The article was published in the quarterly magazine Modern Molosser, which is a publication that focuses on mastiff breeding and showing. According to Lee, the word Molosser can be used interchangeably with Mastiff. The article is about three Tibetan Mastiffs that were bred by Lee and then sent to Guatemala where they live and work at an orphanage.
According to Lee’s article, the dogs serve as guardians for the children there. Lee says the area suffers from severe poverty and is recovering from a 36-year-long civil war, which has left many children orphaned. The dogs live at the orphanage with the children, spending their days playing with and guarding them. They have a therapeutic value, giving care and affection to children who are unable to get it elsewhere.
“The founder and director contacted me several years ago about getting a Tibetan Mastiff,” said Lee. “We had an upcoming litter and I picked one out for her.”
The first puppy sent to the orphanage was purchased from Lee in 2005. Since then, Lee said that she has gifted the orphanage with two more Mastiffs. Lee believes that the breed is perfect for this line of work.
“They are a large breed that is intimidating, but they are also gentle with children,” Lee said.
In her article, Lee mentions that Guatemalans are generally afraid of large dogs. She says that some people are amazed to see the small children playing with the Mastiffs.
In the spring of this year, there was a government raid of the children's home.
“It's hard to explain, but basically the [Guatemalan] government will intimidate the children's homes.” Lee explained. “They will raid them and confiscate computers and other things. There really is no rhyme or reason; they just do what they want to.”
Lee said that the director of the orphanage was in Taiwan visiting her son when the raid happened and that it was the children who put the dogs in the office to protect them from the government raiders.
“That's impressive considering two of the dogs are between 130 and 140 pounds,” Lee said.
“The people who came probably would have shot the dogs,” Lee said. “The dogs would have done their jobs and tried to protect the kids and would have undoubtedly been shot.”
Lee has been in the Polk County area for 22 years, she is originally from Marietta. She said that when she opened the Cedartown Pet Boutique almost 20 years ago it was the only business of its kind in the area. The Cedartown Pet Boutique is a pet grooming, training and boarding facility.
Lee considers herself a breed hobbyist, she breeds an occasional litter and she does a lot of "showing" where she takes the dogs to dog shows.
According to Lee, Tibetan Mastiffs are a rare breed and were just recently accepted by the American Kennel Club in 2006, but the breed is one of the oldest working breeds in the world.
Lee said that one of the challenges of breeding Tibetan Mastiffs is that they only come into estrous once a year
“So if you want to breed a litter, you have your one chance. If they don't breed you will have to wait until next year," Lee said.
She also mentioned that they are very selective of their mates. She said that she didn’t start her canine hobby with the Tibetan Mastiff, but chose it later in her career.
“I have always shown dogs since I was twelve, and I was interested in a large breed, Lee said. “I wanted a breed that was pretty and would be good guardians for my children.”
Lee said that other than the three dogs that guard the orphanage in Guatemala, she has bred several dogs that have become service and therapy dogs.
For more information on the magazine and to order a copy, visit the Modern Molosser website at www.modernmolosser.com. Lee’s article was published in the 2012 Summer/Fall issue, Volume 4, Issue 2.
The Cedartown Pet Boutique is located at 367 Piedmont Highway Cedartown, GA. The phone number is (770) 748-0518.