8 In Dog

Should I be ashamed that I didn’t adopt Kip?

Did you adopt your dog?  No?  Shame on you!

That’s what a middle-aged lady said in a joking manner with a smile on her face.  I smiled back politely and thought about it when I got home.  I thought hard.

Should I be?

Seven months ago, I bought Kip from an Australian Terrier breeder.  I suppose I should have bought him from a respectable breeder, but there were none.  Not in a 100 mile radius anyway.  There was only a brand new breeder, with a brand new litter, and I was her brand new first buyer.  But hey, I had set my sights on an Australian Terrier and I was determined to get one.  There hadn’t been any Australian Terrier’s up for adoption at that time so when I received a return call from that new breeder I pounced on the opportunity.  But even if there had been an Australian Terrier in a shelter, if I had chosen to get my puppy from a breeder, should I have been ashamed?

As bad of an owner I am, I havn’t gave up on my puppy just because he terrorized my home.  I didn’t give him up just because I couldn’t housetrain him in a carpeted apartment.  I did not put my puppy in dog fights, nor did I physically abuse him. I did not throw my puppy out on the streets.  But someone else did.  Am I responsible for their careless actions?

Let’s try a different perspective.

Let’s say you took your son or your daughter and went to a toy store.  A lady there exclaimed how cute they were, and asked if you adopted them.  You replied no.  The lady laughed and said shame on you!  Should you be at all ashamed for doing something natural, when there are after all, hundreds maybe thousands of orphans that don’t have a home?

I think that adopting an orphan takes a great amount of responsibility, but it’s also something you need a calling for.  I think that adopting a dog from a shelter, also requires some of that. I’m not trying to demote shelters.  I think that they have a wonderful cause that is highly respectable and selfless.  But I’m a new dog owner, and I didn’t grow up with a dog. It’s rough being a new owner, there is so much I don’t know.  I don’t doubt for a second that I didn’t have had the right energy or knowledge to adequately handle a dog from a shelter.  Not that I was adequately knowledgeable in getting a puppy to begin with, but I think that when someone has been through a rough experience, they have certain needs that should not be underestimated.

So, did you adopt your dog? Have you ever had the feeling when you ran across a rescue page or a rescue group and felt like you should have adopted a puppy from a shelter instead?



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  • This is seriously a pet peeve of mine. It might just deserve a blog post. NO ONE should feel ashamed of their purebred dog from a breeder. You did the responsible thing getting a dog from a breeder.

    My other pet peeve? The push for Spay/Neuter. Intact animals are not the reason there are dogs in shelters. Irresponsible dog ownership is.

    Kip is adorable, by the way!

    • Kim

      I encourage you to write about this topic. While I think adoption is a great cause, I think that if someone has already bought from a breeder, they shouldn’t have to feel guilty about it. I honestly want to spend some time in my life volunteering at a shelter, but if I’m going to be asked if I personally have adopted a dog and be judged by it… well that just ruins the good spirit.

      I had Kip neutered because it was part of my contract with my breeder. Apparently AKC has a whole separate registeration process for dogs being sold with a requirement of spay/neutering or without. But I can see where people can pressure you on that topic as well. I think you should consider spay/neuter for the health benefits, not because you want to worry about increasing the dog population in shelters. As far as I’m aware of, irresponsible ownership is the more problematic reason there are dogs in shelters.

  • Hmm, the unfortunate reality about the pet industry is that it has become such a huge profit-making machine. There are novice dog owners wanting to cash in on the business and some will breed their dogs irresponsibly. At the same time, dogs are being treated like dispensible creatures and get abandoned on the streets or surrendered to animal shelters when owners can no longer cope.

    I think the onous is on potential dog owners to play their part by doing sufficient background homework – all too often puppies are purchased on an impromptu basis and this can lead to mis-informed expectations. For me, I would very much like to see greater public education on what responsible dog ownership really means as well as a tighter clamp-down on backyard breeding, puppy mills, and pet shop puppies. Hopefully, one day soon, animals will be treated with the same amount of respect that we expect from our fellow human beings.

    Whether a dog is from a shelter or a reputable breeder, he or she ultimately deserves a loving forever home and it looks like Kip has found his perfect haven in yours!

    • Kim

      When I first heard about the puppy mills I was shocked. I really can’t understand how someone can be so cruel. I was alarmed to see that a recent investigation found stores that had in written text that they do not get their puppies from mills but from small breeders ALSO were getting their puppies from mills.

      As for doing sufficient background homework, I think that part of the problem is that while there is a lot of information available, it is hard to find the right information. I just came upon books like “The other end of the leash” ect, that promote positive training and I wish I had known about it before I got Kip. It took me a while to even find the dog blogging community.

  • 47

    This is a delicate topic, and one I have thought long and hard on. People as a whole are being brainwashed into thinking if you don’t have a rescued, sterilized animal you are not a good pet owner. “Adopt One Until There Are None.” I believe is the idea.

    This is an attempt to stop the over-crowding of our shelters, which is worthy, but by controlling a symptom of the problem— too many dogs. That’s kind of like treating a broken leg by giving someone aspirin for the pain. Even if you were given a whole lot of painkiller and no longer felt the pain, the leg would still be broken, and would still need a cast.

    We could empty the shelters, make “Rescues” non-existent (because no one needs rescued!) by brain-washing the masses into doing nothing more than being responsible for the animals in their lives.

    I don’t mean spaying or neutering or choosing the right breed. I mean socializing the animal, teaching it come, sit, down, stay. Taking the dog with you when you move. Making provisions in your will for your dog. If you should die and have no family or friends to take care of your dog…okay, I get it, a rescue is needed. One dog. Much easier than One Million Dogs, don’t you think?

    Perhaps we should start an awareness campaign, or club or something, educating people on the true meaning of responsible ownership. What do you think? Shall we take a stand?

  • 47

    And while I’m thinking about it, how about researching the breed before you just go out and buy it? I have seen way too people miserable because they chose way too much dog and then can’t control it.

    Gosh, you touched a nerve with this post. I’m going to go breathe into a paper bag for a while. >.<

    • Kim

      Hi 47! Thanks for leaving a comment on this post. It reminded me of the whole incident and made me think about what could be done to potentially help fix the problem. I probably need to gather my thoughts on it though. My only worry with gettnig rid of shelters altogether would be that those who are irresponsible would still abandon their dog somewhere on the street or a deserted area. It really is a complex issue to think about because there’s so many other issues that are tied into big mess.

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