Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Dogs. And dog owners.

My friends have started to ask me why I haven't blogged in ages. The thing is that my life is really uneventful at the moment. School ended couple weeks ago and I have not managed to get a job or an internship. Basically I do nothing right now and all my days follow the same pattern; wake up late, breakfast, shower, dinner, feeding Papu, dog park, TV and Sims 3 till 3am. So go figure why I haven't blogged.

But I really enjoy spending time in the dog park. It feels good to have a place to go every day. It doesn't matter that I don't have a hobby or friends to hang out with, I can always go to the dog park and the dogs and the owners greet me like an old friend. Papu likes the dog park too, even though she doesn't play with the other dogs often. They are usually way too big to play with her. She just sniffs them and sometimes runs along when they play.

We've been going to the dog park since Papu got her vaccines and was allowed to. It's a long time, and by now we know most of the dogs by name and know how they behave. The others know Papu as well. They think she's really cute. She also gets lots of compliments by one owner who remembers clearly how timid Papu was at the beginning. She stood between our legs and refused to go any further. Nowadays she's just like any other small dog hanging with bigger dogs and occasionally she even lets someone to pet her. It warms my heart to see how much she has progressed. I think she's a solid evidence of what a dog park can do for a dog.

I also feel that the other dog owners have accepted us as part of the regular gang. We are not as talkative as some of the other dog owners are, but since we go there almost every day, we have proven that we are passionate and dedicated dog owners as well. I like to listen to the other dog owners, because most of the time they talk about dogs. Some of the stories are very interesting, and naturally they share some useful tips as well. Sometimes they simply gossip. It's a totally different world.

Couple days ago we met a new puppy in the dog park. She was white and furry. There was another same-aged mixed breed puppy present in the dog park at the time, so naturally they started to share their experiences. The owner of the white and furry puppy said that she was so happy that she'd found such a good breeder... and by a good breeder she meant something that we certainly wouldn't call a good breeder.

She said the litter was "an accident" and that the parents we're quite closely related. She also mentioned that the father had a hip dysplasia and that the puppy wasn't even registered. Uh-oh. I wouldn't call that a "good deal" like she did. After all, she still had to paid half of the price of a registered, healthier purebred puppy.

I believe that accidents don't happen to good breeders. They know the breed and they know their dogs. They should know when their dogs are in heat. And if the accident does happen and the setting is like described earlier, a good breeder would probably try to terminate the pregnancy. And she would try to register the puppies no matter what. There's a special register for dogs that are not suitable for breeding. And a good breeder wouldn't price unregistered puppy that highly. For me that puppy sounded like a puppy mill product, but what do I know?

I really, really despise people who buy unregistered puppies because they are cheaper. If money is an issue, go for a mixed breed or a rescue dog. Don't support puppy mills with your money. There is no reason to breed purebreds and not register them properly. And this may come as a shock for some people, but it is expensive to own a dog, and the bigger the dog, the more it's going to cost. They eat, they need vaccines, they get sick and need a vet, they destroy things when they're puppies or suffering from separation anxiety, they need toys, water bowls, insurances... So if you think you can't afford that 1000€ to buy the purebred puppy you want, maybe you shouldn't get a dog at all. They will cost way more in their life than what you pay to get them.

The owner of the white and furry puppy also said that it would have been a waste of money to get a registered puppy, because she doesn't want to take her dog to the dog shows or breed her. I actually felt sorry for her when she said this. Without registration a purebred dog is as good as a mixed breed dog. There's nothing to prove that it's actually purebred. It may just look like one. I consider registration as a guarantee: The dog is what it's said to be and I can check her family tree to evaluate how healthy her background is.

Anyway. I hope that by the time the owner of the white and furry puppy returns to the dog park, she has learned that it's not OK to buy unregistered puppies and then brag about how cheaply she got one. The people in the dog park are generally really openminded, but I believe that we all get quite intolerant when it comes to puppy mill supporters. After all, dogs are what we live for.

1 comment:

  1. Good article! My Lab isn't registered, her parents are both registered but we weren't going to breed or show so we didn't bother. Our other dog we had for 15 years was a rescue and we miss him so much.