23

Fall. Season for change. Rediscovery. Self review. Mid-life crisis? I’ve dedicated my adult life to rescuing animals who cannot speak for themselves. I believe that to see change in the world, we must be that example. In living that dedication I hope on some level I have inspired adoptions but I have also been judged and ostracized. While living with strong opinions about rescuing and breeding, I’ve learned that opinion cannot change fact. Fact is; people want what they want, and I am no exception.

The companions we choose to share our lives with need to be seamless. Not without flaws but seamless. How do we create “seamless”? We start with loving people, honoring good intentions. Then we educate ourselves to create strong bonds and that in turn drives our dedication.

We simply cannot save homeless animals by begging people to rescue a pup that comes with baggage. In this digital age we do not have the time to educate ourselves about basic obedience, dealing with problem behaviours is daunting. “Computers will make our lives easier” they said….ha! Fact is that education is the critical key. Another fact is that only people who are open to learning will accept the teaching. In judging others for their actions and being judged for my narrow minded opinion, I’ve learned to become more self aware. I am the master at brain storming and trying different ideals to achieve my passionate goal, a skill I am endlessly proud of.

In large centers, people can find a purebred rescue near them and adopt a dog who has been professionally rehabilitated and healthy. In a small town like Burns Lake in the northern part of the province, our choices are not as simple. We can adopt a puppy from a local puppy mill/store and call it a “rescue” or adopt from a shelter who’s rehabilitation ideal is nothing more than throwing them into a pack of dogs, hoping they survive and learn some life skills in the process. We have access to purebred rescue centers (thanks to technology) but not to the required qualifying home checks. We have access to shelters that have rigorous policies requiring many hours of driving back and forth before adoption is approved, or regulations that simply don’t apply to today’s world of “2 working parents”. Reputable breeders dedicated to their breed sell their puppies for a high asking price because of the intense schedule they must follow to show, breed and advertise their exemplary puppies.

I believe in rescuing. I do not agree with “saving” puppies from puppy mills. On the same hand I do not feel that this passionate opinion has saved the lives of homeless animals, I think all it has done is made people call their support of puppy mills a “rescue” to fit into the mold they think society wants them to fit into.

The trend in this decade is simply purebred or “designer” dogs. I see purebred dogs with genetic issues, fake papers and physical deformations that come from unloyal, misleading breeders who offer no support without the promise of monetary compensation. Flat out people do not have the time to deal with uncaring breeders or the skill set to rehabilitate a true rescue. We want to instead focus our limited time on welcoming a “blank slate” puppy into our home that we can create a strong relationship with when they cock their heads to one side and flip their ears at the sound of our voice in complete and perfect innocence. Those bonds, when strong enough, can get them through the frustrating teenage years of chewing, digging and barking. Detailed and dedicated education to promote those bonds and deal with basic obedience will keep companions out of shelters. Dedicated breeders offering lifetime support will save pets from becoming homeless.

I know that by offering what people want, I will deter them from “rescuing” from a puppy mill. My goal is to shut down breeders who operate puppy mills and keep animals from shelters by dedicating my home and my life to the puppies we bring into this world.