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?