Some Friend WE Are!

Every year, we watch the Westminster Dog Show.

A friend sent this link, showing what it was like backstage at the dogshow.  NBC has since updated it to include some show pictures too, but if you look at these backstage shots and still want to join the show dog circuit, you’ve seeing something I missed.  I think the Maltese with the curlers did it for me.

It’s odd that even though I enjoy watching the show, this page of our newspaper makes me sad:

In today’s paper, for instance, there are eight different ads for Chihuahua litters.  I read quite recently about there being a glut of that breed in California dog pounds.  Perhaps dog poop in the purse becomes tiresome for Hollywood starlet wannabes who carry their dogs in them.  Actress Katherine Heigl paid to rescue 25 Chihuahuas from the pound and ship them to the Northeast where they were adopted in one day.

The ads in our newspaper are almost evenly divided between traditional breeds and “designer dogs.”   Ten ads for Golden Retrievers, five each for Pit Bulls, Maltese, Labrador Retrievers, and Poodles, and then several other breeds as well as the Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Puggles, Maltipoos, Chorkies, and Morkies.  That makes for a lot of dogs to sell in a tough economy.

Once a repairman working on our house mentioned that he had two mastiffs he was planning to breed and “make some money off of.”  What would he do with the ones he couldn’t sell, I wondered.  (He also planned to open a tattoo parlor, but already did them on the side if I was interested.  I wasn’t. )

The pounds in our areas are overflowing.  A rescue operation from the Northeast took some of the overflow from a kill shelter (now there’s an oxymoron!) in a nearby county.   But that was just one day.  (Whatever the Northeast does to restrict their pet population might be something other areas need to investigate!)

These are tough times for many and I’m not accusing the places in the above ads of being puppy mills, nor am I throwing stones at people who buy from responsible breeders.  My wonderful pet, the late Howard Lee, came from a reputable breeder, as did my cute granddoggies.

I have a ‘thing’ about puppy mills though.  I’ve mentioned before,  Miss Piggy spent the first six years of her life in a puppy mill rabbit cage, malnourished and bearing litter after litter, until the place was closed.   And people who abandon their animals beside a highway?   Words fail me.

Here is a rescue operation providing a service I’d never considered.  I learned about it when I received an e-mail looking for a home for the dog of a soldier being deployed, after the arrangements he’d made fell through at the last minute.  The sanctuary takes in unwanted animals from kill shelters and other people, too, and tries to find homes for them.  If your home needs a pig or a snake to be complete,  this is the place.

A dog’s loyalty is so strong that he will defend his owner against another dog.  No other species does that.

The problem is that Man’s Best Friend could use some new friends of his own.

The late Howard Lee, February 2007

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in”. – Mark Twain


15 thoughts on “Some Friend WE Are!

  1. Birdie

    Ahem, as much as I love dogs, I would like to point out that people treat unwanted cats as garbage. I have a friend of limited means who spends the entire winter trapping feral cats, neutering them and releasing them back where she trapped them–because the local shelter is always full. But at least she knows they are getting food, (which she often provides) and there will be no more kittens.

  2. Birdie

    Merrily, this is an attempt to get around the feedburner on the front page that won’t let me directly enter my email, I have to go through yahoo home page or something else. also, must have to hit submit comment to be notified of new posts.

  3. First of all, it is under NBC “SPORTS”!

    When dogs become a status symbol, that’s when you know to expect lots of unwanted poor dogs. Absolutely ridiculous. I also have fundamental problem with people who treat their pets better than they treat their parents.

    Love the Mark Twain quote!

  4. Oh, Howard…what a love!

    Here’s another doggie quote that’s always been a favorite of min:

    “Here lies DASH, the Favourite Spaniel of Queen Victoria
    By whose command this Memorial was erected.
    He died on the 20 December, 1840 in his 9th year.
    His attachment was without selfishness,
    His playfulness without malice,
    His fidelity without deceit.
    READER, if you would live beloved and die regretted, profit by the example of DASH.”

    Queen Victoria, epitaph on the gravestone of Dash, who was buried in the castle’s garden.

  5. unabridgedgirl

    First, I have a Yorkie – – but I would never put him in my bag. Ever. That’s just stupid. And I love him to pieces. (I bought him because he doesn’t shed like other dogs, and he is one of the best to have around people who are allergic, as are my niece and brother-in-law.) It makes me sad, though, how many dogs are unwanted. Not just dogs, but many different animals. 😦

  6. Such a great cause. Thanks for bringing attention to the sad circumstances for many of man’s best friends. Spay and neuter – plain and simple!

  7. This entire post touches my heart. Especially having a newly rescued from the side of the road pup in the family. We’ve never paid more than $10 for a dog- the dogs that need us seem to find us before we go searching for them. No one would ever mistake one of ours for a designer dog!
    I was not aware of the Military Pet Rescue, what a wonderful service.
    I am thrilled to have a face to go with the Howard Lee stories. He was a good GOOD DOG, you can just tell. I imagine you must miss him something fierce.
    The Mark Twain quote sums it all up perfectly.

  8. Wonderful post girl!! I, too, have a pet peave against puppy mills, especially the ones ran by the Quakers who seem to be the worse of the lot. We sure need more laws in NC for not only puppy mills, but incarceration for animal abuse. I wonder how the abusive human “owners” would feel if they had to spend the night in 20 degree weather without blankets or hay to help them stay warm. And I wonder how they would feel with no food and water for days. Sorry, didn’t mean to rant here but animal abuse and puppy mills (one and the same to me) needs attention in the good ole USA.
    Thankfully, there are some wonderful rescue shelters such as those in your links. But, we all need to be more aware and do more.
    I’ll stop now except to say again, wonderful post!

  9. Great post! Very heart felt… really sucks that people are allowed to sell pets from puppy mills.
    Thanks for the links! Love the quote! and Howard t was a cutie!

  10. Great post. And I’ve always loved that Mark Twain quote. I can’t click any of these links though or we’ll end up with a 4th dog … which would definitely be a bad idea. 🙂

  11. I ran a no kill shelter for 15 years and saw entirely too much of what happens to people who tire of a dog.
    Paris Hilton has done incredible damage to the Chihuahuas by making them fashion accessories. Bless Katherine Heigl for trying to undo a wrong.

  12. Disabuse yourself of the notion that the Northeast has its pet proliferation problem under control.
    We have far too many Amish farmers around who “breed” dogs for profit, so puppy mills are a huge problem here in central PA.

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