Sometimes it sucks to be me. I am very OCD about everything in life, it doesn't matter what it is, if I'm into it, I'm INTO it, putting my whole heart and soul into whatever it is. I guess that is good, because usually when I set my mind to something, it will usually get done. Climbing has been a big part of my obsessions, and when I was growing up it was gymnastics. The older I get the more things get added to the OCD pile. House projects, climbing, dogs, ...that's what gets me to this point. It's so difficult when you are have an OCD personality- I just have to get it done and I will lose sleep while I am working on it, whatever 'it' happens to be, and I tend to worry a lot (hence one of the reasons why it sucks to be me).
People probably get sick of me talking about it, but when I first set my mind on being involved in animal rescue, from then on, I have felt like I am personally responsible for saving every dog I meet that needs a home. It can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Personally, I have never owned a dog in my whole life that wasn't rescued. I remember my first dog Sasha (aka FATHEAD) came from Lollipop Farm when I was ten years old. Somehow I just always knew that if you wanted a dog, you went to the pound, and you got one that really needed a home.
The problem with being OCD about rescuing dogs is that sometimes it seems like an uphill battle. Without sounding like a self righteous lunatic (or at least trying not to) you constantly, until blue in the face, try to recruit adopters, foster homes, and you try to explain to people the importance of adoption, spaying and neutering their animals, etc. You try to explain to people the problems with backyard breeding, the issue of puppy mills, and the staggering statistic that 5 million perfectly lovable, adoptable dogs and cats of all breeds and varieties are euthanized for space every year in this country. Personally, I think that everyone who wants a pet should spend an afternoon volunteering at a shelter- it is truly heartbreaking when a dog you have spent an afternoon with walking and playing with, looking into their eyes, and getting to know isn't there the next week, and it ain't because they were adopted into a loving home.
People will say though, "but I want a puppy " or "I want a [certain breed]" Well, there are tons of puppies in the shelters and they get euthanized as much as anyone else. Did you know that 1 in 4 dogs in shelters are PUREBRED? There are even breed rescues, so lets say you want a beagle, well, there's plenty of beagle rescues, or poodles, or huskies, or whatever your flavor. If you do your homework, you will find your perfect companion, purebred or mutt, puppy or old man- all that need an adoptive home.
If anyone is in the market for a puppy, or a certain kind of dog, please, let me know, I can help you connect with a rescue group that might have the perfect puppy or dog that you are looking for- skip the classifieds and send an important message to backyard breeders to spay and neuter their animals- it's the responsible thing to do. Don't believe it when they tell you there was an 'unexpected meeting' or it was an 'accident.' There are plenty of affordable and low cost spay and neuter clinics in the valley that anyone can utilize if cost is an issue.
You can also visit Petfinder, a wonderful rescue resource where you can do an advanced search to find your perfect companion based on age, breed, gender, location, etc.
If you have ever 'bought' a dog, please don't be offended and don't despair- this post isn't intended to make anyone feel bad- it's a chance to educate people on rescue and adoption and also inspire people to get involved to make a difference in the life of a homeless animal.
Photos: by moi, at a recent No More Homeless Pets Adoption event.