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It feels like forever since I posted last. I’m also terribly behind on Dannan’s blog, and on replying to the heap of email in my inbox.  However, I am beginning to allow myself to be the awful correspondent that I always have been, but which I have fought against. Three cheers for self-growth!!

At any rate, things were pretty rough here at The Muse Asylum.  The “trial” med that I was stuck on for three months wasn’t doing me any favours.  Neither was my psychiatrist’s office assistant, who couldn’t find me even a minute of his time.  But that’s a whole other rant, which I might actually have already ranted.

On February 19th, I rounded the corner, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.  That was the day I made my first trip to OneSouth, our local psych ward.  To sum up how I got there (because I’m too lazy to edit):  I was on one heck of a lot of meds, which all had nasty side effects that got together, had a party, and increased exponentially.   And as I’ve mentioned,  my past year has been rough in terms of access to a psychiatrist;  when my original Psydoc closed his practice in December of 2007, he referred me to a great female psydoc named Dr. F.  She was super, except for the fact that she and her husband decided that they didn’t like it here and moved to the Lower Mainland in June of 2008.  Long story short, I didn’t see anyone from June until November, and that was too long.

In November, my new guy (Dr. W.) saw me. I think he will prove to be fabulous if a person can actually get in to see him.  We decided to try a(nother) new med, on the theory that I would see him once a month for at least a year.  Except that he is supremely busy, and I am on the cancellation list until July of 2009.  (From then on, I do have a monthly appointment with him, if I can actually make it until then.)

From mid-December, no matter what we told the office assistant, I couldn’t get in to see Dr. W.  It didn’t seem to matter that I ended up moving home with Mom and Dad because I didn’t feel safe at home alone all day, or that my mood had absolutely plummeted on the new med.  Nothing would get me an appointment.

Finally, The Therapist suggested we tell her that it was “urgent”, which is apparently a code word that opens doors as if by magic.  Except.   Except her response was that their office doesn’t handle “emergencies”, so if it was urgent, I needed to go to the ER or to my GP.

Finally, on February 19th, Mom took me to my GP.  By this time, I was in a very bad way.  GP said she couldn’t do anything except admit me to OneSouth.  I didn’t want to go (OH, how BADLY I didn’t want to go), but I told Mom and GP that I was in no position to be making decisions for myself.  And this is how I came to be admitted (involuntarily, despite both my consent and Mom’s – the only way to get a bed was to go involuntarily), and how life started to be a bit brighter.

I have always been terrified of going to the hospital.  I have never been in the hospital overnight, other than for two sleep studies.  And when I practiced law, a number of my firm’s clients were folks with various mental illnesses.  Often when they called, it was from the psych ward.  And did they ever have awful things to say about it!  It’s quite ironic, actually, that their descriptions would foster this great fear in me.  When I think back to those days, one former client in particular comes to my mind, and I wouldn’t have considered here to be a credible witness on any other issue.  One of the more prominent features of her illness was that she was delusional;  most of what she told us was considered to be questionable in terms of it’s actual basis in reality, until further investigation was done.

However, the lasting effect of her (and others’) accounts of life on the psych ward was that I became extremely afraid of the place.  Certainly, at the beginning, a big part of the fear was probably that I wouldn’t, couldn’t, be admitted to the very ward ward where my clients could be.  (My whole adventure with mental illness began in Victoria, and it really was a possibility that such a situation could have happened.)  Thus began more than nine years of absolute refusal to be admitted to any psych ward (even after I left Victoria), and absolute terror of what would happen to me if I were admitted.

Despite my terror, OneSouth is a good place.  Even the isolation ward (where one wears yellow baggy pajamas and has a bare cinderblock room with only a bed, a pillow, and a blanket) isn’t so bad.  I was terrified when I got there, even under the influence of a hefty dose of Haldol. At GP’s office, I literally begged my mother not to send me to OneSouth.  I even at one point promised her that I wouldn’t be ill anymore, I would be better, if only I didn’t have to go.  In the circumstances, I am very proud of her for having made the decision to have me admitted anyway.

I calmed myself down once I was in the “cell”, mostly because I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to go home if I was hysterical.  (Suffice it to say, I could never have actually calmed myself if it weren’t for the shot of Haldol.)  I was, at first, determined to go home as soon as humanly possible (hopefully the next morning, if not sooner).  As time passed, I began thinking that the isolation ward wasn’t such a bad place to be. (I may write more about this in another post.)

I got to see Dr. W. the next afternoon (Friday).  How do you like that?  Three months of begging for a moment of his time…  Admittedly, I wasn’t begging him, but rather his office assistant.  Anyway.  He transferred me to the open side of the ward as soon as we had finished meeting. Our decision was to take me off all of my psych meds so we could start all over again. No better place to do that than in the hospital.

