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ursulav

Aww

Dog got adopted before interview. Wonderful for him! Back to the hunt for us. (Which is mostly on hold until after Botswana anyhow, this had extenuating circumstances.)

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Is there some reason you're not getting a puppy? If you get a puppy, then the cats will raise him to be a cats' dog, and you get a happy family. This is always assuming the puppy survives the process, depending on the beneficence of your cats.

Edited at 2015-03-22 03:48 pm (UTC)

I think it's because they need an alpha-type dog to run the beagle.

Personally, I wouldn't get a puppy, and affordability isn't the main concern—considering that most puppies are purpose-bred.

There are too many perfectly adoptable adult dogs being put to death in shelters every day, and breed-rescue associations as well as sites like Petfinder exist to help people find the right dog.

Consequently, I've ended up with both perfect and near-perfect dogs—okay, my current terrier was difficult to love at first, but in the end it's been worth it. And I ended up adopting a cat after him who doesn't take any crap from dogs; that's a great thing too.

See, I am 1000% OK with getting a puppy from a responsible breeder. The best dog isn't a dog you adopted because it had the biggest sob story (otherwise, let's be honest, we'd all be adopting galgos shipped over from spain). The best dog is a dog you won't have to rehome that fits your lifestyle and makes you happy.

For some families this means the stability of getting a purebred from a breeder. Purebreds often have a more predictable personality than mixes/crosses, and purebreds obtained from a responsible breeder are going to be more predictable than a dog obtained from a rescue.

Like, I get that it's your personal preference to want dogs other than puppies. And that is OK! I prefer adult dogs to puppies myself! My own dog is a rescued greyhound! But that second paragraph comes off super shamey to people who decided that the best route to go for their home was a pup from a breeder who is doing all the right things.

Like... One day I want a borzoi. The borzoi rescue scene isn't exactly hopping because well... the borzoi scene in the US isn't exactly hopping. If I get a borzoi it'll probably be as a pup from a responsible breeder.

I wouldn't be denying a shelter dog a home by getting a borzoi, because, well. I don't want the types of dogs they have in shelters in the first place. Sighthounds very, very, rarely end up in shelters in the US. But they're also the category of dog I most enjoy and that I want to share my life with. And while I looooove greyhounds (which you basically -have- to go to a rescue if you want one because hardly anyone in the US breeds them for any purpose other than racing), I keep finding myself dreamily returning to reading about/looking at pictures of borzoi.

Like... there are perfectly good reasons to want a pup in Ursula's situation (that if you get from a good breeder that dog would come with a largely predictable personality range and you'd know exactly what health problems would be likely to come up down the road based on the parents... and that it would be much easier to guarantee cat safety). There are also good reasons to get an adult dog (mostly that you wouldn't have to put up with all of the stuff puppies do, and that the dog would likely be calmer).

I really don't like 'adopt don't shop' rhetoric. It's resulted in a climate that can be downright nasty to people who are approaching dog ownership/husbandry in a responsible way that won't end up boosting the shelter population just because they bought their dog instead of the more "noble" rescuing.

I wish LJ had a like button

THANK YOU. I am probably going to echo some of Luna's points here, but... I hope you will listen if you hear it from more than one person.

Responsible breeders don't put dogs in shelters. Purebred dogs don't "take up" space in our hearts and homes that we'd otherwise be giving to rescue dogs. And responsibly bred purebred dogs give people dogs that are good fits for them, for their homes, for their families. People who want a purebred dog are looking for something specific, and that something specific can be incredibly hard to predict in mixed or shelter dogs. (Both of whom, FYI, I've owned.) People who get dogs who are a good fit are people who do not have to rehome the dogs. Can you find a shelter dog that's a good fit? Absolutely! I am completely pro-rescue and pro-shelter adoption. But I do not believe that those things are for absolutely everyone.

But I own a show akita out of one of the most responsible, ethical kennels I've ever encountered. She is the perfect dog for me and my life. And she is not taking up a home from a shelter dog because I did a hell of a lot of homework and worked (in rescue, at shows, dogsitting) with akitas for years before deciding they were the breed for me. I did not want a shelter dog, I wanted an akita. The option for most people isn't "do I adopt a shelter dog or do I get X breed," it's, "from whom do I get X breed." People who want purebred dogs often have perfectly reasonable, responsible reasons for wanting them (although sometimes they don't, just like people who adopt shelter dogs don't always have perfectly reasonable, responsible reasons for wanting them either).

