Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Forever" is a long, long time

"I am a Forever Dog"

There's a warm and fuzzy message! Sounds good, no? If you can't keep a dog forever, then you shouldn't own one! Just fuggedaboudit. 

This sort of black-and-white thinking, this dogmatic mentality (pardon the pun) is further evidence of why we have so many intrusive and oppressive laws proposed.

  • We say, you should spay/neuter your pets; they say, hey, let's make it the law.
  • We say, microchipping saves lives; they say, great idea! let's make it mandatory.
  • We say, to breed responsibly, you should belong to a breed club and do health testing, Hmmm, let's make it a law that ONLY those who belong to breed clubs with enforced codes of ethics can buy a breeder's permit.
  • We say, don't breed too often; they say, OK let's make a legal limit of one litter per year.
  • "Keep your numbers down and don't expect to make any money" we advise each other; they say, if you own a kennel or make money, you are a grubby puppy-miller. 
  • We say, "rescue is noble, let's help make sure our breed doesn't add to the shelter population"; they say, "Don't breed or buy while shelter dogs die" .......... "Adopt, don't shop!" Pet sales become outlawed except for rescues
  • We say, "Make sure when you get a dog it's not an impulse purchase"; they say, "A dog is forever" and forbid pet shop sales, or advertising in newspapers or via the internet. You'd better have your sales and breeding permit numbers displayed, and you'd better not transfer ownership in public.  (Oddly enough, it's OK to impulse purchase rescued animals in pet shops or at adoption fairs.)

Life changes, stuff happens. Sometimes the dog does not work out for the situation. Working dogs go where they are needed. You lose your job and maybe your home, you get sick or perhaps even die....the dog needs to be re-homed. Breeding dogs might be sold to new owners. Someone moves, a friend or relative takes their dog. A serviceman is relocated, and his dog needs a foster home, or a new home. Breeders may place their "retirees" in pet homes.

The "Forever Home" propaganda is just another crafty animal extremist method of discouraging pet ownership, and demonizing pet owners. Don't fall for it!


  1. Excellent post. Don't forget situations where a dog is clearly in the wrong situation, even if the owners do all the right things with good intentions. (What DO you call it when the 'impulse' purchase is called a 'rescue', when it doesn't work out?) As you mention, 'stuff happens'. What if a family has a chosen the wrong breed, or the dog has an unsuitable temperament, and becomes a liability, nips at the kids, or grandma moves in, frail and unsteady - so many things can happen. Are people expected to say "no", grandma can't move in because we promised the dog a 'forever' home? I know this is silly - but that's the point, isn't it. People just can't think straight sometimes, and the animal activists play right into our emotions and sentimentality. I like that cute little poster too, but it is just platitudes, not real life
    . Thank you. I have heard many people who should know better attack others for re-homing a dog when in reality, it is the best thing for the dog and the new owner, win win.

  2. What I tell people is that no one can predict what will happen in their lives. Add to that the reality that people even choose the wrong spouse and its not a hard reach to consider a poor choice in individual pet even after research or finding a good match of a breed.
    Who would predict a drunk driver would run an excellent pet owner off the road and kill her leaving the dogs needing new homes? Who would predict loss of use of the hands from carpal tunnel would leave a breeder unable to care for her beloved dogs?
    Life happens to the best of us and the fallout can include pets. Forever is a nice idea but a poor game plan and an unrealistic expectation.

  3. ok-ok....ya'll sound great, but I just know of too many dogs that end up in shelters for things like chewing up the furniture, piddling on the carpet, not coming when called.

    Nobody said anything about any of those 'reasons' for turning a dog into a shelter.

  4. Well, MDOA, isn't it grand that we have animal shelters to find good homes for the dogs who are given up for trivial reasons?
    After all, that is their JOB, and their "raison d'etre".

  5. you guys disgust me. if you cant commit to an animal for its life you should forget it. laws will only help the animals.

  6. If you have ever lived around these people, you will have learned that they will pretend to be the goodest things that have ever lived on God's Earth, but they do everything and worse that they ever bash anyone else for doing. The reason I insist that the fight against animal abuse must end is because they use that to get to abuse and kill animals and to pretend that they can do no wrong.

    They will intrude into every aspect of your life, as you are always "suspect" to them, but they will get on their snitty high horse and use deadly force to prevent you from prying into their personals. If you do successfully pry into their personals and really learn about them, you may also learn for the first time in your life what projectile vomiting and hysterical blindness are. Ever learn anything so horrible that you can't remember it? That's the kind of people who pass these laws out of their orifices.

  7. I am a small breeder, and I send this poster to all prospective owners- not because I think in black and white, but just to make folks think before they make a purchase. I know things can happen, dogs can need to be rehomed... but I would rather lose an impulse sale than have one of my dogs end up in a shelter. I also offer rehoming assistance if needed, as well as make sure folks know that if they ever need to surrender their dog, they can bring it to me and I will find it a home.

  8. Excellent points, yes, life does change, spouses don't work out, you choose new ones. However, would you really compare a pet to a spouse? I would compare it to that of a child.. They are dependant on you to provide food/shelter/excercise etc. If your child misbehaved, would you drop it off at the local shelter?
    By all means, if your dog is really not working out, do the responsible thing. Try and find a suitable home for it, or if you can't, maybe consider taking it to the vets.

    I really don't think the point of this post is to stop people from having pets, I think it's more to encourage them to think about the responsibilites of owning a dog. They are a 'forever' thing, and if you don't think you can provide that... well, don't get one?

  9. Sometimes there is no real choice.
    Keeping a aggressive dog or keeping your baby.
    Becoming homeless or keeping your Great dane or restricted Pit bull.
    Keeping a un healthy and expensive dog or going bankrupt trying to fix it.
    I do believe you should fight to keep the dog,and shouldn't get rid of a dog for minor misbehavior or issues,and should be willing to sacrifice for your pet but life isn't just black and white. If you do get rid of it try to find a home for it,perhaps a relative or friend. Although with dogs with real problems that isn't normally a safe option.

    Educating owners to avoid certain breeds or crosses for their lifestyle would help as well. Shelters lie about crosses all the time which is not helping the situation.