Boomer is a ''preowned'' dog. He has a few dents and scratches, he has a few miles under his belt, and he's seen others come and go. It doesn't mean he's not a great dog, it just means he's experienced.
Last week I received a phone call that I had been anticipating. ''We had to put our dog to sleep today.'' The dog had been slowly deteriorating for sometime and the inevitable had happened.
After letting the caller talk, I expressed my condolences. I always remind people that there many more out there needing a home and when the time is right you can find one.
Then I hear the dreaded, ''Do you know the name of the breeder.....''. Uh, gee, I thought we had discussed the whole adopt, don't shop thing? As politely as I could, I responded that no, I did not know of any breeder, but I'm sure that there is a dog out there that needs a home. He told me actually, that was how he had ended up with this dog. The breeder was taking it to be euthanized because it did not meet breed standards. He didn't actually pay for the dog.
Again, as calmly as possible I asked why would you want to get a dog from someone like that? He thought he was doing good by taking this dog from the breeder because it was going to be killed. I expressed that anytime you take a dog from someone that is breeding, whether you pay for it or not, you are encouraging them to breed more.
I enlightened him on the 170,000 homeless dogs that are listed on www.petfinder.com and encouraged him to take a look. Our conversation ended with him finding the website to peruse.
A short time later, I get another call from the same person. ''Where do all of these dogs come from?" He was simply amazed at the number of ''preowned'' pets. I responded with the truth. They come from people that no longer want them. For some reason or other the dog had not fit into their lives anymore. I also reminded him that many of those dogs probably were from a breeder, possibly purebred, which seemed to be something he wanted.
''But some of these dogs look as old as the one I just lost.'' I responded with, ''yes it is sad that an elderly animal would not be given the opportunity to live out it's last days at home.'' We seem to see more and more of this.
I also told him not to be afraid of the distance where the dog currently is, that there are numerous transports going all of the time and if the shelter or rescue wanted a reference or a home check that I would be happy to assist.
I haven't heard what the outcome has been. My hopes are they were able to make a good connection with a dog that needed a home.
In the meantime, I'll just keep on encouraging everyone to adopt.