The Throw-Away Puppies

That was a Facebook post relayed for comment on Reddit. I read it with a large, happy rescue dog snoring on my lap; he had already been given up to shelters twice in his young life. I found myself wondering how many innocent, loving, trusting animals would be experiencing the same cruelty, not just after Christmas but after a pandemic in which shelters have been depleted by people seeking companionship while they are stuck at home.

I suppose it is a good thing the Facebook user who composed this had her name redacted: some crazed PETA members–or my wife—might have tracked her down with mayhem on their mind. I have known people like the writers—still do, in fact—and they all regard themselves as decent, ethical people whose values are in order. In truth, they have the same ethical vacuum as dog-fighting enthusiasts, just from a different socioeconomic perspective

What is especially horrible about that message is its tone, blithely talking about a living thing as if it is just on Earth for the momentary convenience of human beings, like firecracker or a piece of chewing gum. How do people get that way? How can they walk through the world, maybe go to church, watch “Lassie,” “Benji,” “Sea Biscuit,” “My Dog Skip,” “Turner and Hooch,” “Old Yeller,” “Born Free” and “Babe” (surely they can’t have missed all of them) and interact with the animal family members of friends and relatives and still not only think like that, but confidently reveal that they think like that on social media?

I thought about all the cruelty such people inflict on dogs and other creatures every day, and al I could do is reach down to the big white head with the big grey-brown spot over one eye and give it a hug…a long, long one. “You’re safe, boy, and you’re loved,” I said in a whisper, as he furiously wagged that whip-tail, making a loud drum-beat on the sofa.

And he farted.

14 thoughts on “The Throw-Away Puppies

  1. We need to have a “no pet list” which prevents idiots like this from ever acquiring an animal. I don’t care if it is a pet rat, snake or dog or cat these people are unworthy of the trust associated with becoming an animal’s care taker. They probably should not be allowed to have children either.

  2. Shelters dread the release of films, such as “101 Dalmatians” because they know people will rush out to get one without bothering to think about whether or not the animal will fit their lifestyle and then end up dumping the poor thing off at a shelter when the personality of the dog doesn’t mesh.

  3. When I read articles/posts like this. I understand why the Democrats and the elites always get their way. The post demonstrates the selfishness, dismissal of consequences and short term thinking that will inevitably lead to servitude. Apologies a bit of rant. That stimulus bill and the hypocrisy surrounding it, has me up in arms.

  4. Could be a hoax. Maybe not.

    To answer your question: people may get that way if they don’t have pets as kids. Maybe it was because my dad was a vet and we had a string of pets, we always knew it was a lifetime commitment.

    As for the writer, she may be underestimating (overestimating?) her daughter.

    We got Xena about a year ago and Sarah and Jack immediately took to her. Sarah repeatedly observes that she thinks “Xena likes living with us,” and how “Xena has a nice home now.”

    If that dog attaches to the daughter and vice versa, the writer may find that she (he?) is not going to get any money back on Facebook.


    • You make a great point. More than one husband has brought home a dog that the wife didn’t want only for the wife and dog to bond. The mother in that post should be careful about assuming what will happen between her child and that puppy. She may even find that she herself grows attached to the little fella and can’t bear to part from him.

  5. My dog is a fuzzy little pain in the rear, who eats newspapers, steals my shoes, and demands to go in and out of the house 40-50 times a day. I would never even consider getting rid of her. Dogs are a responsibility. They are also loving little furballs who are thrilled to see you every time you come home or get up in the morning.

    What this Reddit poster is teaching their child is just as unethical as what they are planning to do to the dog. Responsibility is only important so long as you’re in the mood to be entertained. Responsibility can be dumped once you are no longer in the mood to deal with it. Ick.

  6. It seems like every holiday I see a post that is similar to this. Don’t give a new dog for Christmas. Don’t give rabbits/ducks for Easter. Don’t get turkey’s for Thanksgiving (apparently a thing out here in rural Missouri). So when my oldest son asked for a turtle for his birthday this year, I immediately said no. Of course, in his mind, this wasn’t fair. His younger brother had bought a beta fish with his birthday money. As such he thought he deserved something similar. I told him there was a big difference between a fish that lives for a few years at most and a turtle that can live up to 50+ years. If he was getting a turtle, he was in for a life-time commitment and he was too young to make that decision (at 37 I think I’m too young to make that decision).

