you be stressed if there’s a puppy licking your chin? They make you laugh and forget all your worries. Unsurprisingly, the puppies have also helped me make friends (if someone invited you over to be smothered with puppies, wouldn’t you accept?).

After one of our recent litters was born, I discovered the most adorable thing in the world: puppies wearing hats. If you tell me that the puppy wearing a cowboy hat is not the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen, then you've probably never seen one (though I suppose I’m a little biased).

There are some cons to having so many dogs around. Taking care of 32 dogs is a lot of work. As you can imagine, puppies go to the bathroom an unbelievable number of times in a day, so we’re constantly cleaning up after them. They tend to enjoy rolling around where they used the bathroom, so we have to wash them often as well. A lot of my weekend is spent helping my parents take care of the puppies. To be fair, my parents do most of the work.

People often ask me how I can stand to devote so much time and love to these little guys and then let them go. I’ll admit, giving up puppies when they’re eight weeks old is difficult. However, it helps when families send photos of the dogs enjoying their new homes.

So, is it worth it? Definitely! I love animals, especially dogs. I love the idea that, at any given moment, I can be surrounded by a thousand puppies.

If you’d like to see more photos or are interested in our dogs, please visit our website!

Olivia Franse
Hey, y’all. I’m a sophomore at Laurel Springs this year. This is my 7th year at LSS and my 2nd year as a Student Blogger. I live on a farm near Orlando, Florida. I love traveling and spend part of the year at my house in a Belize, a country near Guatemala. I love writing and have written poetry, short stories, I’m working on a novel, and I also write blog written from the point of view of my cat. In addition, I run an Instagram page for my cat and social media for my parents’ business. I am currently in the National Honors Society, Debate Club, Creative Writing/Photography Club, and Mock Trial Club with Laurel Springs.

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