Monday, September 19, 2016

How much (abused) is that doggie in the window?

     Last week, the Humane Society of the United States settled a lawsuit against Furry Babies pet stores intended to curb their habit of selling dogs from puppy mills.
     While the five Furry Babies locations are on the fringes of the Chicago area—Aurora, Blomingdale, Janesville, Joliet and Rockford—the news had an unexpected effect closer to home: my heart.
     See, our dog Kitty....
     Better start at the beginning.
     Cue the maudlin music.
     See, growing up, I never had a dog. My father was born in the Bronx, where his having a dog would have been as unimaginable as my raising a bear cub. We had pet rats — seriously, black and white rats.
     So when my boys first started lobbying for a dog, I was adamant. "You're not asking for a dog," I'd tell them, "you're asking me to pick up dog crap twice a day and I'm not going to do it!" The older one, ever resourceful, started a dog-walking business the summer he was 8, to show he could handle the responsibility. But he quickly abandoned both the business and lobbying for dogs. I felt vindicated.
     The younger was more resourceful, however, tying the dog to his bar mitzvah. Gulling a child to perform this arcane religious rite softened me—I would have gotten him an ox had 

he asked....

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  1. That's a darling dog and reminds us a bit of our Shih-Tzu. Hopefully, more people become aware of the problem with pet shop dogs and it's good to hear that pet shop was sued.

  2. Kitty is so adorable, she melts your heart. The pets I have brought home (three cats) were all strays. Two of them I just felt sorry for, and the other one was a 3-day old kitten we found in a paper bag in the forest preserve one winter while walking our dog. I raised it myself and he lived to be 17. But all three cats had problems with temperament on occasion and could not tolerate other cats, so a shelter is probably the way to go.


    1. P.S.
      The dog we were walking in the forest preserve was also a stray, who was well-known in the neighborhood he wandered. It was our first pet, a Golden Retriever mix. My husband brought him home one night, and after my initial reluctance to keep him, I gave in when he sulked, filthy dirty, under the kitchen table and gently lay down, looked up at us as if to ask "Am I home?" He was already 9 or 10 and lived to be 14.


  3. "I am because my little dog knows me." Gertrude Stein (after Descartes)

    Tom Evans

  4. I'm not sure exactly why it's more profitable to mistreat animal mothers in the pet sale industry, but it's good to know that it seems to be standard practice and that one need not contribute to the mistreatment by purchasing a pet through a puppy mill or a doubtful source.


  5. I don't think most people are aware of puppy mills. And even rescue services can be bad. The other day here police raided a house of rescue business. There had already been complaints about, mainly about not picking up outside. I forget how many dogs were in the house, but the stench was so bad that the officers that went there could only stay in there for 30 seconds.

  6. One of these Furry babies places is in the Joliet mall. Never purchases anything from there but they place the puppies in a playpen crib as if was a toy or baby. Exploiters!


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