I was reading Scary Mommy’s Post about realizing that it was time to find their new dog a new home. There were a few comments on both her page and facebook basically saying she was a horrible person. One comment chastised her for “recycling a dog like plastic”. What the hell?
btw – this dog is not the dog in question, his name is Sherwood and he is avail for adoption at the Boulder Humane Society – just wanted a picture for the post…
I have a few major issues with these short sighted commenters:
- Who do they think they are? One woman in particular was extremely obnoxious. Hey lady, it’s HER blog. If YOU don’t like her then stop reading! No one’s forcing you to subscribe…
- Jill (Scary Mommy) not only found that dog a new home, but knows the new adopters personally and already plans to visit and keep posted on “Lucky’s” new life. What more do you want?
- Kudos for realizing what does and does not improve the quality of your life! AND meeting those tough decisions head on. Courage like that should be encouraged, not criticized.
I feel like I am qualified to speak to this topic…
I have volunteered in various animal shelters since I was 5 by walking dogs at the local humane society with my Dad. As an adult, this has continued. In the past 5 years we have rescued pregnant mares from slaughter, fostered litters of kittens (including bottle feeding every 3 hours), and fostered dogs and puppies. We’ve had up to 7 dogs in our house at one time (not for very long and most were a litter of puppies) – but still 7. We have found homes for every single one of those dogs ~ 50+ all told. I have personally paid well over $1,000 in vet bills for dogs that needed medical attention and the rescues didn’t have enough funds to reimburse me.
I am sharing my background with you to show that I am clearly an animal lover and am clearly committed to their well being. (As an aside, I also have an amazingly patient husband! )
EVEN with that background and history – I think Scary Mommy (Jill) made a great decision.
There are 1,000’s of good dogs put to sleep every day. Why not admit that this dog isn’t a good fit and go find one of those others out there that is? Or admit that now isn’t the right time for your family to try to integrate another family member (a good dog) into your routine? Why spend all this time, effort, and money on a dog that needs a lot of training when there are 1,000’s out there already trained and already perfect for YOU? Why would ANYONE advocate for a family (and the dog) to doom themselves to a life of frustration? The dog feels it, the people feel it, the kids feel it. NO one wins.
Kids are not these overly fragile beings that are going to fall apart if a dog that’s only been there a couple of weeks is given to a neighbor. They understand the difference between trying a dog for a couple of days or weeks to see he is a good fit for your family versus having a dog for 8 years and then giving them to the pound because it isn’t fun any more.
In fact, I think teaching kids to “put up with” a relationship that takes away from your happiness instead of adding joy to your life is a very poor life lesson. Are they supposed to “put up with” a boyfriend that is critical and puts them down? Are they supposed to “put up with” a boss that treats them like dirt?
Not my kids. And I hope not yours either.
Maybe that is a lot to read into a kids’ relationship with a dog, but I don’t think so. They mimic our behavior. They learn from watching our decisions. Do we choose happiness? Do we choose fulfillment? What do you want your children to learn? Explain it to them. Talk to them. They will understand.
And for Pete’s sake – STOP judging others and pay attention to your own choices…
Ok, hopefully I’m done ranting for the night.
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