I want to talk to you today about a problem that America has. Recently I heard that a certain breed of dog won the Westminster Dog show…so all of a sudden the demand for that dog skyrocketed. I remember when 101 Dalmatians came out and all of a sudden everyone had to have one. We are a society that has to have the latest craze. The problem with that is when the next craze comes…the other is left behind.
I used to breed Boxers. I did it for 6 years. I had no problem finding homes for my dogs and I made a lot of money. I love Boxers and did what I could to ensure I had a market. The best way to market your dog is to show it. I got involved in showing. I got to know people. I bred to champions. I produced puppies of the highest quality. The problem with that was that while I was making money selling puppies to “good people, with good homes, ” there were shelter dogs losing their lives because there were no homes to take them in.
One day during my breeding days, I called the local animals shelter. I wanted to let them know that if they ever got any boxers in that I would be able to find them homes quickly. I asked them if they had gotten any in recently. She said no but that there were lots of other dogs that people didn’t seem to want. She asked if i could try to find some of them homes. She also informed me that she was getting at least 2-4 dogs in a week and that in the last month they had to put down over 20 dogs because they couldn’t find a home. I stopped. My jaw dropped and I quit breeding. I couldn’t believe at the number of them they were putting down and I am a small town. I can’t even imagine how it must be in NY or Chicago. Most of my pups were going to NJ. How many of mine, ended up in a shelter, or died because they weren’t what they wanted.
I ended up selling all my adult dogs to homes I hoped would keep them, and kept my original boxer named Zelya. She was a brindle and had come from an abusive home. She was the best dog ever and she lived many wonderful years here. Then she developed a nerve disorder. The lining comes off the nerves and it affects their ability to walk or control their muscles. It finally was time to put her down.
I have always had a pet of some sort in the house. I had Zelya for 12 years. I was so distraught that I didn’t know what to do. I had to have a dog to come home too after I put her down. I went to the local shelter and pleaded my case. I told them that I just wanted to look. I wasnt even sure there was one in there I would want, but I needed to look. When I got inside I saw the sweetest little dog ever! It was very hard to be happy when I knew I was going to make another appointment to end the life of my baby girl. When everything was set, I cryed and buried my baby girl and drove immediately to pick up the newest member of our family.
This is Annie. She is a far cry from a boxer, but she is ever so sweet. Her story was that she was thrown out of a van in the middle of town as they were driving. The car behind stopped and picked her up and brought her to the sheriffs department. She was paw printed and put in jail. No, lol They called the shelter and they came and got her. It turns out that the day I came to look at her was her arrival day. The next day I had taken her home. How is that for the luck of this dog! Oh and the car behind that picked her up?? My next door neighbors daughter! I had brought Annie over to meet the neighbor and her two golden retrievers. Her daughter was there and did a double take. She asked if I got the dog from the shelter and I told her yes, that she was thrown out of a van. She said, “Thats the dog I picked up!!” It was meant to be! We have had her for 4 years. She was potty trained, crate trained, new how to sit, and didn’t know how to play. Well we remedied that!
Like I said it has been 4 years and we are looking at getting another dog. Where? of course the shelter! Shelter dogs are the best. Some have had horrible lives, but others were simply thrown away because someone wanted the newest breed. Before you buy a dog from a breeder, no matter how reputable, please go look at some shelter dogs. Many are older dogs and are already housebroken. A dogs love is the same whether it is old or young, mutt or purebred. It breaks my heart that people can be so heartless. Please I beg of you not to buy a dog that is not from a shelter. If all the demand for purebred dogs left, we might be able to do away with facilities that must stay open because someone wanted something new.
FYI we did find a lovely german shepherd mix and we have named her Lacy. Here is her shelter picture. She now has a happy permanent home with us. The only problem. She really wants to “play” with the chickens and cats.
Happy Homesteading!! 😀