Introducing Neville

We’ve been a bit busy over the past couple of days with our new puppy!

Little Champ likes him—especially feeding him treats!—but he does have moments of jealousy. I’m attempting to get a good photo of Little Champ and Neville together…it’s pretty difficult!

Neville is SUCH a good puppy. He’s smart and sweet. He’s pretty playful, but he’s also content to just cuddle on our laps or follow us around the house.

That’s it for the post! If you want to read my little shpiel on buying a purebred dog, continue reading. Otherwise I will post about our inherited garden soon!

Why we chose a purebred puppy

I always thought that rescuing a pet is better than purchasing one, and that mutts were to be preferred to purebreds because purebreds can have health problems from over-breeding. But when I developed a pretty serious pet allergy, I knew that if we were going to have a family dog, our choices would be seriously limited.

We decided on the Havanese breed (see my last post) because they are non-shedders and really, really cute, and a good size for traveling, and good with kids. It helped that my aunt and uncle have a very sweet Havanese of their own.

The difference between the Havanese from a pet store or puppy mill and the Havanese from a legitimate breeder is HUGE. We compared both, and the Havanese from a farm, raised for 10 weeks with his mother and siblings, was much healthier, had a better temperament, and wasn’t nervous or skiddish like other puppies for sale. He was secure, healthy, and happy.

I’ve never liked seeing animals in cages, which is why I’m often tempted to buy a pet from a pet store—just to save them. But buying from pet stores just continues the industry!

We went to a pet store where the owners really did seem to care for the animals. Though the animals were in cages, they were able to play with other puppies. The store also offered a health guarantee. But the puppies were not happy. They looked tired and terrified. Not all pet stores, and not all breeders are equal. You really have to go with your gut when choosing a dog, not with pity.

I still think that breeding is a bit like doggie eugenics, but I also think there is a clear difference between neutering or spaying animals and sterilizing humans. Quality breeders makes sure their puppies will be cared for in a responsible, loving environment. They make sure the mothers and fathers are carefully selected, and their health is always priority.

On the other hand, “breeders” who run puppy mills care about profit. They treat their animals like prostitutes, pimping them out without real concern for the animals.

Our breeders breed Havanese for the love of the breed, to keep it healthy and strong. They make money from the litters, but profit isn’t their main motivator.

Bottom line

Growing up, my family adopted all of our pets but one. They were and are wonderful! Still, we had them all “fixed” because there are just too many animals that have to be put down in the world—we didn’t want to add more animals to the mix. If you are looking to add to your family, check out Petfinder.com and see if you can adopt a pet. Never buy a puppy from a person claiming to be a breeder until you see where they keep their animals regularly.

And ALWAYS get your animals spayed or neutered if you can’t take responsibility for their entire litter.

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