Adopting a dog, as most of you would already know, opens up a whole additional aspect to your world. With Ray, our constant visits to the Oakville & Milton Humane Society and subsequent drawing from their expertise has been an education, and the contacts made invaluable.
Visiting various pet food stores has expanded our horizons even further as a result of meeting more dog lovers, each with their own tales to tell. Then of course there is this blog which is taking our love of Ray to an international audience who have their own stories to relate.
I am constantly amazed (and very happy) that so many people we meet have a rescued dog or two in their family, or have experienced a rescued dog or two, and are totally supportive of our work with Ray. I realize that I am “preaching to the converted” but the love that is offered by a rescued dog is very touching.
I don’t suppose for one moment that Ray is thinking “Thanks guys for adopting me. I really love you for it” however, he does know that he is loved, cared for, and has a home in which he can be comfortable and simply be himself. From these, I believe, come the constant displays of affection.
A friend of ours runs a dog rescue operation and I read recently about a conversation she had with another lady about rescued dogs. Apparently, the lady eventually smiled, and then went on about how she could never live with a “used” dog! Needless to say our friend was stunned!
A “USED” DOG!!!!!!!!!!!
The concept of “used” being applied to a dog defies explanation. When I sell my car it will be noted as “used”. An old broken stool is “used”. My old laptop would be considered “used”. What would possess somebody to put a living, breathing, thinking, feeling, creature in the same category?
When my kids had their first sexual encounter, did they become used? Perhaps my Grandmother should have been classified as “used” because she had three children? We live in a house that was built in 1920, which was before we were born, so it has most certainly been used! Even the Town of Oakville where we live has been around since 1827, so we are living in a used Town. Oh no! Canada became the Canada that we know in 1867, but was inhabited for 1000’s of years before that, so we are living in a really well used country!
If that lady could not live with a “used” dog (by inference, a “new” dog would be fine), then I would suggest that she reflects on her life in the context of whatever humane standards she thinks that she has. If she has any spiritual convictions, it may be worth dwelling on them also.
I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt and suggest that she does not realize that buying “new” could well be supporting puppy mills. I am going to assume that she does not realize that a rescued dog can be so appreciative of a loving home. I am going to assume that she does not realize that both “new” and “used” dogs have the potential to be challenging and require work and, by extension, I am going to assume that she has never had children! Finally, I am going to feel sad for her because her ignorance will dictate that she will never feel the personal satisfaction of giving a rescued dog a home, and will never experience the warmth and unconditional love that will result.
Now I am going to give my “used” dog a long tummy-rub, and then take him out so that he can check out his well-used neighborhood! “Used” dog indeed!