This statement is probably one of the most-heard to puppy raisers. Honestly, it annoys me a little bit. Two things can be implied when this is said. One, I don't love my puppy enough because I can just pass him along to someone else, and two, genuine admiration for what we puppy raisers do.
We can get the former out of the way quickly. How could you not fall completely in love with a puppy that sticks to your side almost 24/7 for 18 months? I can quite confidently assure you that every puppy raiser loves their puppy so much it hurts. To be able to give them to someone who needs them, I believe, shows that you love them enough to let them go, and live the happiest and fullest lives - even if that life is away from you.
The latter is harder. You could do it too. Can I ask you a few questions? Okay, good. How often do you get to have such a cute, furry "service project" that involves every part of your life, not just a few set-aside hours per week? It is a pretty special and humbling experience. Yes, it is hard at times, but the fun far outweighs the rough. How often can you invest so much into ONE life? Pouring your love into a dog, so that they can then pour that out into someone else? It is humbling. My "standard" short answer is that someone else needs him more than I do. While I love this dog so, so much, he has the chance to make a difference in a life. And that life is of great value, so how could I not do it?
No, I have not had to turn in a puppy yet, but I can pretty much guarantee you that my heart will be shattered on August 16, 2013 when I say goodbye to my baby boy. But can I tell you a secret? That's okay. There are so many good things I could list as to why you should raise a puppy, but I am not known for dancing around with words, so I will put it bluntly: not everything we do in life is about ourselves. My happiness (or lack thereof) is not the most important thing in the world. I know Someone who has done so. much. more. for me. It is okay to be broken sometimes. It is okay to do hard things. It is great to be a part of something bigger than myself.