Thursday, November 17, 2011

Certified Pre-owned Pets

Today Maggie's owner would like to address an important issue.

SFSPCA has this billboard out by our neighborhood doggy daycare. I think it's incredibly sweet and clever. We need more people to be conscious of where pets from pet stores and online breeders come from, and that there are literally thousands of pets out there awaiting their rescue.

I was ignorant of the reality until I did in fact, purchase Maggie from an "online breeder". I was very lucky that Maggie has no issues with socialization or training, and that she is/became a very mild-mannered dog. I was also extremely lucky in that she came with only a minor health problem (Giardia) when we first acquired her.

My research was not so extensive in acquiring a Shiba Inu; I just went online and chose the cutest little puppy I could find. I couldn't believe it was as easy as clicking on your favorite dog and they would just ship her to wherever you were the next week. Either I was to dish out close to a thousand dollars for a Shiba Inu puppy from a local breeder (who bred for show), or I could pay a few hundred and get a dog whose history or temperament I would not know until it had arrived from a random place in Missouri.  I would find out later that yes, purchasing a pet online is too good to be true.
A dog is a living thing, not some merchandise you purchase from Amazon.

We all live in a world where appearances matter and we choose pets based on the breed, color, size of our choosing. The sad reality is that a lot of people who purchase a purebred regret getting them because they simply did not live up to what they had in mind, or they were just too difficult to deal with. Purebred dogs have strong behavioral traits and they must be nurtured in a way that both fit the human and the dog's life. Sometimes mixed breeds are much easier to deal with in terms of temperament and personality. They are also stronger and live longer compared to purebreds. Many of them are so grateful that you have rescued them, you can see it in their wagging tails and happy faces.

I regret having purchased a dog from an online breeder whom I have never even met. To my knowledge, their website disappeared a few months after I got Maggie and I have no way of contacting the so-called "breeder" anymore. Really stupid move on my part.
If I were to get another dog in the future, I would not give a second thought to adopting from the shelter. I love Maggie and I think she's truly a great dog. However, I wish that someone had told me not to buy a dog online before I did.

It's extremely important to research not only the breeders, but the breed itself before committing to buying one. Just because it looks cute or cool, doesn't mean that it's the right dog for your lifestyle.
Do not buy from a pet store or from online breeders who live hundreds of miles away from you.
Remember, once you acquire a dog you are responsible for it until the end of its life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Maggie's Law

Maggie's Law states that: as soon as you give her a thorough bath, she will become dirty.

The Law played out this morning during a trek at Glen Canyon. Maggie decided not to cross the makeshift bridge (a plank of wood) across a black, muddy creek that was in the middle of the path. She decided to go around the bridge by rooting her paws into the tar-colored mud puddle with much hesitation.

Yesterday, I had just given her a thorough fruit-scented bath. Thankfully, her "self-cleaning" fur managed to clean off by itself by the time we got back to the car that my initial horror and disappointment was not really necessary. I am starting to realize the finer points of the Shiba Inu coat.

Maggie feeling like she's on top of the world after finding a muddied tennis ball.

"Do not take this ball away from me, I'm going to take it home."