Day 9 – On Being Responsible

Responsibility – it’s a big word. Especially when you plan to bring puppies into the world. First there is the homework: researching bloodlines, health clearances, and temperament. Then there is the part where the visualized and planned becomes real, at approximately 2 am, as they arrive one after the other. After feeding, vetting, and appropriate developmental care, then comes the placement into new families.

Look closely at the photo below.

It’s a big step and I for one, cannot look at one of these sweet, vulnerable little faces and say, “You will live in a garage.” For the next one, “You will live at the end of a chain in a back yard.” What about the folks who think the puppy should somehow know to stay in the yard: “You will run out into the path of a car and be hit, mercifully dying within seconds.” Worst of all, is the puppy I would have to go nose to nose with and say: “You will live a short, unhappy, pain filled life and be euthanized at the pound.”

Pieces of Eight - Day 9

No, for each of these puppies, I do screen calls. I do my level best to talk to people and make sure they know how much is involved in raising a puppy. I do offer the support needed to make it happen, and finally, I do offer to take them back if it is not working out due to events, family dynamics, or whatever reason, at any age. I have taken back a 9 year old dog, shipping him back from AZ.

Before you plan on a puppy, plan on its care for the next 10-15 years. This is a little dark in mood today but “responsibility” is on my mind while I am reading this book:

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption   The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
by Jim Gorant



2 thoughts on “Day 9 – On Being Responsible

  1. Thanks for the new picture. They are so sweet.. I know what you are thinking. From the time I was a child up until I left home, my parents raised boxers. I loved the puppies and hated seeing them leave the nest. We were able to keep in touch with some of the new owners, but others drifed away. I guess its like having children in an uncertain world. You do the best you can. I don’t think I could stand reading that book. My son and daughter-in-law rescued a put bull. It took them over a year of working with him and an experienced trainer to get “big John” to feel secure and walk on the streets of Chicago without risk to himself or others. My husband and I are looking for a puppy and then we can avoid such emotional scars. Our new puppy, if we are lucky enough to get one, will be our third airedale, and its a breed we understand.
    A quick question.. is it time to dock tails? I wince just thinking about it.

    • Actually, the book is about redemption and also explores the implicit promises made in thehuman/canine bond that bears reexamining. It is a very thoguht provoking engaging piece of writing and I really respect the author who avoided the “dogs are just like people in fur suits” crap that so often passes for writing about animals.


      Nancy L. Secrist

      Seneca Airedales and Easdale: the best pet care Member ATCA since 1980 330-666-2004

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