A letter published in the Montreal Gazette has been making the rounds in dog rescue circles. I originally heard about it from the author of Kobi Pup and am sorry I clicked over to read it myself. I hesitate to share the link here because I don’t think it deserves any more traffic than it has already received but at the same time, I can’t go without saying something.
Mostly, the letter just makes me sad. Sad for the author who seems to have a lot of misplaced anger and sad for the dogs she describes. It’s a shame her experiences – rather, the experiences of some people she knows – have been so negative. It would have been nicer if she could have done her research before putting pen to paper. I’m sorry she felt the need to take out her unhappiness on animal welfare organizations and the dogs they help.
I’m also sorry people in her life have been so judgmental about her choices. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with choosing to purchase a purebred dog from a breeder. It’s not my place to tell anyone where to find the newest member of their family. I’d rather they not meet someone on the side of the highway or make their purchase at a pet store, but nor am I going to write a mean-spirited letter about dogs who come from such places. Dogs don’t get to choose where they are born any more than we do. And I like to think we are all doing the best we can with the information we have.
What makes me feel even sorrier for the letter writer is that she seems to have such disdain for mixed breed dogs. She is missing out on something pretty awesome. Though I’ve never met one, a “labracockadoodleshihtzu” sounds like a pretty awesome companion. I’d adopt one in a second. Just picture it: the energy of a lab, the temperament of a cocker spaniel, the brains of a poodle, and the convenient size of a shih tzu. Sign me up!
I don’t want to get into an argument over which is better, purebreds or mixed breeds, as I don’t feel it needs to be an either/or scenario. All dogs have the capacity for loving and meaningful relationships. Genetics just aren’t a factor for me. It comes down to lifestyle and personal choice. Some people love pugs and others love labracockadoodleshihtzus. Both have a right to live in safe homes full of love. I will never turn up my nose at someone who searches the world for the perfect Sheltie puppy. I’d like to think this same person will grant me the same respect when I head to the shelter to find my next dog.
It’s too bad the writer of the letter has closed her mind to the possibility of a mixed breed dog from the SPCA, or any other organization. When approached with an open heart, the dogs speak for themselves. She is missing out on a life-changing experience. But it’s her choice. And it is one the dogs currently in shelters might be grateful for.