Monday, January 18, 2010

Dog Myth #1

It is easy to have a dog. Anyone can be a dog owner. Everyone should have a dog.
by Lorraine May, Executive Director

All of these featured dogs were adopted to wonderful homes through

The Misha May Foundation

Dogs are rescued, rehabilitated and found forever homes,

regardless of breed or mix, age or issue, or length of time needed.

Why? Pet dogs will make your life better, lift your depression, encourage you to exercise, replace human beings you have lost or haven’t found yet, love you unconditionally, improve your physical and emotional health through touch and closeness, assuage your loneliness, act as a chic/guy magnet, make you laugh and entertain you, connect you to nature, elevate your status, increase your personal power, ensure your popularity, baby sit your children, keep away burglars, portray you as a certain type individual – caring, macho, elegant, chic, sporty, sweet.

Reality: Unfortunately for dogs, they have been marketed as commodities who have no needs of their own, but are simply here to serve humans. And of course they adore us because they really are wonderful creatures. BUT besides all of the wonderful things they do for us and with us, they also eat, whine, go to the bathroom, need exercise, snore, get sick and throw up, and have bad moods or annoying behaviors. Their care can be very $$$expensive$$$ even when they are well - spay, neuter, vaccinations, heartworm test and medication, food, leash, collar, bed.

Big problems: Getting a dog without knowing what you are getting into is a big reason why they are discarded so often and so easily, winding up homeless and in danger of being euthanized because there are too many dogs and not enough homes. Dogs deserve to be taken care of and kept forever in one loving home. Only those folks who can commit to the dog's lifetime should get one.

Caution: Everyone is not meant to be a dog owner. Don't buy the marketing scheme to put a dog or two in every home. Take your time, assess your lifestyle first. Spend time with your friends and their dogs. Foster for a rescue. Visit a dog park or a dog daycare. Research breeds and mixes for common behaviors and health issues. Choose a dog wisely if you decide. This is a 10-20 year commitment!

Remedy: When dogs are no longer regarded as an acquisiton that completes someone's life, like a certain make of car or brand of clothing, or as fur-people who should know how to behave like humans, or as a panacea for life problems, the demand for them will go down. When the demand goes down, those who make their money selling dogs will stop creating so many. When they stop creating a surplus, there won't be extra dogs who get euthanized because no one knows what to do with them.

Glorious day: Dogs are valued as individual sentient beings and no one would consider discarding one, much less killing one.

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