Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I have a confession:  I got a puppy from a pet store. No, not recently (I just gave everyone in my family a heart attack -- sorry). It was 1992, and I was young and stupid. I dragged C into a pet store with me after an afternoon at the mall, "just to look," and I fell in love with a Boston Terrier puppy. We left that evening, but after hours of badgering, C gave in and agreed to getting the puppy.  We went back the next day. It was November 1st, a beautiful fall New England day. I was wearing a multi-colored, plaid, wool shirt from the Gap. We walked home from the pet store, and when we got to the bridge, I carried Max in the crook of my arm.

I never regretted getting Max (as you can probably tell from the fact that I remember everything about that day, including what I was wearing).  I do, however, regret giving money to the pet store industry.  Pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills that crank out dogs like sausages, and treat the "breeders" like machines -- think chicken farm with dogs piled in cages instead of birds. Then, the pet stores keep the puppies isolated in cages during their critical socialization period, teaching them to go to the bathroom where they sleep, and otherwise creating dogs that make poor family pets, while millions of healthy dogs are abandoned and euthanized at shelters every year.  

Max turned out to be a great dog, but we were lucky. Don't do what I did. If you're going to get a dog, go to the shelter or a reputable breeder.  Sorry for the preaching.  I guess I needed to get that off my chest.


Sarah Clapp said...

I'm in agreement 100%, although it's hard because those dogs need home and love too. I get so sad when I see those dogs at the mall pet store knowing they came from a puppy mill :(

Christina said...

I know, but if everyone stops buying them, then they'll stop doing it . . .