How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? Too Much.
If you’ve been following the recent story in the Tribune regarding the huge number of “purebred” dogs rescued from someone who might be referred to as either a “rescuer” or misguided “collector,” depending, here’s a few of my thoughts on the matter :
* No ethical, reputable dog breeder would ever, ever allow his dogs to be sold in a pet store. Never. Ever. So, now, ask yourselves, just where do pet stores get their doggies? Right. You will also very likely pay MORE for a pet-store “purebred” dog than you will pay dealing directly with an ethical, reputable breeder. So, why on earth would you want to do that??
* Ethical, reputable dog breeders always put their dogs on spay/neuter contracts and agree to either take the dog back for the life of the dog or work with the owner to get the dog properly re-homed via a recognized breed-rescue group, should the owner be unable to care for the dog. I know of no pet store that offers the same deal.
*According to an ABC World News Tonight report featuring an interview with one of the American Kennel Club’s top inspectors, at least 50% of the AKC registration “papers” sold by the AKC are phony. Worse, the AKC knows it. Even funnier, to try to avoid being jailed for massive mail fraud, the wording of the “papers” has now been finessed to the point where the paper doesn’t warrant anything about parentage, pure-bredness, health or anything else. In short, if you think that “paper” means something, you may end up paying big bucks for a spavined, genetic wreck of a dog from a filthy "puppy mill" that may or may not even be purebred, and you’ll send in additional money to the AKC for a piece of paper that may mean nothing, so don’t be blinded by the words, “AKC papers.” It guarantees and warrants nothing, not even that the dog is “purebred.” Indeed, anybody can put “AKC papers” on mutt puppies from the pound and sell them for big bucks. It’s incredibly easy.
* Before you even consider getting a dog, do you homework. A Google search on each breed of dog will turn up tons of information about that particular breed and its characteristics. Doing your homework on the front end will save you money, mo’ money and even mo’ money and heartbreak on the back end. Match your needs and temperament to the characteristics of a particular breed and you’ll end up with a win-win. Ditto for mixed breeds from adoption shelters.
* Make sure you have the time, temperament and real desire to make a dog an active part of your life for 15 years. Dogs are NOT impulse purchases, they are NOT vanity accessories, they are NOT some household accoutrement, they are NOT image aids for your missing machismo. If you like the idea of a dog without all the hassle of actually having a real dog, get a stuffed dog or a large ceramic dog to stick on your hearth. But don’t get a real dog.
The sorry fact is that too many people are guilty of Walking While Stupid when it comes to dogs. The result is millions of fine animals suffer and die needlessly every year. Consumers pay big time for this waste. The dogs pay with their lives.