Hey Purebred Dog Lovers,
I get it. You've wanted that Goldendoodle since the invention of the breed. You've been dreaming of a Dalmatian since the first time you watched 101 Dalmatians when you were 5. It's hard to get past what you've had in your mind as the cutest, most ideal dog to ever exist. Maybe you genuinely want that breed because you've researched what their personalities and energy levels tend to be like. Or, if you're being honest with yourself, maybe you're just obsessed with getting a puppy and making sure it is cute enough and tiny enough for its own Instagram account while riding around town in your purse.
Either way, the reason you want a purebred pup is mostly selfish. You may think you're making a huge difference in a puppy's life because you get to raise it, as if it were your actual baby, and go through every stage of life together. I'm not saying that raising a puppy isn't difficult and I'm not saying that your impact in that dog's life is minimal. All I'm saying is when you compare potty training a puppy because it doesn't know better to working with an adopted dog for months through its separation anxiety and troubled past, there's a big difference.
We hear it all the time: dogs are like people. Each one has its own personality, own quirks, unique bark sound, and needs. When you adopt a dog, it is going to have baggage, whether it is a behavioral issue or physical ailment. It's unavoidable and it gets me so upset as a dog rescue mom. I've sat and cried thinking about my dog's pasts. I don't know what their previous lives were like or how they were treated. What I do know about my dogs is this: one had separation anxiety for 6 months and could not be crate trained as he would rub his snout bloody trying to get out and the other has a severe fear of water. Knowing that we have overcome these obstacles together and I've earned their trust while completely changing their life fills my heart with joy.
I know you may be hesitant to visit a shelter, especially a government-run one that is dirty and loud. I was scared to visit one because I knew I'd get emotional and want to take every single dog home with me. After going to the same shelter twice and adopting two dogs, the most important fact is to not let the environment impact you. Every single dog there is terrified, uncomfortable, and skeptical of people. When I requested one-on-one time with my dogs in the play yard, both of them wouldn't come near me. I had faith that they'd be different in a home nurtured with love and over time, they were.
If you decide to go buy a puppy and support someone's personal monetary gain while other dogs wait in misery needing a home, I can't judge you. I'm sure there's a decent person deep down inside you somewhere and this letter isn't the ASPCA Sarah McLachlan commercial. All I ask is that you consider completely saving a dog's life and growing together in reaching behavioral growth instead of just growing together in age. Never underestimate the power that you have to rescue a dog's life through adoption.