Do you know why I wanted a purebred dog? I wanted known temperament. I knew my girl's parents and knew what she'd be like from day zero; I was there when she was born. I knew I did not have the emotional or mental resources to handle a dog with a history of abuse (because I'd adopted two before and at the point in my life I was getting a dog, I knew I couldn't handle that) and I wanted the opportunity to know that she would spend her first formative weeks in a safe, loving environment and that when she came home to me I would have the opportunity to socialize her completely. She is friendly, loving, and good with children, other dogs, and cats. I needed those things because in the prospective fifteen years I will own her, I may have kids. And other dogs. And cats. And I wanted known health clearances and health tests. Everyone thinks shelter dogs are totally free of health issues because of this whole myth of "hybrid vigor." The dog with the most insane health issues I've ever owned was a pit mix. She had to have a knee replaced at age 1, and by the time she was five, the vets would look at x-rays of her hips and go, "We do not understand how this dog is walking." She was on pain medication for more than half of her life. She was on heart medication for more than half of her life due to a faulty mitral valve. Did I love her any less? No, of course not. She had a good quality of life - but she could not do things that most dogs can do, and it was incredibly hard to watch a beloved pet who stopped being able to climb stairs at age 8. She never slept in bed with me because she could not get up onto the bed, even with a ramp. I wanted a dog whose parents had hip, elbow, and patella clearances and whose line had little to no history of hip dysplasia. Those are all, for the record, completely fair things to want as a dog owner.

Also, the thing that nobody mentions - EVER - is that breed clubs work hand in hand with rescue groups. We give them time and money and a huge proportion of purebred dog people foster or work with or own rescue dogs too. I train and work with and devote huge amounts of my time (and energy and money) to rescue and to helping rescued dogs and shelter dogs. I am not an isolated case; this is true of basically everyone I know who owns and shows akitas.

I am not a worse person because I own a purebred dog. She is not a worse dog because she was carefully bred for particular traits. Please think about these things before you try to shame owners of purebred dogs for wanting what's right for them and their lifestyles. There's nothing wrong with that.

I really don't wanna deal with a puppy. Three years of frantic energy and chewing...it's mentally exhausting just thinking about it.

The shelters are full of very good adult dogs, I just have to find the right one, and while that's tiring, it's not nearly as bad as living with a baby animal. I have zero maternal instinct, I'd rather not deal with babies.

See here and here for previous mentions.

Leaving until after Botswana sounds a good idea. Less unsettling for the pooch you do finally get.

I am SO looking forward to my sainthood! No pressure, after you get back and fill the gap in your ranks is fine. I'm actually in a similar position, having had to give up the cat to the ex-boyfriend, but I won't get another cat until we get back from Disneyworld at the end of April. I'm in line for either two kittens or two senior cats, depending.

Awww indeed. I'm glad the prospective interviewee found a home, but sad that y'all didn't get a shot at being that home. The right dog and the right time will come together, but waiting is hard.

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You've described my ideal pet!

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Given that you seem to be a magnet for weird animals, shouldn't you be weighting the scales in your favor and looking for one that's already known to be deaf, epileptic, one-eyed or three-legged?

I say this only because I often succumb to surfing adoption sites looking for a deaf Sheltie/Collie in our area to add to our family.

Hey, I'm originally from Florida; I knew of an old lady two blocks over from the street where I grew up that used to feed possums regularly every evening on her back porch and who thought that they were just a family of particularly ugly raccoons. Very nice lady who grew some really gorgeous roses in her backyard; I suspect her eyesight was going, though, considering the differences in the tails of the two species.

Someday I'm going to write a story about a really lazy slob of a guy who gets bitten by a werewolf and who chooses to STAY in wolf form after being adopted by a friendly (and unsuspecting) family because hey, no laundry duties, you get to lie around and watch TV a lot so long as you stay off the couch, people give you belly-rubs if you learn how to flop on your back and wave your paws endearingly, no money worries, and the only exercise he's expected to get is playing with the family's two kids and chasing off the occasional stray cat or dog.

THAT sounds like an awesome story and I look forward to reading it!

I hope you find the right dog. 👍

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