The Problem with Dog Breeding

I am, to put it mildly, an “animal person.” As I write this, one of my cats is asleep on my desk beside my laptop, and my dog is asleep at my feet. I find them endlessly fascinating. As someone deeply devoted to rescue, I often find myself in heated discussions with people who think breeders are the best (or only) option. This is a pretty common divide among dog people. Amy Schumer knows this.

For me, though, it’s not even really about rescue vs. breeders (though buying a dog is not an option in my book). I find breeding for the sake of it to be downright unethical. It leads to unhealthy dogs, even when they conform to so-called “breed standards.” Even “responsible breeders” are often producing dogs that are inherently less healthy simply for being a good specimen of its breed. Continue reading

My Cat Has Gallstones. I Am at a Loss.

dsMy cat is sick. It’s a long story that starts with an emergency trip to the vet the day before I left for vacation, and ends…well…it hasn’t ended yet. As it turns out she has stones in her pancreatic and bile ducts. This is very unusual, and could be caused by a range of things from infection (not a big deal) to liver cancer (very big deal). The only way to know for sure what is causing these stones is an expensive and invasive surgery.

I am conflicted, to say the least.

There are meds that can break up the stones, but she reacted badly to them. She had gotten much better on antibiotics, and when the Ursodiol was introduced, she stopped eating again and had loose stools. We quickly discontinued the meds. She’s back to feeling good on her meds, but the stones will continue to present a problem as long as they are in there. They could move and cause other problems and pain. They could also continue to get infected, wreaking havoc every few weeks or months. And of course, we still don’t know what caused them in the first place so there may be underlying issues. Continue reading

One Nation Under Dog: A Call to Action

If you’ve got HBO, be sure not to miss this documentary.

Rescued Mutts

Recently there was a New York Times article about how 20-somethings are using their parents’ HBO Go passwords to watch Girls. I’d recommend finding an HBO Go password of your own to watch One Nation Under Dog.

I will warn you though, it’s thoroughly heartbreaking.

I cried, a lot.

It’s the “Betrayal” section of the documentary that really gets to you. I’m a little surprised I didn’t actually vomit.

One by one, workers in a a rural shelter carry one perfectly lovely dog after another into a big metal bin. They’re packed in so tightly they can barely move. Then they’re gassed — you can hear them crying. Once they’re dead, the bin is opened up, a litter of puppies is put in on top of them and the process is repeated. Then a garbage truck shows up and dumps the bin full of dogs into the back…

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