This is a post directed to dog-owners… or, more specifically, dog owners who are not registered breeders, although I realize there are a few exceptions(so please don’t take offense if you know you are not deserving of Bob Barker wrath). We walk Sadie, the mystery-lab, for her owners. She is a very very pretty dog, and very sweet and love-able, but she is, at the end of the day, a very very pretty mutt. Before the hue and cry starts up – I have no complaints about mutts, – my dog is a cross… slightly more planned than Sadie, but no less mutt-like, for all his so-called ‘designer breed’ status. If I wasn’t struggling through allergy issues, I’d have gotten a mystery mix puppy from a shelter. Unfortunately, my sister would be allergic even to a poodle in a shelter – surrounded by other dogs she is allergic to – and I’m unwilling to take home a dog that I am not sure won’t make her swell up.
Back to Sadie, though. Her owners claim that they plan to breed her, and this BAFFLES me. I don’t know where they got her, but I know she hasn’t got any kind of kennel club papers. She will not be producing the ‘lots of money’ kind of puppies. She’ll produce very very pretty mutt puppies. I kind of prefer mixed breeds, because all the puppies turn out so differently… but it isn’t your job to fill the world with puppies. Your average house-cat’s kittens are adorable and sweet and fluffy… and generally free to a good home. But they’ve decided that they can make a profit off her, and so, at about three years of age, she isn’t fixed. And it impacts her life, and I don’t consider it a positive impact.
The purpose of this story? Get your dog fixed. You are Joe Notabreeder, which isn’t a bad thing (Hi, I’m Jane Notabreeder… maybe we’re related, in the grand scheme of things) and you don’t have the experience to breed your dog on your own (and do it well, and produce puppies you can guarantee will be taken care of and not have huge health issues) and it is unlikely that you will be able to turn a profit off it unless you’re being sneaky or underhanded. Or running a puppy mill (and if you’re Bob Puppymill, then die. Slowly and painfully, die. You are a terrible person), which is something I’d consider 10000% worse than just breeding your own dog at home. Enjoy your pet dog, but don’t contribute to the dog over-population.
If your breeder has requested that you allow your dog to be bred… sure, fine – but it is your breeder who is finding a good match for your dog, and it is likely that your dog is male, and that you’ll have first dibs on puppies, but no other responsibilities towards them. And if your dog is a completely random haphazard mutt… no matter how pretty, don’t breed him or her. There are SO many dogs in shelters, dogs that are pretty and sweet and no particular breed. Where do you think the puppies you can’t find a home for will go? Get your dog spayed or neutered, because not getting them fixed not only incites the wrath of Bob Barker, it is also risking that the few moments needed for dogs to ‘get down’ will end in puppies whose health-background you will know nothing about, and who might end up in a shelter. Also, it’s cruel to have an unaltered dog and not allow it to mate… they feel the urges, and they want to fulfill them, but you aren’t letting them. Does Fido or Fluffy (yup, I also think you should get your cats fixed!) really deserve blue balls? Give ‘em 6 months to a year, more if your vet recommends it, and then do as Bob Barker commands. If you want puppies of indeterminate breed… go to a shelter, they’re cute, and sweet, and you will find ‘the one’.
Why am I mentioning this? Last night’s speed-walking with Gwynn and Sadie, while partly due to me being very very busy, was also due to Sadie’s being in heat, and us trying to out-walk a man whose un-fixed Scotty Dog had become quite smitten with her. I’m not sure how it would have worked between them, logistically, but we didn’t hang around to find out. Cute as she is, and cute as that Scotty dog is… there’ll be no hanky-panky on my watch!
Sorry, that was a long rant. I just get pissy during Sadie’s heats, because it reminds me how much I dislike that this issue even comes up with her. Check out the Cult of Otis if you’re interested in reading some solid Kitty Commandments and Deadly Sins that could pretty much apply equally to dogs.
Bike Training Update – the weather last night was a cross between swimming-pool and Sauna, so semi-kind-of-sort-of-air-conditioned gym was the choice I took for increasing my ability to breathe while exercising. We went to Kick/Punch, which was something along the lines of cardio kickboxing without actual punching bags. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, cardio kickboxing is 10x more fun if you actually get to hit things. That being said, this class was alot of fun, and she kept things moving so that you had to pay a fair bit of attention to keep up. Also, at one point, a thing that started as strange lunge-knee up – kicks turned into flying knee kicks, which were super fun, and surprisingly something I excelled at. Apart from being late for the class (missing the warmup) and entirely failing to keep track of my car keys (luckily, someone is efficient at tidying this gym, because they were already in the lost and found when I realized that they were missing), and probably having at least three earring backs and an earring of S’s (a friend I drove there with) somewhere in my car… things went surprisingly efficiently. And, as an oh-so-healthy dinner, I had olive cheese melts and potato salad – recipe for the olive cheese melts to follow!