This week was Maggie’s gotcha day, the anniversary of the day we brought her home. Maggie is an AKC registered poodle. I am often asked, sometimes accusingly, why I chose to buy a dog when there are so many dogs in need of rescue. So I thought I would put my reasons here and throw in my two cents to the rescue versus buy debate. Is it only adopt, don’t shop?
I have chosen to adopt, not shop in the past. I have owned several rescued dogs. My previous dog Oliver came from a kill shelter in South Texas. He was an absolutely wonderful dog, and I miss him terribly. I believe strongly in rescue and support rescue efforts. I am looking to get another dog and that one will be a rescue, most likely a schnauzer or poodle or mix with those breeds. So if I believe so strongly in rescue, why did I buy Maggie?
My search for another dog
When Oliver passed, I felt forlorn without a dog. Coming home to an empty home was terrible, and that just made me miss him more. Let’s just say a lot of crying was involved. I knew I wanted another dog as soon as possible. I also knew I needed a more hypoallergenic dog because I had grandsons with allergies that were born well after Oliver became part of my life. They are frequent visitors in my home, so I needed to find a dog that was better suited for them.
I started seeing a big silver and white poodle along my commute, and I thought he was adorable. This dog was a parti- poodle, or partially colored poodle. I had thought poodles always looked a bit prissy, but this dog didn’t have the fancy cut, and I loved the two different colors on him. I knew poodles were hypoallergenic, so I started reading and asking around about poodles. I discovered that they are really clowns and quite smart. I was sold.
My next step was to start scouring every rescue site I could find to locate a young poodle. I believe in senior rescues, but my heart had just been broken by Oliver’s death, and I wanted another dog that would hopefully be a part of my family as long as Oliver or longer (he was almost 15 when he passed). And then the problems began.
Why I decided to shop this time
Almost all the rescues demanded that the potential owners of a rescue not have children around. That was not going to work. Others only let people with large yards or no job adopt. That wasn’t going to work. I quickly saw that I was not going to find what I needed quickly through rescue. And I NEEDED a dog. I decided to shop, not adopt.
After that I started asking around about poodle puppies. I talked to a lot of people, but then one day I found a breeder on Facebook who had parti-poodles. I checked her out, and she had a great reputation and she followed the best practices, not over breeding dogs and she kept their dogs until they died, not selling them off when they were too old to breed.
This is a screen shot of the first photo I saw of Maggie on the Bireley Poodles Facebook page.
And then there on their Facebook page was this little face looking at me, and I had to have THAT dog. I called them and found out Maggie had been reserved, but the people who had wanted her decided they wanted a male, not a female, and that they would wait for another litter. I said yes to Maggie right then and there and put down a deposit. I felt like she was meant for us from the start, and my husband fell hard for her. We brought her home when she was almost 10 weeks old and have loved her ever since.
Good Reasons for both
So that is why we bought instead of rescued. We want to add another dog to our pack, but since the urgency is not there, we can take our time to find a rescue that will fit our family. I believe responsible breeders who love their dogs and consider them family are not a problem and are good for people who want or need a purebred dog for whatever reason. I also believe rescues can be the best dogs ever, who are forever grateful for the rescue and full of love.
I think there is room for both. What there is not room for is puppy mills and backyard breeders who use up dogs by forcing them to have puppies every time they are In heat and then dump them in shelters when they can’t breed any longer. If you are purchasing a dog, please be very careful to find out where that dog is coming from and to go visit. Those breeders that abuse dogs will go out of business if we do not support them.
All dogs, all pets, no matter where they come from, deserve love and care, kindness and a future with people who love them. It is up to us to encourage practices that will allow that to happen.
Curious about my rescue Oliver and want to know more? https://stephaniesabourinphotography.com/2019/05/14/creating-memories-before-it-is-too-late/