Thursday, March 21, 2013

And then there were THREE: Broö

     March 2013 finds the bf and I living in a nice (little) apartment in Houston, Texas, far away from our beloved green hills and mountains in Tennessee. We have been here since the beginning of January and it has been nice so far, though it has been getting increasingly warm, bordering on hot, which has me worried! I'm not one for the oppressive heat and humidity that smothers the city like a hot woolen blanket in the summer months. The bf and I have actually spent the past 2 summers here (or rather I visited him for a month or so each summer) and it was brutal---my plan then was to never go outside unless I was at the pool, since I am prone to fainting and general crankiness in the heat, but that just won't work for us this summer since WE GOT A DOG! :D

It has been a long time coming, but we finally got a dog. We still want a frenchie like crazy, but considering the heat here (bad news for brachycephalic dogs), the cost of potential breed specific surgeries (palette reduction for proper breathing), and the simple fact that there are just way too many good dogs being put down in shelters in part from over-breeding, we chose to adopt.

Since we knew we wanted a doberman, we went through the Houston Area Doberman Rescue (HADR) and highly recommend them. The gentle giant we ended up with is a sweet 8 year old, weighing in at 90 pounds, who lived with the same family his whole life. He is blessedly well mannered and has obviously been well cared for his entire life. He came to the rescue from a 78-year old lady who needed to have back surgery and worried she wouldn't be able to care for him properly during her long recovery. I'm sure it was incredibly painful for her to part with him, especially since he was her departed husband's baby, and the rescue passed on to us an entire garbage bag she had brought with him, full of dog-sized fleece blankets, nail clippers, toothbrushes, shampoo and even beef-flavored toothpaste. We couldn't fathom what all the blankets were for, since he already had a dog bed, but it turns out that he gets cold at night when we turn the air conditioning on, as he must have when he was with his first owner, and he curls up into a tight little ball! I love dragging the dog bed into the bedroom at night as he sleepily follows me and plops down, curling into that little ball, and gives me a heavy-lidded look as I tuck one of his old blankets around him.

Broö likes peanut butter. A lot.

He is really a joy to have and we are so happy to be his new family! We're still learning all his little quirks and getting used to having this furbaby invade every aspect of our relationship :P

OH! And his name is Broö, pronounced "brew" like a beer. It really has no meaning in particular, we just thought it fit him.

Not enjoying mom and dad getting up at 5 am for work

Broö always floods the apt when he drinks water--it gets everywhere. Even on his own face.

Us at the dog park. We live in a small apt, so we go a couple times a day to run around and socialize!

I wish I could throw further, he gets visibly frustrated with my poor throwing! (This photo is for show only and is not an indication of how I throw/hold the ball ;)

Annoying but necessary PSA:

If you're looking to add a furry new member to your own family, I strongly urge you to adopt. I don't want to rant about the crises that are going on with over-breeding and the overflow of unwanted animals at shelters, but if you are unfamiliar with these issues they merit some research on your part. There are presently a whole host of serious health problems cropping up in "purebred" dogs as they are manically bred (inbred, more often than not) more and more for exaggerated characteristics (excessive wrinkles, short legs, curly tail, smushed face, etc), without regard for the viability of those characteristics or the general health of the dog. This is a well-documented problem that is being disregarded by many breeders, so do your research!! If you have your heart set on a certain breed, consider going through a breed-specific rescue (which is what we did).

I know these articles and videos are lengthy, but I had no idea this problem even existed until I happened across the first BBC piece the other day. The rest of the research I've done online corroborates with what they reported.

  • BBC produced a follow-up video, called Pedigree Dogs Exposed 3 Years Later, which you can also find online
  • Although from 2007, this paper will give you a good idea of the problems surrounding the Kennel Clubs and breed standards if you prefer text over video

I don't wish to sound as if I'm preaching from a high-horse (I'm just going to combine those two idioms), but these are some issues that sound quite frivolous (breed standards? who cares?) and yet are truly important when it comes to alleviating the suffering (both human and animal) that is occurring without our knowledge. I'm going to stop adding paragraphs to this now, but do your research and know what you're getting into. Don't think that just because someone is offering AKC registered dogs that they are a good breeder or that they have healthy dogs. Do your research! Or better yet, (much better) adopt!!! :)

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