Happy Tuesday, everyone! Our Labor Day weekend was full of fun, friends, and family, with a little bit of rest & relaxation thrown in for good measure. We hope that yours was, too! While we enjoyed our long weekend to the max, there were a few moments that made me think about my blogging family…
At a party on Sunday evening, we announced to some of our friends our plans to take on a foster dog. Keep in mind, present at this party were 3 young pure-bred dogs, of whom the owners are very proud. We listened politely to discussion of breeders and acknowledgement of superior lineage, etc. While I in no way look down on those that decide to go the route of breeders, it does twist my heart to think of the many dogs, purebred and otherwise, waiting patiently in shelters… and then of the many dogs who are never rewarded for their patience.
So many of the behavior traits and congenital disorders we see in unwanted dogs, are the result of careless breeding. While it would not be fair of me to look down on our friends, or any of those who choose purebred dogs, it is so important to me to get the message across that we all choose to be conscientious and selective when taking any dog in to our families. It is vital to conduct the proper research, whether you are adopting a dog from a rescue, or purchasing one from a breeder.
For varying reasons, you may decide that a purebred dog is the best option for your family. I am not one to judge that decision! However, it is imperative to all involved that you research your options thoroughly. Please do not acquire your pets from retail pet stores and internet options, as typically, you are supporting puppy mills. Puppy mills are by and large backyard breeders that do not follow proper protocol when housing and breeding their dogs. These dogs are often kept in unsanitary and unsafe conditions, and bred excessively, as the main goal is high profit for the owners. In choosing a dog from a pet store or online ‘breeder’, not only are you supporting inhumane practices, but you are also taking on a dog that is at higher risk for medical and behavioral problems, due to indiscriminate breeding and lack of proper socialization. Rather, research breeders carefully, ask for references, and even visit their locations if possible. This will allow you to see the living conditions of the pups, and also view their parents in many cases.
Finally, just remember that purebred dogs come through the shelters on a much more regular basis than you might expect. Many times busy owners give up their purebred dogs due to lack of time or financial reasons. You may be getting the breed you prefer, but avoiding the puppy stage of chewed shoes and stained carpets! And of course, you are saving lives at the same time. Another option would be to contact local rescues that specialize in purebreds. For example, my family has an obsession with the Bernese Mountain Dog breed, so if we were to take on one of these beautiful dogs, we would search for a nearby Bernie rescue, first.
While I try to come across as being understanding of all dog owners, it was interesting to note that some of our friends did not offer us the same benefit of the doubt. Of course, we have had strangers give us a hard time about pit bulls. While we have come to anticipate some negative reactions from strangers, we were confident that our friends and family would remain much more open-minded. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Many of our friends and family asked us why we would want to help such mean, aggressive dogs. One woman told us she was deathly afraid of these dogs (as her purebred obsessively humped and mouthed at another party-goer’s pooch, with no correction from the owners.) and that they were only used for fighting. We were told multiple times to ‘be careful,’ and had more than one person assume that we were being paid to do this. These are people that we love and respect, in a variety of age, income, and education levels. We were astounded to get such reactions from them! However, we can only look forward to proving their stereotypes wrong. We are eager to make our foster pup a special representative of the pittie society!
On to today’s feature foster 🙂 We chose to feature this girl, first because she is precious. However, her story also alludes to some of the issues we discussed above… she is the poster child for today’s post! Please check out her special story…
Introducing baby doll Kentucky. This sweet girl has had a hard life. She was rescued from a construction site, after apparently being bred repeatedly and then dumped when she was no longer of use. Her foster mama, Kelly, rescued and fostered her, until they were lucky enough to find what they thought was a reputable rescue to take her in. That rescue was Splindetop Pit Bull Refuge. You can read more about it here, but essentially, 300 malnourished, ill and injured dogs were recently seized from this ‘rescue,’ after the founder left the dogs to fend for themselves. Luckily, after a long process of tracking down Miss Kentucky, she was reunited with her original foster, Kelly. Kelly loves this girl dearly, but feels she really deserves to find her way into a forever home. Here is a note from Kelly: “Despite all Kentucky has been through, she has such a great spirit and outlook about things. She loves all people equally. She’s affectionate and cuddly without smothering you. She is calm and gentle, but still has a playful side too. She’s around 6 yrs old at best guess. She was retested for heart worms and is by no small miracle, negative! She has been vetted and is ready for a family of her own. It’s long overdue! She is house and crate trained. She loves small dogs and does well with children.”
For more information about Miss Kentucky, please visit her very own Facebook page. (Yeah, she’s kind of a big deal…)