Truth? Let me show thee the ways…

By Lynn –

This post is dedicated to my rare gullibility and Adam’s not-quite-so recent request to clarify if I was being sarcastic with said gullibility. I’m actually going to try to keep things pretty snarky here, so of course&if something indeed sounds true by how it’s written&it probably isn’t! Keep in mind though, that some of what I’m writing are actual things people have told me in the name of finding the “perfect pet” for themselves. (However, if I can make a point somehow, it’ll be in italics, so watch out for those globules of truth!)

We all know of the myths of owning a dog. However, my locale seems to take some of those to heart and not really thing anything of it. Let’s go over some of the basics, first.

“Get ’em while they’re young, so you can imprint them!” I mean seriously, those older shelter dogs are just worth NOTHING at all! They’re not imprinted on you, they don’t stay on your property because they don’t know you, and man, that whole thing about not being able to predict a dog’s behavior? It’s a fact now that any and every dog from a shelter has been abused and neglected to the point of no return, so it’s not worth putting in the effort to actually work with it. Plus, a puppy is cuter anyway, never mind that it’ll grow as big as that adult standing in the pen in front of you. No way, YOUR dog will be so much better than this one&until you decide otherwise.

I actually do recommend people go to the shelter in the case we don’t carry a breed that they request. Consistently, 90% of the time, I hear the whine “But he/she/we want a PUPPY.” Here’s lesson number one, folks: There will ALWAYS be a market for puppies. This is why we’ll never be able to get rid of puppy mills, or rather “substandard kennels.” This is why, if you DO get a puppy, ask the right questions. A perfect pet isn’t always champion-sired, nor papered, nor should it cost exorbitant amounts of money. Rarely will you meet the parents unless you ARE buying from a backyard breeder or heaven forbid, a truly reputable one; in this case that the parents aren’t there, whoever is working there needs to be able to either say “Yes, I know/have heard of the parents” or “Here is the contact info to someone who can tell you.” Don’t just go in somewhere without the right questions&I love to volunteer information, but I’m even happier when someone asks for it. They’re much more likely to get the dog that is right for them, whether that puppy comes from the store, or that dog comes from the pound just down the street.

“Full-blooded? It better have papers!” I tell you, I’ve seen some pretty sad-looking purebreds in my day, and the honest truth is, since the owners weren’t able to produce papers, I can only deduce that the darn things weren’t even pure! The dog even looked like ones I’ve seen before who win titles and all those fancy thangs, but was pretty darn near worthless just because it wasn’t registered. Sad that people don’t think to register their purebreds; I don’t want to pay for something that looks like the real thing but can’t prove it!

Lesson number two: a Mercedes without that signature hood ornament is still a Mercedes. If a pedigree and fancy name, no matter which registry you use, is most important to you when choosing a dog, maybe you shouldn’t have one.

“No males! I only want a female puppy.” Oh jeez, of course! How could I have forgotten…those stupid boys do nothing but lift their leg to pee and hump things! Plus, how can anyone stand to look at those dangly bits? That’s just plain embarrassing! But what do you mean, neutering will fix it? We had my friend’s stud dog neutered and he STILL does it! Plus, you can spoil and dress up a female much easier. Everyone knows those girls are so much more loving and gentle than males. If I wanted a guard dog or a potential liability, I’d look for a male, but for now, I only want a female!

Apparently no one here has ever heard of neutering or housetraining. Or, perhaps, the potential that any dog has to bite.

“Dobes? Don’t ever get a Dobe, they’ll turn on you!” See, a Doberman’s brain is only so big, and when you fill it up all the way and it can’t hold any more, they just all of a sudden go batshit crazy and attack you. In fact, I’m wondering if it’s not just limited to Dobes because it happens with Staffies too! Maybe it’s just that ‘big dog’ thing, and until we know for sure, let’s just stick with some more family-friendly breeds. Oh, and that miniature Doberman is quite cute you have there! What, you mean it’s called a miniature Pinscher? Naw, ain’t never heard of such a thing…it’s just always been a miniature Dobe!

Tuffntiny, I thought of you when I had someone mention this recently. I really do envy you in that you have both a min pin and Dobe, but I’m even more happy that you know the difference between the two! No one seems to think “Hey, let’s do research” and learn that the miniature Pinscher actually dates from 1836, while the Doberman was developed to RESEMBLE the min pin around the 1880s. Turns out though, that the Dobe was introduced first the US, so when the min pin followed, people automatically thought OMG SHRUNKEN DOBE!

“Well, we’re looking for a small dog to live in our house with us.” Those big dogs, they’re cool but man they shed! And it’s so difficult to control them, especially when they were puppies and we couldn’t even get them housebroken. Plus, really, it IS easier to stick a bigger dog outside, that way there IS no housetraining and they’re big enough to stand the cold. This way too, we don’t have to walk them all the time or play with them since they’re outside and can play by themselves. Nope, something smaller, more manageable and please make it non-shedding because seriously…who WANTS to deal with dog hair? I love dogs so much, but most of them shed and I just can’t have that!

Someone please shed some logic on this: you get a dog. For one reason or another (oh, maybe, say, LAZINESS?!) you stuff it outside 24/7 on a chain or in a kennel that gives it LESS room than it would have even in a small studio apartment. You go out maybe once a day, just to check if it’s still alive for stuff like eating and fresh water. Let it out or let it off to run? Why should you, when it’ll just run and not come back? Any ideas?

“My dog just got hit by a car.” “Yours too? Same thing happened to me.” What’s with people who dare confine their dogs and not let them run free? A dog needs to roam! He’s smart enough to stay out of the road, never went out there at all in his whole life. Sure, we’ve caught him at the neighbors tearing apart their fall decorations, and you know, they threatened to call the dog warden on me! They shouldn’t just leave decorations out like that where a dog can get into them!

I’m a bit calloused to this now: people come in and say that, and I’ll just say “That’s preventable and shouldn’t have happened. I hope you’ve learned something from it.” Am I mean? Maybe. I like to think that not enough people really think, and have to learn the hard way that yeah, dogs won’t go into the road&but the one time they want something in it or on the other side, the one time they need a fence or a leash confining them so they can’t run over there, there won’t be one and they will get hit. Even if it’s someone coming down the driveway and your dog is loose, there is no excuse for it to not have a solid recall so it can’t get hit. Simply put, if your dog is loose all the time, you take responsibility and not cry about how it shouldn’t have happened. Yes, it definitely shouldn’t have happened, but it did: and don’t tell me it wasn’t your fault. There is no excuse for any responsible dog owner to a) not TEACH the dog to not go out into the road, and/or b) if not teach the dog somehow, CONFINE it so something like this is never allowed to happen.

I do believe more of these will be coming up sometime in the future. Post any additional ideas/myths you might know about in the forum (try to keep it to one thread pls), since I know Small Town, Ohio isn’t the only places where thoughts like these abound!