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Bow Wow Meow Press

June 23, 2008

Adopting a Designer Pooch

by Buzz Miller (Main Line Times - Summer 2007)

Many potential dog owners feel the need to adopt a “pure bred”. I am always thrilled when anyone decides to adopt a companion animal in need of a Forever Home. A dog is a perfect addition to one’s life and I fully encourage adoption. I have never met a dog I didn't like, although I can't say that about humans. I find you can count on a dog giving you unconditional love, but you often have a problem finding a “true friend” on your long list of acquaintances. This is not an original “Buzzy analogy” either. I hear this all the time, when talking with customers about the human/animal bond at Buzzy’s Bow WOW Meow.

A favorite sentiment on Capital Hill is “If you want a friend, get a dog.” Adopting gives you lots of options to think about. Should you get a short hair, a long hair or a wire hair? Should it be under 10 pounds, over 40 pounds or just plain adorable? It shouldn't be about what breed you think you might want but rather about the temperament and energy level that will work best for you and your family.

How many potential dog owners know what a mutt is? Are you aware that designer breeds were mutts before someone decided, “Oh, that dog is so cute and I want one too!” Breeders are always looking for the next hot “designer dog” and will mate dogs until the perfect “cocktail” is created along with a catchy name. Mating a poodle and a cocker spaniel became a cockapoo and a lab and a poodle became a labradoodle. Not long ago we called these dogs mutts! Shelters/rescue groups have many designer dogs who haven't made it to the “it list” yet. They are one of a kind because of the mystery of who they are. Unfortunately, dogs waiting in a cage to be adopted aren't considered “designer breeds” or valuable by many considering adoption. Their hopeful faces have little history, sitting there waiting for someone to offer them a future. Pure bred dogs were mutts until they got a designer name.

Look around you today. Can you guess the bloodlines of most of the people you see? Americans celebrated our 231st birthday on July 4th. When our forefathers landed at Plymouth Rock they sought freedom from prejudice. Americans are mutts too, and proud of it. Why then do we judge a dog who actually has great bloodlines all grouped together, as second class?

Ask a veterinarian about a mutt. Most often the health benefits of all those “intermarriages” or “chance meetings” between breeds are healthier and sturdier than a pure bred. Today, with DNA testing, there will be no such thing as a mystery breed, if you fork up $75. I have a surprise for you. The genetic make-up of a “pure bred” dog might be entirely different than what the AKC papers led you to believe. I am hoping that it is going to be a hoot to find out about the “family tree” of a dog. Dinner parties might revolve around whose pooch has the oddest family history of all the dogs in their immediate circle. Now is the perfect time for dog lovers to band together and march on Washington to have the “M” word taken out of our vocabulary. It is degrading and gives dogs a bad rap unjustly. Think about a conversation at a dog park when you are asked about your “Labchipooterrier” or your “Ratspanshitz”. Just think of the dates that singles might encounter, walking their designer breed. What a great way to meet a possible “forever soul mate” through your dog’s originality. I can't think of a better pick up line than,”What kind of a dog is that?” A great way to break the ice for the four of you through the human/animal bond.

You can save a life by adopting a shelter/rescue companion animal. I can guarantee that your new “best friend” will lower your blood pressure, make your heart purr and you will never ever be lonely again with all the unconditional love coming your way. Trust me, I am speaking from experience.



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