The match game, part one
Fido… Come… Sit
By Yvonne Passmore
Many of you were touched and saddened by my last article about those beautiful, retired female breeding dogs that my friend and I assessed for a potential addition to her home. What seems to have saddened those who contacted me is the fact that what this breeder was doing was not illegal. She provides safe shelter out of the elements. She provides clean water, food and veterinary care. What the breeder didn’t provide was a life of physical and mental stimulation. Unfortunately, that is not a crime. Just as it is not against the law to keep a dog chained to a doghouse 24 hours a day. Obviously, changes need to be made in how the law looks at dog ownership, which is why I occasionally write columns like the last one. I hope those of you who were so appalled at the fate of those dogs will help educate others you know who are on a puppy search.
So, how did this story end for my friend on the mission to find a new best friend? She continued to search with her head and not her heart. Mind you, she did have some criteria that considered her heart, such as breed type and size. Most of us want to like what we’re looking at and with that her heart stayed true. After more searching and with that sensible head in place, the criteria list grew.
In her perfect world she wanted a dog that was fairly easygoing. A dog that had shed its puppy habits and had a level of mental maturity. She wanted a dog that was experienced with young children. She wanted a dog that came from a loving home with owners looking to rehome a dog with that dog’s best interests in mind. This girl really wanted a lot!
There were wasted calls dealing with people who knew nothing about the dogs they were trying to place. There were other calls made to people who were looking only to profit.
Paying for a dog wasn’t the issue. I think it’s legitimate for people to ask for a small financial investment to ensure that the new potential owners feel committed to a dog in more ways than one. It’s a way of weeding out the insincere. After all, if you can’t afford a hundred dollars for a dog, can you afford to feed it and vet it if need be? What hurts is when someone that says they love their dog, wants only a good and loving home for that dog, but need $600 to make sure that happens. You know that their interest isn’t really about the dog. Could you sell a family member that you can no longer keep because of unforeseen circumstances?
Though my friend’s list of wants was long, it wasn’t insurmountable. Along came Chloe, a beautiful red Golden Retriever. What more could she ask for? She was a house pet. She was raised with a baby. She wasn’t a puppy. She didn’t chew or go potty in the house. She was loved by her owners but they didn’t have the option of keeping her.
My friend took her children to meet Chloe and based on her temperament, all the boxes in her head were checked. Based on her good looks and her affection, all the boxes in her heart were checked.
A match was made. Was it a match made in heaven? Stay tuned.
Contact me through www.fidocomesit.com for column suggestions, training help and book info.