When I posted this yesterday, Lindsey commented, "I want a dog like this so bad! But my husband would kill me if I spent that much on a dog. He is adorable!"
Thanks, Lindsey. He gets his looks from me. Well, except the hair. The reddish tint is Andy's.
Andrew and Manny having a Very Serious Talk.
All kidding aside, Lindsey brings up a great point. Dogs are expensive to purchase, especially breeds like English Bulldogs, Italian Greyhounds and Labradoodles (or whatever the heck Satchel is).
Both Slate and Manny were purchased from breeders. Manny was $1500. Slate, an Italian Greyhound, was around $2300. Both of Slate's parents were award winning show dogs, which is why he was a bit pricey.
Slate has had severe blood issues, kennel cough, several illnesses, and over $5000 of dental work. Manny is young, but we have been warned about the significant costs that are associated with the hip dysplasia, eye disease, and breathing problems that most bulldogs develop as they age. Both Manny and Slate have irregular heartbeats which require yearly monitoring with echocardiograms. Each echo costs approximately $500.
Like Slate, Zoe is also a purebred Italian Greyhound. In 2002, when she was 2 years old, I adopted her from The Humane Society in Fort Lauderdale. She is a year older than Slate. The adoption fee was $75. Satchel was also adopted from The Humane Society. They found her roaming the streets of Miami a year ago. Since we adopted her as a puppy, her adoption fee was $250.
Both Zoe and Satchel were very easy to train and are in fantastic health. Zoe didn't experience her first major health issue until she was 10 years old. It was a kidney stone that had to be removed surgically, costing under $1000.
Because of the costs, health problems, and difficulty in training, English Bulldogs and Italian Greyhounds are among the highest surrendered purebreds in the United States each year. There are literally thousands of great dogs purchased by people who weren't properly educated about what their care would require. These animals desperately need homes, and many of them can be yours for hardly anything. Plus, a lot of low cost clinics will offer discounted care for adopting one.
I think that many people somehow assume that a dog given up for adoption is either incorrigible or has something wrong with it. This is so untrue. Dogs are often surrendered because of the owners inability to care for them. It has nothing to do with the disposition or character of the pet. Zoe and Satchel are just as affectionate and playful as Slate and Manny (and, dare I say, better behaved?).
Keeping that in mind, I don't think that we'll ever purchase another dog from a breeder. (And we would never ever buy one from a pet store. If you're even considering it, please read this.) There are just too many homeless dogs that need good families.
If anyone else out there is considering taking in a new pet, please please please choose adoption. There are rescues for nearly every type of breed. Mixed breeds make incredible friends, too.
Doubt that a shelter dog can make your heart beat as fast as a pampered puppy? Well, I get at least one email a day asking where we got our Mystery Dog.
And how can you not love that?
Resources For Adopting A Pet
The Humane Society
Blue Dog Rescue
The Bulldog Club Of America Rescue
Lifeline Italian Greyhound Rescue
Wheatens In Need