Dog adoption. It sounds nice, but for most of us it’s a headache. Choosing the right family is one big challenge and we face it every day. Many people didn’t really like this video. I’m guessing they were offended, so I think I should make some things clear. First of all, we almost never talk to people this way – at least I don’t. Do we have these thoughts? Yes we do. But if things are going to change some day, we are the ones who need to help the public see things in a different perspective, so we try our best to be polite.
Why are those questions and demand so annoying? I’ll try explaining what the problem is with each and every one.
Number one: A small dog for indoors
It is a common misconception that the small ones are fit for an apartment and the big ones are meant to serve as lawn ornaments or something. Here’s the thing: dogs are dogs, no matter how big or small they are, years and years of evolution made them human centered companions. Their world is their nose, and a big dog spending 15 years of his life in a back yard id as miserable as a small one peeing on the balcony and never being walked. The house is not the place where the dog should lay off steam, it’s the place where he’s meant to relax, like you do. If he gets proper exercise on a daily bases, he will be an excellent indoor pet, even if he weighs 200 pounds. When you ask a shelter for a small sized dog, we immediately picture you being a lazy person not willing to take the dog out for a walk ever. And in that case, the ideal companion might be a cat.
Number two: A puppy to teach from scratch
Who made you believe that? Who was the person who misled you that much, as to believe that big dogs can’t learn? In fact it’s the opposite. When adopting an adult dog, you pretty much know what you’re getting, and so do the shelter volunteers. They can guide you properly, inform you on the dogs needs and there will little left for you to do once you get the dog home with you. A puppy is like a closed book. You never know what’s in there – and we’re talking about the typical mix breed puppies that all shelters are packed with. You might think you can teach your puppy to be how you want it to be, but it may turn out wrong. You might imagine the ideal companion as a lazy, fluffy dog who loves to lay on your feet while you watch TV, but adopting a puppy you have no idea where it’s coming from, might mean that it turns out to be an energetic dog that needs hours of exercise every day. Instead of picking a puppy thinking you can teach it to be how you want it to be, why not choose an adult dog who already is how you want it to be?
Number three: A dog that does not shed
Seriously? That’s like asking the water not to be wet. Besides, it’s just hair, not the Ebola virus. Unless you’re allergic, nobody will ever take your demand into consideration. In fact it makes us think that the dog you adopt will end up spending its life in the back yard so you can keep your precious home clean and hair-free.
Number four: A purebred puppy
You’ll need to buy one. If you’re short of cash, and looking to get a purebred for free, that’s really not our problem. Just keep in mind that a mix breed will wag its tail, be happy to see you and become your lifetime companion, just as you imagine that your purebred will. Bragging to your friends about getting a purebred puppy for free does not make you an appropriate candidate. And asking a shelter for purebred puppies is like asking a beggar for money: there simply aren’t any.
Number five: A guard dog
So basically, you’re asking the people who rescued, nurtured, fostered and adored a dog to give him away so he can take a bullet for you? To us dogs are like children, and we do our best to see them spend their lives as family members. Would you keep your kids in the back yard so they can scare off the burglars? You wouldn’t. So what makes you thing we’ll do that to our dogs?
Number six: The white one.
This is what happens: we rescue a litter of – let’s say – five puppies. One of them is white and the rest are black. We receive dozens of calls each day for the white one and we know for a fact that the four remaining black will be spending their lives in the shelter, until someone who sees beyond color decides to adopt one of them. Make a difference for once! Don’t follow the masses. Choose the one nobody wants. Pick the black one. Calling the shelter and being the 150th person to ask for the white one simply makes us think you only care about appearance and are as shallow as can be. Visit the shelter and meet all of them. The one that makes your heart melt might be the white one, but them again it might not.
Number seven: A dog as a present for someone
No. Just no. Especially not for your kids. Not for your lonely grandma. Not for the girlfriend you want to impress. Just no. You wouldn’t even give a book to a friend who wants to give it to another friend you never met. And books aren’t living beings. Asking for a dog – a lifetime commitment – as a present makes you sound as irresponsible as a person can be. What are you, five years old?
Number eight: A dog for breeding
Interesting. You had the time to google adoption and dog shelters but never wondered where those dogs come from. Never made the connection between the number of unwanted pets in the world and the ones you’ll be bringing to the world by breeding your dog? Never thought that for every new puppy brought in this world, a shelter puppy is left out again? Never did the math calculating what will happen if every dog owner breeds his dog even once? Just google pet overpopulation and you might understand why the lady on the phone was not as polite as you expected her to be.