Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Background on Puppy Mills

Wikipedia states, "There are an estimated 4,000 puppy mills in the U.S. that produce more than half a million puppies a year."

I had heard of puppy mills but until we adopted Gracie, I had never looked into their history.

When I was a kid, I learned the song, "How Much is That Doggie in The Window".  It was about wiggly puppies and it fed my love for dogs.  Now I can never think of that song again with fond childhood memories.  The cost is too high and it perpetuates puppy mill breeding.

The ASPCA advises, "Do not buy a puppy from a pet store—in fact, do not buy a puppy from any place that does not allow you to see its entire facility and meet the mother dog. This includes websites that sell pets online."

To learn more, take the time to read materials posted here by the ASPCA:

Advice from the ASPCA on where to get a dog and what you need to look out for.

My Housemate, River

Meet River. She is a blue merle Sheltie. She was adopted in 1997 as a breeder release.

She is sweet and mellow. She has been invaluable in helping Gracie adjust to home life and seeing what being a house dog is all about.

One of her most endearing quirks is her "couch dance", which must be performed before each nightly walk.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Background Story

I want to tell you a story of a journey and of our amazing Grace. I am not a dog expert, just your average dog person. Every day I learn something new. In my forty-some years, I've had six dogs, all but one a Sheltie.

To set the stage, the story begins on January 1, 2009, when our beloved Sheltie of 12 years, Liberty (Libby) passes away. New Years Day was an ordinary day and we walked in the park and did all the usual things. By evening, something was wrong. Libby was panting very hard and would not eat her dinner. We rushed her to the emergency vet and within a few hours she was gone from heart failure and fluid in her lungs. She was the quintessential Sheltie and she left behind a mom (me/Sue) and dad (Mark) and fur sister (River). The house was so quiet and we missed her so much.

After some time passed, we started thinking about another dog. River probably would have been fine as an only dog, but everything in our lives was set up for two dogs. We knew there were so many good, deserving dogs in need of a home, so our search began.

We didn't really know that this was the beginning of a whole different journey and we don't know all the twists and bumps that are on this road – but we are sure that this will be an amazing ride.