    Too many people live in the now. They want instant gratification. When that gratification wears off, they tend to move on to the next thing. This is the main reason why pets make terrible gifts: they are long term commitments. For context, lets look at how long.

    The average life of a dog and a cat depending on a breed is 12 years. This assumes they are healthy for most of their life. For a horse 25-30 years. Rabbits are 10 year commitments. Hamsters and Guinea pigs fall into the 2-5 year range. Snakes, depending on the breed can live between 15-20 years. Goldfish are a lot harder to tell. Though most don’t live past a year, many have lived for decades with the oldest one in captivity living to 43. The lifespan off all of these pets illustrates the same thing: if you take on the responsibility, you should realize you are in it or the long haul.

    But lets say, I’m in it for the long haul, then what? Well then you have to look at the financials. Like children, pets require food, doctor’s visits, medicine, toys, attention, and money. Sure, there upkeep tends to be a lot less then a human, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored completely. I estimated I spent hundreds on my dog this year alone. Next year will be more. In 2019 Americans spent $95.7 billion on their animals. Though 2020 isn’t over, people now think that number is closer to $100 billion. If you use your animals for work or competition (a different discussion) you would also more than likely insure your animals adding to the cost.

    But lets say you’re willing to take on the commitment and the cost all to make your child happy on that Christmas morning. Now you have created another problem. You have denied your child the experience of choosing your pet. The day before we decided to get Max Max, my wife and I went to the shelter. There we found a dog I thought the boys would like. We interacted with it, my wife and I both liked it and we were going to buy it. While we were in the process of doing the paperwork, the lady asked us if we had children. Saying we did, she said “they will love it.” This gave my wife pause. What if they didn’t love it? She decided, it would be best for the boys to pick out the dog. So, we stopped, came back the next day, and the boys were not excited about it. They in turn chose Max Max. Max Max choose me.

    This is a roundabout way of saying that Chemistry is required. If you don’t have chemistry, it is going to be both unfair to the pet and the recipient. They child will never interact with it because they don’t want it. They will treat it like a discarded toy or broken game. The pet, especially if it has been abused or neglected in the past, is never going to get the attention it deserves, perhaps causing it to act out in ways you would not expect.

    This brings to me to my final issue: behavior. Pets are not people. Sure you can teach it a few tricks and where to go to release their bowels, but that is the extent of it. What are you going to do with your pet when you travel? Who will be responsible for making sure it is fed? Are you willing to get up at 3am because your pet needs to go potty? Are you going to punish your dog for peeing at the door every time someone rings the door bell? They ripe, tear, and chew on everything. What happens when they destroy your new sofa? And yet, they are wonderful, more forgiving than people, and are ecstatic for the little bit of attention they get. Pets can be all the best parts of people with none of the worst parts. Perhaps that is why a survey in 2019 found that 34% of people would call their pet their favorite child.

    To the mom in the above post I would say your criticism is well deserved. To everyone else who wants a pet or wants to give a pet I would say, do your research. All parties involved will be better served by it.

  7. Not only does my family adopt love, and rescue dogs and cats, we also adopt and love humans. Both are living and breathing. Both want and deserve love. I cannot begin to imagine life without my 8 adopted grandchildren, not life without my many rescued and adopted dogs and cats.

    It would never occur to me to send back one of my grandkids because they misbehaved. They are my family. I accepted responsibility for them for a lifetime.

    A dog, any breed, in addition to being an affectionate, devoted member of the family, form tight bonds with their humans, and need to be cared for like the valuable family member they become. When I adopt and animal I commit to care for their physical and mental needs for their lifetime.

    Would this person consider giving away a wife, son, or daughter who was sick? It does cause me to wonder what ethics drive his decision making.

    I don’t know this person so I don’t want to condemn him too severely, but compassion is the basis of morality. He seems to lack compassion for this puppy which causes me to doubt his morality.

  8. For the immediate problem for Jack, there are gummy pills at retailers like Amazon that reduce farting in our great big dane by about 90%. She thinks they’re candy, so no problem getting her to have a couple… (her ‘big brother the dauschund was never classed as a source of mustard gas)

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