I’m now on a med called Remeron (mirtazapine), and I was in a good place to go off everything else. And I finally got to see for myself what the psych ward was all about.  I have a friend who told me once about one of her other friends who called her times in the psych ward a vacation.  I couldn’t imagine before how anyone could say such a thing, but it is in reality a very nice place to be. Rooms of four, a richly-appointed lounge with a pool table, a table-top curling game, a ping pong table, a piano, board games and puzzles, and lavish comfy chairs. An open kitchen where a person helps herself to whatever she want at any time. A TV room, nurses to look after anything a person needs, and time to do whatever a person wants. I had a grounds pass, so I wasn’t confined to the ward.As long as I wrote on the chalkboard by the nurses’ station that I was going for a walk, I could do it.

I was there from the Thursday of the GP appointment until the following Monday, and it was the best decision I never made.  (I have thanked both my mother and GP many times for finally overruling my fearful protests.)  And, so far, the new med is working well (knock on wood). Not too many side effects (and most of myformer side effects are gone!). I am very sleepy all the time (somnolence being the #1 side effect), and I’m pretty dizzy most of the time (the #2). My appetite is also way crazy (another side effect), but I’m trying to keep my eating in reasonable check.  I had also decided that if I had to choose, I would choose sane and balanced over keeping my girlish (ha ha!) figure.

The big thing:  my mood is better than it has been in many months, and my anxiety (which had become almost unmanageable) is well in control. I haven’t really been doing well since June of 2006 (when I went off all meds to do my second sleep study, which in the end told me absolutely nothing), but I think that I might have turned the corner.

Wow, what a long story.  All to get to the point of writing this:  as I wrote, I am doing better than I have in a very long time.  I nap a lot;  nothing like compulsory napping to make a person feel four years old.  But when I was in my very bad state, having to nap everyday sounded a hell of a lot better than the way I was feeling.  So I’m holding to that memory, and I’m also happy to say that the somnolence is lessening as time passes.

The dizziness, not so much.  I did a trial drive to the grocery store yesterday, having decided that I was okay to be on the roads.  (Fortunately, the grocery store is quite close to my parents’ house, and I can get there and back on roads that are virtually empty of people at the time of day I tried this.)  Turns out, sitting around all day and only moving around the house is a misleading test of how dizzy I am.  I drove home very carefully, on the deserted roads.  So I have to give up some of my independence and allow other people to drive me places.  (Have I mentioned that public transit makes me very anxious?)  And I even have to ask people for rides, which is an exercise that The Therapist will be very happy to hear about.

My appetite is still enormous;  indeed, it seem to grown everyday.  I could eat the world, that’s how it feels.  So we’ve stocked up on fruit, veggies, cereal bars, rice cakes, cheese and crackers, and the like.  I’m not trying to diet, but if I’m going to eat the world, I might as well start on the healthier part.  Get some of my recommended servings from the food pyramid.

I am slowly starting to get back to my routine.  I’m going out to dinner with The Roomie tonight, and tomorrow I am going to a Chamber of Commerce social for the SPCA.  I’m posting here, and I’m catching up gradually on the many posts piled in my Google reader.  I’ll post something soon for Dannan, too.  It’s all so much better than it’s been in so long, I can’t even begin to tell you (even though my 1800 words so far are probably far too long of a start!)

That’s the update.  Now for the next part….  Elton John gives me shivers!

I was watching the last episode of The Bachelor last night (no, I’m not going to bother linking to it;  Google it if you need to find out what I’m talking about), as well as their post-competition wrap-up shows.  (Yes, I watch terrible t.v.  You don’t have to watch it with me, so let me have my vice in peace.)  During the commerical break, I was channel-surfing, and I found this:  Elton John: Live at the Royal Opera House.  As long as I can see him perform songs like “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and “Your Song”, the world is a wonderful place.

Seriously, hearing him play these songs with a 90-piece symphony sent shivers through me.  And at the time, I was thinking:  I must always remember that life is worth living so long as there is music out there that can send chills through my entire body when I hear it.

Music is so powerful, such a gift to humanity.  For me, many pieces of music (from all sorts of different genres) evoke this kind of response.  Elton John (at least his older work) is an example.  If death metal, hip hop or even Marilyn Manson give you chills, then I’m glad for it.  Even if I don’t understand it, I’m glad for it.  If there’s someone out there with this kind of musical taste who can tell me that it makes you shiver, please leave a comment.  For me, this is the magic of music, and I’m curious to know if you fans feel the same way.

Enough for today.  I’ve got many other ideas for posts bubbling away in my brain, so hopefully my next post will be soon!

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Yesterday was a very bad day.  My mood was about as low as it’s been in years.  I actually had a strong urge to swallow all of my sleeping pills, just to escape the pain.  (This is not something I have experienced before, this urge to just reach over, open the bottle, and swallow all the pills there.  My previous episodes of suicidal ideation have not been like this.  Perhaps I’ll write about them another day.)

Dannan did his job, as Suicide Prevention Dog, and the urge remained only a compelling thought.  So long as I have Dannan, I will not attempt suicide.  I will not leave him wondering where his person has gone.

(I know that this reasoning should apply to my other loved ones as well;  all I can say is that in the deepest, darkest pits of despair, I can convince myself that my human loved ones will understand that I had to end the pain.  But I know that Dannan will not understand.  And, you know, whatever works to keep me alive.  I know that feelings are transient, and that if I wait it out, my despair and desperation will pass.  Dannan is what gives me the strength to hold on while that happens.)

