Simon was born on Dec. 31, 2001. We’ve had him since he was 12 weeks old. He will be 12 years old this December.
This is the dog you define other dogs by.
This is the dog no other dog could ever live up to.
Other dogs will surely be less expensive than he has been, but it’s not his fault. He was born in a puppy mill and is the epitome of why they should be outlawed.
- Severe hip dysplasia.
If I added up all of his excess medical bills (outside of the realm of your typical dog) we have easily spent over $13,000 on this dog. His hip surgery alone cost around $8,000.
I don’t regret him.
He has taught us so much.
But the other day we were in the local garden center and they happen to sell puppies. I actually try not to shop there because it breaks my heart every time I go in there, yet I can’t help but go look at them.
Heartbreak waiting to happen.
They seem so defeated. These puppies who are already outgrowing their cages.
Puppies who came into this world for no reason other than profit.
Puppies who despite their inclination towards extreme medical problems want nothing more than to be with people.
Puppies who have the potential to become that dog that you define other dogs by.
There is a part of me that wants to rescue them all.
Buy them and find them all amazing homes.
The problem is that while those dogs will be saved, many more will follow behind them. Dogs who get adopted by people who don’t understand the increased chances for medical issues these dogs come with. People who can’t afford $8,000 on hip surgery. People who would rather just dump a dog than deal with any problems that may come up.
No one should ever “buy” a dog. But for many people, window shopping turns into buying a puppy the same way you buy groceries. And as long as there are people willing to buy puppies on a retail level, there will be sleazy, uncaring people breeding puppies in deplorable conditions with no respect or regard for their health.
All the while our shelters fill up with unwanted animals.
Animals who want nothing more than a full belly and a pat on the head.
Animals who will repay your simple kindness with unconditional love.
They may not look like the ideal dog you had in your head, in fact, they may be the goofiest looking dog ever.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t be the runner up in contest for best dog ever.
Toby had 4 days left before he was to be euthanized. A local rescue group pulled him out of the kill shelter and put him in a foster home. He is a goofy-looking mutt with wiry hair that no one wanted. He was around 9 months old when we adopted him from the rescue group. He was housebroken, knew minor commands, adores kids, doesn’t chew things up, doesn’t get into the garbage, and his worst habit is to bark and charge with excitement at the front door when the doorbell rings.
Spend 5 minutes on my couch and he will have you wanting to take him home.
I just wish I could adopt them all.
So I implore you, if you are ever considering adding a dog to your family, check out rescues, shelters and Petfinder.com and avoid any place that sells puppies on a retail level. If you have your heart set on a purebred dog, there are breed-specific rescue groups, and if you must have a puppy you can get with reputable breeders who breed dogs for show. You will pay more up-front, but it’s an investment in the health of that dog and one less customer for puppy mills.
Have you ever adopted a dog from a shelter or rescue group?