Friday, March 04, 2005

Spay or Neuter Your Dog!

I'm sure that people aren't looking for a lecture when they call to ask about my rental. I try not to lecture, but it's soooo tempting.

Me: So, I assume that your dog is spayed (neutered)?
Phoner: Er, no.
Me: And why is that?
Phoner (answer 1):I will, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. [Ed note: Dog is 2 years old.]
Me (in my inner voice): You idiot, what are you going to do when your dog gets pregnant by some random tramp who climbs over the fence when the dog is in heat? Do you know how many unwanted mixed-breed puppies are euthanized every year just here in Santa Clara County? What are you thinking? Do you have a brain? If your dog is a male, what kind of irresponsible owner are you? Do you know how hard a male dog will work to get to a female in heat? Do you want to be responsible for random quantities of unwanted mixed-breed puppies that you never even see or *have* to take responsibility for? What are you thinking?
Me (in my outer voice): I'm sorry, I'll take only spayed or neutered dogs. I don't need the whole hubbub around females in heat or males chasing females in heat or marking territory or fighting.

Phoner (answer 2): I'm planning on breeding him/her eventually.
Me: Oh, so your dog is a champion of some sort?
Phoner: Answer A: No, he's just a really cool dog. Answer B: No, but he's from champion lines.
Me (still in my outer voice, politely): Oh, so you're showing your dog or competing in some format to earn a championship, or he's a proven working dog?
Phoner: No.
Me (still in my outer voice, trying to be helpful): Oh, so you have some kind of agreement with the breeder?
Phoner:No, it's just my personal plan to breed him/her.
Me (in my inner voice): You raving lunatic, don't you think that *every* dog is a cool dog? I've had 5 dogs, all but one rescues, and they were *all* cool dogs, and should I have just kept cranking out random puppies because they were cool? And, in fact, my first dog was of championship lines on BOTH sides of her family: German Shepherd and Golden Retriever. Guess I should've bred *her* repeatedly, too? Oh, yours is a *pedigreed purebred*, huh? OK, go look at the English Bulldog/Golden Retriever/Rottweiler/Jack Russell rescue pages on the web and go talk to the shelter people about how many *cool purebred* dogs are unwanted out there. Sure, add a few more so other ignorant people like yourself can breed more unwanted dogs of purebred lines. And of COURSE I'm SURE that you're planning on carefully interviewing each prospective owner, visiting their home, writing up a contract that the dog must revert to you if they ever decide they don't want it, and following up with the owner over time to see how the dog is doing, like any RESPONSIBLE BREEDER would do?
Me (in my outer voice): I'm sorry, I'll take only spayed or neutered dogs. I don't need the whole hubbub around females in heat or males chasing females in heat or marking territory or fighting.

It's not like I've always understood all this myself, but I always had my dogs spayed/neutered--only Sheba managed to become pregnant. We had an appointment for her to be spayed and she managed to escape the first week we had her and when we finally got her back she was pregnant, and we just gave the puppies away to random people. Nowadays, the pound takes care of the neutering before the dog ever leaves the premesis, which is wise.

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