Sunday, January 11, 2009

In style pets

Joanna sent me an article that I thought was really good. It's entitled "Leave Marley in the Movies: Why Buying a Trendy Pet Makes No Sense", written by Tisha Tolar over at Wisebread. An excerpt:

Who doesn’t fall in love with the many animals featured in hit movies of today and years past? You may be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t want to adopt 101 cute spotted dogs or wish to cuddle with a little, talking Chihuahua but the reality is the animals we see in the movies or on television are simply not reality. As the movies continue to bring us “insight” into different types of lovable pets, parents are more inclined to run out and buy the same kind of animal to appease the kids without much thought into the expense, care, and time needed to truly love and nurture the real deal.

Every time a lovable critter makes it big in Hollywood, impulsive consumer demand causes a frenzy that often turns out bad for the real life "stars". As quickly as they're scooped up from stores, they're abandoned at shelters. These fads aren't just made up of four-legged Hollywood stars.

I thought she made a really great point. Movies do affect people's sentiments about certain animals, and too many people buy their animals impulsively. I fear the consequences of Marley & Me in particular: lab puppies are cute, but notoriously wild, energetic, and hard-to-control dogs! Not saying that they're bad pets, but it takes a responsible owner willing to put in the time to train them to make for a well-behaved dog.

If a movie has inspired you to get a pet, I'd recommend you first analyze your reasons for doing so. It's not bad to have a pet, but it's best to do it for the right reasons. Do your research. Find the breed that fits your needs/lifestyle the best. There are lots of options and decisions to make, and it's better for everyone involved if you make them with a clear head and not emotions. And if/when you do go to adopt an animal, make sure you're not supporting puppy mills! Rather, choose a rescue or a shelter... and if you must have the purebred for whatever reason, then make sure it's a reputable breeder.

So next time your dog gets into your Blackberry plants, it will help knowing that you made the decision to get him out of wisdom and not impulsively... :-)

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