Replacing a Beloved Pet
Dear Annie: Our beloved family dog, Dasher, passed away last year. Dasher was a husky. She was the sweetest and best dog I ever could imagine. Good with the kids and our old kitty. When I contacted the breeder I bought her from, he said that he is no longer breeding. My friend suggested I look at adopting a dog from the local shelter or a rescue group. I really want a husky, and our shelter didn't have any but suggested I reach out to local husky rescue groups. Well, I did, and I found a great one.
After I filled out the application, a volunteer called me within 24 hours. She thanked me for considering adoption and gave me some very sad statistics about how many dogs get euthanized because of overpopulation. She then said my house will be a tricky place to find the right dog for. Most huskies have a strong prey drive and are not great with cats, small dogs or small children. I was taken aback because Dasher was so great with all of the above. When I told her this, she said my best bet would be to get a puppy and socialize the dog around kids and cats as much as possible. She said that her rescue group rarely gets pups in and that it could take a long time. I want to adopt, but I also don't want to put the lives of my cat and kids in danger. Do you have any advice as to what I should do? -- Adopt or Shop?
Dear Adopt or Shop: Whenever possible, adopt; don't shop. I understand loving a particular breed and wanting a puppy of that breed. The way I see it, you have three options:
1) Wait until the husky rescue gets a puppy in.
2) Go on Petfinder and search for husky puppies. You may have to travel a bit to find a puppy, or it may not be a purebred husky, but chances are great that you can find a husky puppy. Sometimes mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds.
3) If you do decide to buy a puppy, at least be sure you know where you're buying from. Kristina Lotz wrote a wonderful article for iHeartDogs titled "10 Signs That A Puppy Is From a Puppy Mill," and I would recommend reading it before buying from a pet shop or breeder.
Dear Annie: Your column with the letter from widower "Neil" brings back sad memories for me. I lost my mother when I was 13 years old, and it was staggering. I had no siblings and an alcoholic father. Life was a mess.
Years later, I attended a seminar, and the most important thing I learned was how to handle major upsets. Here's the way to do it. When thinking about an upsetting incident, write down the following questions and your answers: When did it happen? Where did it happen? Who was involved? How did you feel? What happened?
You might want to write the same upset down several times. Just do it. It will work. -- Art in Oregon
Dear Art: Writing is a wonderful form of therapy. I second your suggestion. Thanks for it.
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