Note: The following may seem a bit judgmental and quite opinionated…and, frankly, it is. It’s an impassioned rant that comes from my heart and from my true convictions…and it’s nothing personal.
I believe in rescuing all animals. However, this discussion is just centered around dogs in particular. NO animals should be bought- there are too many out there without homes. That goes for cats, rabbits, birds and, yes, even hamsters, turtles etc. Only adopt when you are 100% sure of what is involved in the care of your animal. Don’t do these beings a disservice by bringing them out of the frying pan and then putting them right back into the fire. Don’t be part of the problem – they’ve been through enough already!
If you haven’t read about my experience with the Navajo Dog, please do. This experience only bolstered my strong opinions on rescuing dogs and not buying from breeders or pet stores. There are soooooo many dogs out there that need to be rescued. The more dogs that are bought from breeders/pet stores the more are abandoned in shelters. If there is no market for breeder dogs then people will breed less dogs – it’s really as simple as that.
1. First of all, as many of you know, many dogs from breeders and especially pet stores come from puppy mills. These dogs, many of them inbred, are much less healthy than their mixed breed counterparts. In many cases they are less intelligent too. We humans are the same way. Civilizations who have not had enough genetic diversity have many health problems….ever heard of inbreeding and the problems that arise there? It’s the same thing. One could argue that mutts are actually the healthiest and most intelligent of dogs.
2. Secondly, it is true that if you are buying a dog, you are literally condemning another dog, who has lived a life of misery, to death. Here is an opportunity to be selfless…to not be concerned with status and pedigree, but to instead, care for the DOG (or cat etc). People can be so selfish. Really think about it: Why is breed so important to you? How would you like to be passed over at a shelter because you were a mutt and not a pure bred? How shallow can you get? And if, for whatever reason, you MUST have a certain breed there STILL is no excuse. For every breed out there, there are at least several rescue leagues devoted to that particular breed. A simple internet search will put you in touch with these organizations.
3. Please don’t set your mind on a puppy. First of all, they are much more work than you can imagine. Unless you are fully committed to spending almost all of your time with them, you are doing the puppy a disservice. Crating? How would you like to be placed in a crate for hours at a time, especially as a BABY? Older dogs are much more mild mannered. It is true you may not have them as long as you would a puppy, but why not stop thinking about yourself for a change? Maybe it’s not all about you, yeah you’ll be sad…but you sure gave that old dog the best last few years of her life. How would you like it if someone didn’t want you because you were “too old”? Just something to think about.
4. Please please please, spay or neuter your pet. NO, you are not less of a man because your dog’s balls aren’t bouncing around behind him and NO your female dog will not lament that she never had puppies when she reaches middle age. Again, there are enough (MORE than enough) dogs to go around, we don’t need to breed them. For females, spaying is actually very beneficial to their health. Having babies actually places a tremendous toll on their bodies and they are generally better off without having to give birth.
5. Please don’t get a dog unless you realllllly know what is involved. Right now, we don’t have a dog. We love dogs and I would LOVE to share my home with one. But we know that we don’t have the right amount of SPACE or TIME to give to the dog in order to provide it with a Good Life. You will NOT be able to travel as much! There will be times when you can’t go out because you have to take care of your dog! This is OK! Sacrifice is GOOD if you are willing to make it. People these days don’t make enough sacrifices. Be selfless…Be prepared…Do your research…You will be glad and so will your new friend. Be a smart and responsible dog owner. And if you can’t be a good owner now, maybe you will be in the future. Instant gratification isn’t always a good thing, in fact it usually isn’t a good thing. Dogs are like guns, if you need one RIGHT NOW, then your priorities are probably not in the right place.
Life as a Dog
How would you like it is you could only pee twice a day….and not when you wanted/needed to, only when someone else allows you to. And if you realllly had to go (know that feeling? It’s awful!) and you just couldn’t hold it in any more you are punished. If you are really unlucky, you are hit or forced into solitude in your crate and you don’t understand why. You are a pack animal and yet you are alone most of your day while your owner is at work. This makes you feel vulnerable and scared. In the wild, your ancestors would stay together and work as a team to stay safe.
On walks, just when you find the perfect place to pee, or find a really amazing smell, you are yanked by your neck. How would YOU like to be choked around by your neck? We are out of the stone ages: buy a harness or a gentle leader collar (and invest in some training lessons while you’re at it!). Here is your one opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and you are kept moving the entire time. And when your owner takes you out to the park on a really hot day, doesn’t it suck when they sit there drinking their ice cold Evian and offer you no water?
Really I could go on and on…bottom line: People need to be more caring, responsible and thoughtful towards their dogs. A little bit of putting themselves in their dogs shoes will go a looong way. Hopefully.
And if all of that wasn’t enough…watch this (*Note* This isn’t my video, but it is one that has deeply touched my heart)