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Monday, February 8, 2010

On the Mutt Soapbox

I have just a quick little opinion piece for tonight. Every so often I look down at the dogs at the other end of my leash and have a sad thought: I only walk purebred dogs. It's not that I have anything against the breeds themselves. I wouldn't personally own any of the three I currently walk (Airedale, Wirehair Fox Terrier and Whippet) but they're all great dogs. No, what bothers me most, is that they all three came from breeders, outside the state of New York. This is hard to reconcile with the fact that there are hundreds upon hundreds of dogs, right here in this very city, who may not be pure of breeding but are pure of heart.

When I walk through the shelter where I volunteer and I see the 'Pitbull Terrier Mix' next to the 'Shepherd Mix' next to the 'Lab Mix', and I see the eager faces staring back at me, tails wagging, I get very frustrated with our culture as a whole. Who decided that dogs were representations of status? They used to sleep outside on the porch, faithfully watching over their families. It didn't matter if the dog was pure or not- if he did his job, he was worth his weight in gold. So why now, when we get dogs so that we can have constant companions, do they have to have a fancy title with a hefty price tag? I'm not saying there aren't risks that come with getting a shelter dog versus a dog from a breeder. Supposedly, dogs from breeders come with proven histories of temperament and health, whereas shelter dogs come at face value. But what I am saying, is that if breed weren't so very important, we wouldn't end up with all these puppy-mill and pet store throwaways in the first place.

I'm quite sure that I'm preaching to the choir here- if you're my friend and you're reading this blog, chances are you understand where I'm coming from. But if I can convince just one person to consider adopting a $75 shelter dog instead of importing a $2,000 purebred puppy, then I will consider my life having been worth living.

3 comments:

  1. The one thing you can be 99.99% sure of when adopting a shelter dog is that s/he will love you like no other dog! If my rescue isn't within three feet of me, I don't know where she is :)

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  2. I love your blog Lisa and completely agree with you about shelter dogs. There is something so fun about not knowing what your dog will look like or act like...but knowing you have saved a life. Additionally (so I have heard), mixed breeds live longer than most purebreds...so you get even more for the cheap price of $75...and they also generally come with spay and neuter certificates!

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  3. OR you could rescue a Pure Breed dog! Papers are not guaranteed forever homes, in fact, those backyard breeders and puppymills seem to guarantee impulse buys, instant gratification, and "disposable dogs". I wish my dogs would be as healthy, robust and live as long as a pittbull terrier mix!

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