February 19th 2007 6:39 am
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Mudge's Mom here. I just discovered I have a new pet peeve and figured I'd put it down here for anyone who cares to read it. So here goes:
I think the word "rescue" as it applies to dogs really needs to be defined for a great number of people out there. Now, I know the politically, and perhaps socially, correct thing to do these days is to rescue dogs who wouldn't otherwise have a home. And, don't get me wrong, I'm all for that! Every dog on the planet deserves a loving home where all of its needs are met. I readily commend people who have adopted their dogs from shelters or rescues or who have taken a homeless stray in from the street. That's wonderful and I say, "Keep it up!"
Lately it's been driving me nuts to see a number of people who consider it a rescue when they purchase their dog from a pet store or a backyard breeder. I've seen so many bios out there that say, "I rescued my dog as a puppy from a cage in a pet store." No, you didn't rescue the puppy, you purchased it at a pet store! Then again, maybe I should just take advantage of that and claim to have rescued my 12 yr old dog Humphrey from the pet store rather than admitting that I made a mistake in supporting the puppy mill trade before I was aware it existed. Come on, let's be honest, you didn't "rescue" that puppy from its cage because you felt sorry for it. You bought it because it was cute and you wanted it! Does that mean I don't think your dog purchased at a pet store doesn't deserve your loving home? Absolutely not! It's not that pup's fault that it was born into a mill. Do I believe we should avoid purchasing pups at pet stores in hopes that one day the money there will dry up and that evil practice will stop? YES! But, please, please, please, don't call your dog a rescue when you spent hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of dollars to bring it home from a store.
This morning I saw a description of a dog on another site that said, "I rescued my Saint Bernard at six-weeks-old from a man who had 18 Saints." Woo hoo, folks! I've got another rescue! Mudge was purchased from a breeder who, technically speaking, had 14 Saints. He came from a litter of 10 and the woman also had four adult dogs.
Wow, if I decided to be less honest with myself, I could be feeling pretty good about what a great person I am for having rescued two of my three dogs. But, I know that's not true. I am not one of those fantastic people who took in a dog from a shelter or a rescue not knowing as much about the dog's background as perhaps they'd like to. I admit that I am a bit nervous about rescuing an adult dog because I don't know that background, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't make me a bad person--just someone who knows what she can and cannot handle in a dog.
So, bottom line is this, be proud of your dog no matter how it came to be in your life. Say thank you to those who had the courage and love to take in a true rescue. And, for goodness sake, just be honest!
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