It’s inevitable. When I share that I am getting a puppy, many people will ask me if I am rescuing/adopting. My reply is, “No, I am buying a puppy from a reputable and conscientious breeder.”
This is such a controversial topic, and no one is wrong. There are many wonderful and legitimate rescue organizations out there. I’ve encountered and loved many dogs that have come through the rescue channels. I have friends who work hard for rescue organizations. The dog I got when I was 10 years old was an adopted mixed-breed. And I rescued all 6 cats I’ve owned. When I lived on the farm, I re-homed many kittens born in the hay loft.
However, as individuals, I believe that we need to think seriously WHY we are getting a dog and what is the best way to get the dog we want and need. These are the questions I ask myself.
What do I want in a dog?
What do I need in a dog?
I want a well-bred dog whose breeder has taken all possible precautions when it comes to health clearances, temperament, and bloodlines. I want a well-grounded, confident, happy companion to live with me.
I need a dog that will have the potential to be a therapy dog and work in schools and colleges. I also need a dog I can confidently take with me when I walk in a wide range of territory and terrain.
Once I can answer these questions, I then ask myself – rescue or purchase? I know immediately that I don’t want to take the risk in adopting or rescuing a dog with an unknown or questionable background. I want a clean slate to socialize and train my own puppy, capitalizing on my past experiences and via obedience classes. It’s up to ME to be responsible and kind, being positive, consistent, and firm when I train. Our animals mirror us. I will write more about this when I start sharing my approach to socialization and training.
Then we come to the question of breed. Twelve years ago, I started researching breeds I admired. Two were too high energy and one had an unsuitable temperament for therapy dog work. That ultimately led me to the Labrador Retriever. This breed was the perfect candidate for the dog I wanted and needed. I have had two Labradors since 2007, and I’ve fallen in love with them. So, it’s a given that I am getting another Labrador puppy.
Puppy pick up has been pushed a day earlier, so now she will be coming home on January 10.
Time to start thinking about puppy-proofing my family room!
Stay tuned. . .