Barking up the Wrong Tree

Let me start off by saying that I’m a dog person. I grew up with a dog in the house. When I was a little kid we had Pixie, a Boston terrier. When I turned 11 or 12 we got Snoopy. He was a purebred dachshund — a wiener dog, hot dog. By whatever name he was a sweetheart: my best friend. It was with great sadness that I watched his little body suffer as his front legs gave out, and at the young age of 6 years my best friend Snoopy had to be put down. I look back and remember this as one of the darkest times of my life. I was only 16 but I would feel the effects of losing Snoopy for years afterwards.

The City of Los Angeles is proposing a ban on the sale of commercially bred puppies. They want pet stores to be required to sell rescue animals from the pound. I am all for rescuing and saving dogs. But I am against this proposal. The government continues to try and tell us where we can eat, what we can eat, and now what kind of puppies we can buy. Enough is enough.

As an adult I adopted a dachshund from a rescue group. He was brown and a little scared and captured my heart immediately. As I was leaving with him the staff stopped me because they noticed he hadn’t been fixed. Their policy was to spay or neuter before adoption. They gave me a voucher to get him neutered, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I didn’t want the first thing I did to my new best friend was to cut of his, well, you know. I named him Oscar.

Two years later I got another dachshund, a female, and it was love at first sight. I named her Emmy. So with an Oscar and an Emmy we set out to expand our family. The first litter was born: 4 girls, 1 boy — adorable puppies. I offered them to my friend who has a pet shop. I kept the only boy in the litter. We named him Jr. He will be 17 in January.

Jr. seemed depressed; he was never an only dog but seemed lonely. Three months later I adopted Stix from a pet shop that sells rescue dogs. He’s a mini-pini-wawa. (miniature pincher chihuahua mix) and I credit him with bringing Jr. back from doggy depression. Ironically I also adopted Stix without neutering him. I have no plans to breed him, but if I did, I’d like my local pet shop to be able to sell the puppies. (I’m not running a puppy mill.)

If our city council has its way, that won’t be allowed. There will be a black market for purebred puppies in our city. You’ll have to meet your breeder in a back alley and exchange cash for canines. While I understand the city has good intentions, I think they are chasing their tail on this one. How much is that doggy in the window? Way too much if it cost us our right to free choice.