Used dog!

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!

24 thoughts on “Used dog!

  1. Extremely well written post and I agree with every word! I have always rescued dogs and so has my family, in fact in my whole life I have only lived with one dog that was bought from a breeder the rest have been rescued including all the cats. The dog that was bought from a breeder as a pup was a chocolate Labrador and he had so many problems health wise and had to be pts due to his hips going, which is a common problem with pedigrees. I have never had as many health concerns with any of the rescues we have had!

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    • It’s wonderful that you have been exposed so any “rescues”, and are keeping up the compassion for them. My only regret is that Ray is not only my first dog, but (obviously) my first rescue. He has firmly entrenched himself here!


  2. It doesn’t sound like that lady is an animal person at all. I hope she never gets a dog, for the poor dogs sake. My rescue dog and I both had a rough start in life, and I feel a bond with him and other rescue dogs I’ve had because of this.

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  3. I would just like to say as a rescuer of 2 ‘used’ cats that I think your blog is spot on and I appreciate every word you wrote and good on you for taking a hard stand against someone who refers to any animal as being ‘used’. There’s some animals I may not be comfortable with but to refer to one as used it takes the value of their life away. So if your dog is a puppy and mine is a rescue then essentially your saying your dog is valued more because mine is used. I mean seriously. I guess then if we’re going down that road if you get married and then divorced you’re ‘used’ goods and not worth as much. Well I’m going to stop there cause I can get on a big rant on this topic. I’ll end with this. Growing up with my mum & Dad (Rays dad) I had 4 cats (not all at once), brought home 3 teenagers to live with us (not all at once), none of which were used but all of which were rescued.


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  4. The woman you have written about is a narrow minded snob who really does not like animals. I’ve seen and spoken to her type before. She needs a swift kick and a personality adjustment.

    What the woman does not realize is that she is used as well. One is a new born and an un-used human once in a life time.

    All my dogs are rescues and I had to recently part with one dog who went to live with a wonderful family. I selected the family who adopted her. I have health issues and at my adult children’s nagging I finally decided to find the best possible home for her.I could no longer provide her with the attention and play that she needed. I have six other rescue dogs but I miss her every day.

    My dogs I found as throw– a- ways or they showed up on my property.( no they did not belong to anyone. One I adopted from the pound. I love them all. Rescues are the best dogs. They are eternally grateful to their humans.


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  5. As always I enjoyed your post. I agree how offensive the word “used” is the context of a rescued animal.

    Kali is our second rescue and when that “time” comes and she is gone we will rescue again. Actually maybe before that time comes. We are also considering fostering once Kali overcomes her anxiety of meeting new dogs.

    Not used; these dogs are sometimes slightly broken or worn down and in need of some repair and lots of TLC, and always willing go love back ten-fold of what they receive. I do believe they somehow are aware, at some level, of their second chance.

    Now for the “devils advocate” part of my comment. I have three very beautiful children and it sounds like you too have kids. Mine were not adopted. We never considered adoption and to go back 30 years in time and do it over again we probably would not adopt. Why is this? Why couldn’t I bring myself to rescue a person like I always will with dogs? Is it because in the case of children I want my own flesh and blood? I’m not sure…. Should I encourage my kids to adopt rather than conceive? I’m not sure.

    What I am sure about is that your post has been quite thought provoking. Thanks.

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    • HI Michael – Based on my own history (in the context of children), when we had ours (late teens/early twenties), we had not been exposed to the prospects of adoption so the thought of adopting did not cross our minds. We knew a couple who did, but their motivation was because they were unable to have their own and even then, it did not cross their minds to look beyond the local adoption agencies. That was quite a long time ago and times have certainly changed! However, if I could re-run my life with what I know now, adoption would certainly be given due consideration. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  6. In the U.S., there are apparently 4 million dogs (presume now “used”) rescued each year, of which only half make it to an adoption area, the rest will be put down/euthanized/put to sleep = killed. Quick math tells us therefore that 2 million dogs are killed each year, and another 2 million are looking for homes. If this is the result of progress, we should be embarrassed to be a part of it. Keep wearing that T-shirt and spread the message!


  7. Oh, some people are so narrow minded! OK, I’ve never had a dog from a rescue centre (Maggie was 7 weeks when we got her as was her predecessor), but my GSD was dumped at 5 to a breeder, my 15 week old rough collie was ‘grown tired of’ and regardless of pedigree was going to be put down, and my first in-laws took on a pup because their daughter felt sorry for it, got bored, and then they couldn’t cope.
    It’s not the dog’s fault that their first owners are ‘hopeless’.
    Yes, you can inherit problems with a rescue (I know of one instance where an akita went mad and attacked her owner, totally unprovoked. Their other dog, a chihuahua cross, waded in to protect her and was almost killed, and the owner hit the dog over the head with a frying pan to shove it out into the garden before it attacked her then 13 month old daughter) but in the main these dogs just need a loving home, security and stability. My sister has had 4 rescues and they’ve all been brilliant, after a bit of TLC and routine. The current one has a barking problem (pain to anyone visiting) but she’s slowly making progress. A friend has always had retired greyhounds, but has taken on rescues too, and they have been marvellous.
    I reckon this lady has only seen bad press about rescues. It’s a shame the good guys aren’t promoted more. Like foster kids (!) they all have issues, but give them understanding, time and affection and you can reap so many rewards.
    (Bet she’d have something to say about my comparing dogs to foster kids, but then she’d consider foster kids as ‘used’ too, wouldn’t she? Stupid woman).

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  8. A very well written post 🙂
    While I do understand that it is not always possible to give a home to an old “used” dog that might have an unpredictable nature, say if you are an anxious new dog owner with small children, but you could adopt a puppy from a rescue centre.
    As you quite rightly point out, the love of a dog is unconditional, and not dependent on its breed. For myself, I would never have any dog that was Not “used”. There are far too many, particularly in this country, sorely in need of a home.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find and wear my T-shirt with the quote – “Rescued is the best breed!” 🙂

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