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TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY,
(Part One in a Series)
is the first of many such articles I do hope! So, I want us to
become friends. My name is “DOVE”. Yep, just like the soap, ice
cream bar, candy, and of course the bird. As I ramble along in
writing these columns, I would feel honored if you would consider this
YOUR column. I am writing to help you in any way I can, and since we
have not met yet, I of course need to hear from you with your questions,
insights, and opinions. You can email
So don’t be shy, talk to me so that we can
all be more comfortable, with providing the best environment for our four
legged loved ones, and the little two legged ones too.
where along the way, our society has lost sight of why we have pets.
We used to have the “house” dog or cat, for our companionship.
But sadly in today’s world there are those individuals that
purchase a certain type of dog because it is fashionable, or matches the
I know some of you just won’t believe that, but I have worked in
shelters, and have been told personally by the owner of the dog,
that the “reason” they brought their
dog into the shelter was because they didn’t match the living
room any more.
That is one of the many, not so good reasons that our society is
over loaded with dogs that have to be put to sleep.
Such a nice way of saying “murdered”.
So, as we begin our relationship, lets
look at why people should get, keep, and care for one of our most
loyal companions, The Dog.
I am going to start with the education
of the adults here. Why?
Because you can’t teach your children, what you yourself don’t know or
understand. And it is my
wish, that we as adults create for our society, a more enlightened
approach to the acquisition and
maintenance of our friend, the dog.
You know as well as I do that in
today’s world we are a throw away, instant gratification, society.
I swear even companies manufacture their products, so that in a
year or two, they no longer function properly, just so they can make
money, and we have an excuse to buy the latest style. But
you know what? Buying a dog
should not be like that. What
are you getting when you buy a dog?
Well, you are getting a friend for
life. That’s right. For
life. The only shame of it
is, that the dog’s life isn’t as long as ours.
But the memory will linger on of a wonderful relationship, if you
give thought to what you are willing to give, what space you have to
provide for an adequate environment for the dog, how much time you are
willing to spend with the dog, and what your expectations are about the
For example, you wouldn’t want to get
a high energy dog if you live in a one bedroom apartment, and will never
have the time to run, and play in an open area with him. And if you are buying a dog, for you’re one year old
I am going to create a list of things
that you need to consider before you even venture out to look at dogs. And,
by the way you answer the questions, you will know; 1) if you should even
buy a dog or not, 2) what type (breed) of dog to buy, 3) where to go and
buy your new family member, and 4) what you can expect from that breed.
if you are ready, I am. Let’s
get to it then.
When you consider buying a dog, you are
taking on the responsibility of a sweet, loving, giving soul, that will
give you more hours of enjoyment than you can imagine.
But it is loaded with responsibility from the start, right on
through to the end of that family member’s life.
Just as with the human baby, there will be puppy shots for
immunization, potty training, (do you work all day?), and obedience
training,. No one wants to come home to a house that is in shambles every
day. And, then, not least of
all, there is the expense of having the dog.
Are you getting a breed that is high maintenance?
Then you will have to consider the cost of groomers.
That is expensive, and depending on the breed, to ignore
professional grooming, can, and does lead to health problems.
What about medical care? Statistically
speaking, it is more
expensive to have medical care for the pet than for the child.
Veterinarian care is one the most expensive health care systems in
America. Are you
financially able to bear the cost of care should your family member, the
dog, get sick? So, sit down
and think about the responsibilities of having the dog before you rush out
to bring the loving pet home to become a family member of your household.
#2. The next consideration you must
ponder is what type of dog do you want?
Well, let’s look at it this way, what is your life style?
Are you a couch potato? Or
are you high octane? Are you
out every weekend climbing mountains, or running miles a day?
What part do you want your dog to play in your activities? Do you want a companion to go with you and share in your fun?
Or do you want a friend to cuddle with you on the couch?
Are you scared to be alone so all you really want is a security
system? It would be cheaper
for you and kinder to the dog if you get the electronic type of security. You have to remember that you are buying a living, breathing,
feeling, and giving soul. Not
a static display for what ever reason.
Do you want the dog to be a toy for your child?
Wrong again. If you
want to have a dog to grow with the child, then you will have to finish
the questions here to see what you
are getting yourself and the dog into first.
And, what type of behavior do you expect from the dog?
So, sit down and consider just what you want the dog , “for.”
Toy, security system, or “FRIEND & FAMILY MEMBER”.
#3. Where do you go to get the dog,
after you have decided that you are ready, willing and able to take on the
responsibilities of the dog? NOT
A PET SHOP! Pet shops are the
main member of society that keep the horrible “Puppy Mills” in
business. The breeding parents are kept in filthy conditions sometimes spending
years in one small cage never being taken
out even for health care reasons. They
have been found in cages with open bleeding and oozing soars from lack of
proper nutrition, living conditions and or grooming. They are bred over
and over again until they die. There
is no thought given to the welfare of the animal, only how many puppies
can they produce, thus making more money for the owner of the puppy mill.
Anyone that cares at all about animals and specifically dogs is working to
put an end to the puppy mills. One
of the best ways is to STOP buying puppies from pet stores.
Where then can you buy a dog?
Well, my first option is the humane society.
is the pure bred dog you are after, they have those too.
Just tell them what you want and if they don’t have them they
will be able to lead you to a reliable breeder.
If you decide to go to a breeder then here are some things to do.
Check to see if there have been complaints filed with the humane
society. Go to the facilities of the breeder and check it out.
Look for yourself to see if it is a clean, safe, humane, loving
environment that has brought your puppy into the world.
If not, then DON’T be talked into buying your dog there, and run,
don’t walk, to the nearest humane society and give a report on what you
When you get your dog from most humane
societies, they will have had their shots, and they will have been spayed
or neutered. We will cover
the whys and wherefores of that in our next column.
If you get your dog from a shelter, you will have the good feeling
of having saved a dog from being “murdered”.
If you feel that all of the above is
just to much trouble for you to go through just to own a dog, then believe
me, you and your family are not ready to take on any of the other
responsibilities, of having the dog as your family member.
It would be unfair to you, and most of all, totally unjust to the
I think that we have covered what you
have to think about before you buy a dog.
You are probably asking, where in the world you can find all of the
answers to these questions. There
are books on dogs. All breeds
of dogs. Talk to your humane
society and tell them what you want.
Not just the breed, tell them what you are willing to give to the
dog and what your requirements are. They
will be happy to tell you the breed that would be best for you….and
ultimately the dog.
Thought to remember; "