Pet Tips

Get the Pet You Want

August 14, 2022

When I write “get the pet you want” what I really mean is “get the pet that, after doing your research, you decide is the best fit for you/your family” – but that doesn’t make for such a great blog title! 

I’ve had quite a few pets over the years.

get the pet you wantMy partner and I got Kitsune, our first dog, back in 2009.  Before Kit, for many years, I was a “rabbit person”.  I kept house rabbits, mostly rescues.  Over the years I shared my life with 5 different house bunnies (not all at the same time).  My last rabbit, Barnaby, passed away in 2017.  His exact age was unknown, since he was a rescue, but I had shared my life with him for 11 years.

I often think of my past bunnies, and miss them quite a bit.  After Barnaby, I decided to take a break from rabbits.  As much as I loved them, I was burnt out.  I volunteered quite a bit in rabbit rescue, where I had seen it all.  Almost all of my personal rabbits were rescues, and most of them came with health and/or behavioral issues.

Finding my first dog…

Before my partner and I got Kitsune, we talked a lot about what we were looking for in a dog.  My first inclination was to adopt because, well, adoption being the best option kind of gets drilled into you.  Especially when you’re involved in any kind of animal rescue, albeit with a different species.

I knew I wanted a papillon.  Papillons had been my favorite breed of dog since I was a kid, and we felt that a small, active, friendly dog would fit in perfectly to our outdoorsy, apartment life.  I spent SO long trying to find a papillon in a shelter near us.  I remember being so happy when I finally found one.  The papillon in question was a shy, adult female.  We had wanted a younger male.  I wanted a puppy that I could train and socialize myself, especially around small animals.  I still had rabbits at the time, and wanted a puppy I could raise around the rabbits, to train him/her to treat smaller animals with respect.  But c’est la vie, right?  It had taken me months to find a papillon in rescue, so I felt like I couldn’t really afford to be picky.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.  Despite being a more than dedicated pet owner, who had worked in rabbit rescue for many years and had a biology degree, the rescue decided to deny my adoption application.  I was one year younger than their required age to adopt.  Apparently, I hadn’t yet attained the magical age of responsibility.

My dogs came from reputable breeders.

get the pet you want

My dream puppy, 13 years later!

I was heartbroken.  What were the chances that I was going to find a papillon, local to me, in rescue again anytime soon?  Let alone ideally either a puppy, or one that was already ok around small animals.  And would I get my hopes up, only to have them dashed again?  We were young, lived in an apartment, and didn’t have a fenced in yard.  A trifecta that, apparently, to a lot of recues made us horrible adoption candidates.

I did a lot of soul searching, and a lot of research.  I decided to reach out to reputable papillon breeders and, long story shorter, found my dream puppy – Kitsune!  He was everything I was looking for in a dog, and then some!

Finding a new pet is not “one size fits all”.

Being very involved in the pet community for quite awhile now, the argument of rescues verses breeders is a reoccurring point of discussion.  “Adopt don’t shop” is a mantra I see often, as if those of us buying animals from reputable breeders liken the experience of “shopping” for a living being, a new member of our family, to purchasing a pair of socks or a new sweater.  Going through a reputable breeder is nothing like shopping, by the way!

I’ve been asked many times before where my loyalties lie when it comes to obtaining a pet, and I’ve always said pretty much the same thing.  Get the pet you want.  The pet that is the best fit for you and your family.  Get the pet that you can handle for the entirety of its life.

For some people that pet is going to be a rescue pet – and that’s awesome!  For other people that pet is going to come from a reputable, well researched, breeder – and that’s ok too!

I’ve always been a huge proponent of doing lots (and lots and lots) of research before adding a new pet to your family.  Getting the right pet is so important!  It could mean the difference between being able to provide that animal with an awesome home for its whole life, or having to give him/her up when you realize that they weren’t the best fit for you.  If more people put more thought into always selecting animals that fit well into their lives, less pets would end up homeless in shelters.  At the end of the day I would think/hope that more animals in happy, lifelong, appropriate homes would be something all animal lovers could get behind.

get the pet you want

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