Teach Your Children: Adopt, Don't Shop
Posted By Suzy Allman Oct 04, 2012
Our first family pet was a red setter/pointer/lab mix we named Simon. He came from a large litter of pups off my great-aunt's dog, Carnie. The idea of going to an animal shelter -- like the concept of "Catch and Release", or not littering -- wasn't part of the conversation. The 1970's were another age.
But one generation passeth away, and another generation cometh, and with it cometh animal shelters that are bursting at the seams, rescues that are cash-poor and compassion-rich, breeders and puppy mills that are producing and reproducing as if part of an Industrial Revolution of the pet market.
One thing stays the same. There is a certain age at which a child will start pestering his parents for a pet, and if the child is persistent enough (my daughter actually wrote us a persuasive essay about why we should get a dog, which included this gem: "I will actually be living in a house with my favorite animal of all!"), the parents might be moved to think that a pet would be a good way to teach responsibility, loyalty, etc.
And that is the deepest mission of CharlieDogs: let the kid be part of the conversation. Maybe he'll ask for "rescue" by name. Maybe she'll do something that never would have occurred to our family, passing through our childhood in the '70s: go to a shelter: Adopt a dog or cat. Rescue, and save a life.
Save a life, although you are only ten.