Sep 07, 2009 - 1 Comments - Off Topic -

‘So where did you get your dogs?’

Pong Pong as a Baby

(Pong Pong as a Baby)

I was walking the dogs the other day and an old man came up to me and inquired about my dogs. He started off with introducing himself as a dog sitter and knew my dogs are of ‘japanese’ breed immediately. Then he went onto the inevitable question,  “Did you buy or adopt them? And how much?” I sputtered and answered honestly: I bought my dogs and they were about 500 per. He didn’t give me a shameful glare as most dog lovers would and just said, “they are definitely worth every penny.”

I still felt guilty about it after wards, thinking how irresponsible of me to buy a dog when there’s plenty in the shelter. It led me back to the beginning of it all.

During my sophmore year in college, I wanted to help homeless dogs. I volunteered at my local shelter (which I have to admit, was a bore because we basically were waving around a tin can and using a dog as a money magnet) and did tons of dog transport runs. After I returned home for the summer, I realize I want a dog. I NEED a dog. A dog would make me exercise, and I would have something to do (lame excuses I know). I got in contact with a woman from a Jindo rescue (they were my favs at the time) and she recommended that I start out small, like a pug. I can try fostering a pug since they were easy to adopt out and I would have my first experience with a cute cuddly dog.

I never followed through the fostering but I did transport two of the most ADORABLE Jindos down the North Carolina to a foster family. Sadly, that did not work out since they absolutely hated strangers. That’s a Jindo for you.. I wish I was able to keep them at the time, but being a college student and basically a liability, the rescuer made the right choice to adopt them out elsewhere. I was still determined to get a dog, but I realize that rescues were picky. If I couldn’t even foster dogs, how the hell are they going to let me adopt one? My situation at the time sucked for a dog. Both of my parents worked, and I had school and work. Who would take care a dog?!

My pig headedness refused to believe I wasn’t capable. I instead got Pong Pong a couple of months into the summer from a breeder in Pennsylvania (Amish, probably a Backyard breeder) and ‘surprised’ my parents with her. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always discussed with my parents that I wanted a dog and when I was getting her. I just didn’t tell them when. They backed me up on my decision when I brought Pong Pong home and loved her ever since.

No doubt most of Pongy’s upraising from puppyhood was from my parents due to the fact that I was at school and working and they had the freedom of bringing her to their office. They potty-trained her, fed her, and took her on walks when I couldn’t. I took her to puppy class, got her expensive food, and did what I could to be part of her life. Without my parents, I definitely would’ve done a poor job on Pong.

Was it selfish of me to do that? Knowing all I had known? It wasn’t like I wasn’t aware of backyard breeders or that there was tons of dogs in the pound, that need a home. Was it the fact that I didn’t want to feel rejected when the shelter or rescue declined my application? I don’t know.

There was one instance where my parents and I went to see a husky to adopt. She was a beautiful red husky but my parents wasn’t very fond. The rescuer/shelter did have hesitation but we never went through with it due to my parents misgivings. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the opportunities I just.. I don’t know. Maybe I was being selfish and wanted a puppy of my own.

I don’t regret getting Pong Pong. I love her tons and would’ve hate to see her go to a lesser family or even become a breeding female herself. But there are times where I do feel guilty about not adopting. Even my situation now (got a 9-5 job, living in a house with a backyard), would not qualify me as a good adopter. I’m barely home during the day (thankfully my housemates who are takes good care of the dogs but I truly would not want to add another burden on them) and I’m not always the best at taking them for walks.

I guess my whole point is, when will I stop feeling ashamed of the fact that I bought my dogs? I wouldn’t trade them for anything and I definitely try not to be a hypocrite and lecture people about buying puppy mill dogs. If they ask me for my opinion, I obviously will educate them about how bad they are but when they turn the question around and ask, “where did you get your dogs?” what am I supposed to say?

One Response to ‘So where did you get your dogs?’

  1. Josh

    We went through the same thing when we were getting our shiba. We read up a lot on the breed, knew we would be dedicated to taking care of it, and did a ton of research. We found a shiba rescue group in NY, and submitted our info. We never heard back from them.

    We almost managed to adopt a shiba from a regular shelter, but was a day or so late and he found another home.

    I don’t know how shelters work / think, but I think it’s silly how strict they can be. We obviuosly are good doggy-parents (Shio is pretty darn well cared for)…

    But don’t feel bad. As long as you care for your shibas (which you seem to do just fine of) then you have done your duty as doggy-parent! Who cares what others say?

    13 Sep 2009 - Reply

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