Is a dog right for you? Consider the responsibility FIRST.

dog on death row
dog on death row at Bastrop Animal Shelter

Thinking about getting a dog?  Consider the responsibility first.

Dogs are living, breathing, feeling, animals with many needs.  They are not toys, a backyard fixture, or temporary cute-factor entertainment.  People often underestimate the amount of work a dog can be.  They expect dogs to be naturally well-behaved, well-mannered, and not cause any problems.  I have four dogs and not one is perfect.  There is no perfect dog, so before you get one, consider the fact that you WILL deal with SOME type of behavior issue.  If you are not prepared to work with your dog’s issues, whatever they may be, a dog is not right for you.

As I mentioned, I have four dogs, so chances are if a perfect dog existed, I would have at least one.  Not even close.  My first dog came to me with severe dog aggression issues.  Not small, severe.  My first Papillon I still work with to accept people and not gnaw anybody’s ankles off, and he still has occasional potty accident.  My second Papillon destroyed every couch, pillow, and blanket in my house.  Every last stuffed item looks like a gang of rats attacked it.  My German Shepherd, well, if you aren’t prepared to work  with a German Shepherd absolutely do not get one.  Apart from the fact that she has consumed well over $1000 worth of consumer goods, cash, and people food, without proper socialization and training, she could problem.

My point here is that if a chewed couch or loss of other expensive items will cause you to go into a rage and take a dog to the pound, don’t get one.  Dogs require a huge amount of patience and no matter what they destroy, you can’t lose your temper.  It’s simply not fair to the dog.  And why would you want a dog just to raise your blood pressure anyway?

If hair bothers you.  Don’t get a dog.  If you may have a child in the future and will not be comfortable with a dog around your child for whatever reason, don’t get a dog now and discard it later.  Many people are concerned about dog hair causing allergies.  This is a complete fallacy.  Studies actually show that children raised with pets have a much lower incidence of allergies.

If you can think of any non life-threatening situation that would cause you to take a dog to the animal shelter, PLEASE just don’t get one.

Some more…

If you cannot accept the fact that your dog will have some type of behavior issue you will have to work with patiently, don’t get a dog.

If the sight of a pot roast running across your house makes you want to get a shotgun, not laugh, don’t get a dog.

If you think you will lose your temper when your dog doesn’t do as you ask (because it just doesn’t get it), don’t get a dog.

If paying for pricey heart worm medication, flea prevention, vet care, and food is not what you want to spend your money on, don’t get a dog.

If giving your dog the exercise and socialization it needs sounds like a pain, don’t get a dog.  Dogs don’t belong in cages or by themselves (I am not referring to intelligent use of crates), forgotten in the back yard.  Dogs are social, pack animals that need company or a job.

Oh, since this just happened as I was engrossed in writing this post, I’ll add it.  If losing a pound of squash you were about to put in a casserole makes you furious, don’t get a dog.

My point in this post is not to criticize people who are not suited for dogs.  Dogs are not for everybody.   I do, however, fully intend on criticizing people who fit any of the categories above and still get a dog only to dump it at a shelter later.  I fail to understand how those dog dumping people can sleep at night.  How that face like the one in the picture above doesn’t sear into their minds and permeate their dreams is beyond me.

Most shelters list their animals on PetFinder.com

The poor dog pictured above is at the Austin, Texas Bastrop Animal Shelter on the Urgent Animal List on their Facebook page.  Unfortunately since shelter is so over-burdened, it does euthanize animals to make room for the constant flow coming in.  The dog in the picture may not be around many more days if he doesn’t get a miracle.

 

 

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