I was reading earlier an article by Susan Orlean in The New Yorker on dog park etiquette and was struck by one comment in particular.  Orlean says, “If you have a purebred dog, it better be a rescue, or you’re going to be sneered at as an unbearable snob with questionable morals”.  This judgement against purebreds or more specifically, dog’s from a breeder, is something that has reared it’s ugly face at me several times in the few short months that I’ve had Elsa.
First off I’d like to say that I am a huge advocate of pet adoption and if I had the money I would welcome every abandoned dog in the world into my home.  But when it comes down to it, adoptions just isn’t for everyone.

Elsa is my first dog- that is the first dog of my adult life who is entirely my responsibility, not my family’s.  My decision to get a dog was very well thought out and I had to go about the process of welcoming this new family member in a way that was right for both me and and even more so for her.

First off, I wanted a puppy.  I know there are tons of gorgeous and loving senior dogs in shelters looking for a good home to live out their twilight years and I would love nothing more than to give that to each of them.  But I wanted a dog who would be present for most of my twenties and be spry enough to adventure with me before I settle down and have kids.  The process of getting Elsa also ended up being a wonderful, educational experience.  I was alerted when her mother was in heat, then pregnant, then giving birth and I got weekly updates on my little girl once she was born.  I also needed a small dog, one that could live in an apartment and could travel comfortably in a cramped car or airplane.  Since most shelters are populated with mixed breeds, predicting their adult size is hardly a precise science.  And lastly, I’m a girl on a budget.  I paid a lot for Elsa up front because I knew I was getting a healthy puppy.  I met her parents and received her pedigree which stated that every generation was heart cleared.  It would kill me to bring a dog into my home that I would potentially have to put back into a shelter because I could no longer pay the vet bills.  It wouldn’t be fair to either of us and I would rather that dog go to a family that could care for her forever.

I’m not a snob by any means.  Adoption just wasn’t right for me at this time in my life, and I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made.

For more of Orlean’s article: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/susanorlean/2011/10/the-social-animal.html#ixzz1a2PCPhM3

 

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