Doggone Few Options
The last thing I want to be is “that guy” who corners innocent bystanders and forces them to look at 32 gigs worth of iPhone photos of his kids or grandkids. Or new puppy. That said, if you can stand one more column about our new dog, I promise it will be the last one this year. Or at least for several months. Or maybe weeks.
Anyway, since announcing on this page last week that we finally have a new puppy at our house, I’ve been a little surprised at the reaction of some folks when they find out we got our furry little guy from a breeder. You’d think I was smoking a fat cigar in a room full of children while double-bagging groceries with both paper and plastic bags! The palpable disdain is like a bad stench in a hot, closed room. I’ve looked up more upturned noses lately than a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills.
Last week at our puppy’s first visit to the doggy doctor, we mentioned to the attending vet tech that we had purchased our puppy from a breeder in Norco and had driven out to pick him up the previous weekend. Without the slightest hesitation she said to us, “Oh … I could never get a dog from a breeder, but at least you went to pick him up and didn’t have him shipped to you. That’s the worst.”
Yes, at least we didn’t do that. And at least Hitler washed his hands after using the commode and Attila the Hun was nice to his mother.
So here’s the deal; we tried to adopt. I swear we did. We would have liked nothing more than to bring home an abused or abandoned young Lab or golden or similar-sized mix and lavish love and attention on the dear dog for the rest of its hopefully long, wonderful life. We scoured websites. We visited local animal shelters. We signed up for registries. We paid fees to dog adoption/rescue organizations, had our backgrounds checked and even had our home and property inspected to see if we would make suitable “parents” for a rescue dog. The only thing they left out was a cavity search. (And I’m pretty sure one of the ladies who visited us was working up to it.)
And so, after many months of forms, fees, interrogations, inspections, interviews and interminable waiting, we were still without a dog. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in Southern California, unless you want a dog with either Pit Bull or Chihuahua (or both!) parentage, you’re pretty much out of luck. Every dog that was even remotely suited to our lifestyle and family dynamics (i.e.; big, furry, goofy and loveable) was not only immediately spoken for as soon as it was up for adoption, but somehow already had a waiting list five or six deep of other people who wanted to take it home.
When I wrote about looking for a dog months ago, I received many helpful suggestions from wonderful readers who sent me phone numbers and links to various dog rescue organizations. After following up on several of these, we probably could have adopted/rescued one or two Labs and possibly a golden-shepherd mix – if, that is, we were willing to travel to Northern Nevada, Iowa and/or Illinois to pick the dog up.
And so, we did the apparently politically incorrect thing and got a puppy through a carefully selected, private, loving, caring, in-home breeder. That said, we have always been a two-dog home, so we’re still looking for a canine companion for Oakley. If the right adoptive dog becomes available, we’ll happily welcome it into our hearts and home. If not, we’ll just have to suffer even more scorn and shame from all the doggy do-gooders out there. But I promise I won’t write about it.
I’ll see you ’round town.