Then, I went to my appointment today with The Counsellor, and discovered that I was late – by 24 hours.  My appointment was yesterday.  I was so ashamed to have totally stood him up like that.  That’s just not me. I know that this is an unreasonable response, but that was the emotion that I felt.

I read this saying today:  Sometimes you have to take one step backwards so you can see the path that goes forward. I sure hope this is true.  I’d like to think that I’m still making progress, somehow.

I also received a message on facebook from a woman I knew years ago.  She included this story, one that has helped her through her own period of stepping backwards.  It is something that I think I’ll print out and re-read from time to time:

A poor farmer lost the only horse he had. When the villagers heard that the horse had run off, they sympathised with the farmer and said, “Bad luck.” The farmer answered, “Who can say?

On the next day, the horse returned home with ten other horses.  When the villagers heard this, they returned and said, “Good luck.” The farmer replied, “Who can say?”

Later that day, while training one of the new horses, the farmer’s son fell off the horse and broke his leg. Again, the villagers sympathised and said, “Bad luck.” The farmer replied, “Who can say?”

On the following day, the army came into the village and took all the young men away to fight at war.  The farmer’s son was not taken because of his broken leg. All the villagers rejoiced: “Good luck.” The farmer replied, “Who can say?”

Sometimes we succeed in getting what we think will be good for us, and it turns out to be a disaster.  And sometimes apparent disaster turns out to be good fortune.  Who has not experienced this paradox in his or her life?

Okay, let me start by saying that I love my Dad.  We haven’t always had a very close relationship, but that’s changed in the past ten or so years.  We have started to understand each other better, and since my breakdown, he has done a lot of personal growth.  (“Done” doesn’t seem to be the right word here, but I can’t find one I like any better.)  I do love him, a lot.

But today was one of those days where I wanted to shake him, or smack him, or something.  It was such a small incident, but yet it illustrates one of the most frustrating things about my father.  Hang in for the full story, I think you’ll see what I mean in the end.

Today was Wendy’s Dreamlift Day, which is a fundraiser where all of the local Wendy’s restaurants donate all their proceeds and the staff and management donate all their wages to help local children with life-threatening illnesses or severe disabilities go to Disneyland.  It’s a super-worthy cause, and my parents always support it.

So Dad says he’ll go pick up supper, and we should write down what we want.  I made the list:  an Ultimate Chicken Grill and a baked potato for me;  chicken nuggets and fries for Mom;  and I left it to Dad to figure out what he wanted.  So off he goes to pick up the food.

He comes home, and tells me that he ordered us each a combo meal, with fries and a Diet Coke.  I got my chicken sandwich, but Mom got chicken strips, not nuggets.  I didn’t get my baked potato, and aspartame gives me a migraine.  I asked him, what was the point in giving him a list, if he was just going to choose something else for us?  He said that he’d just decided that the combos were a good idea, and so easy to order.  You’ve got a friggin’ list, what is hard about that???  I pointed out that Mom didn’t even order chicken strips, that she had deliberately chosen to order nuggets.  And reminded him that I can’t drink diet pop.  He just shrugged and said something like well, I decided to do this.

Gaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Maybe I’m over-reacting, but this is an ongoing thing with him.  He doesn’t listen, and when he does, he just does whatever he wants anyway.  He was so matter-of-fact about it, and wasn’t bothered at all that he had completely disregarded what we wanted, substituting his own choice for ours.  He was positively cheerful.  Father knows best, riiiiiiiiiiight.

Petty example, because it’s fast food, right?  Not something that, in and of itself, made any real difference.  But the thing is, he would do this no matter what the issue was.  It is so frustrating.  If he had been going out to buy medicine, and was told to buy Tylenol because the sick person was allergic to aspirin, he’d come back with aspirin if it was on sale, or if he just happened to prefer aspirin himself.  He does things like this all the time.  I am so frustrated with the larger issue that was spotlighted tonight with our food order.

He does it with Dannan all the time, too.  Dannan is a three-legged dog.  His missing leg is his front left.  All of his weight rests on his front right leg, because his centre of gravity is at the front of his body.  The vet has repeatedly emphasized that Dannan has to stay very trim, or the stress on his joints will be disabling.  He cannot become overweight, not even close.  It will affect his mobility, lead to arthritis in his joints, all kinds of awful stuff like that.  I have explained this to my father at least fifty times.  (And yes, I am one of those people who exaggerates all the time, but this is no exaggeration.)

So my father likes to share his food with Dannan, and he wants to do it.  So he does.  Even though I’ve repeatedly asked him NOT to do it.  I have explained the reasons why so many times that he should be able to repeat with me, word for word.  I have shown him what a proper portion size is for a piece of apple, which is the only thing he is allowed to feed Dannan.  Dannan gets a piece of apple about the size of my thumb nail.  Dad gives him a third of his apple.  I have asked him not to, I have threatened to not bring Dannan over to the house, I have scolded, and I have become so angry that my voice cracks when I talk.  He doesn’t care;  Dad wants to feed Dannan people food, and so he will.

Fortunately, I seem to finally have gotten through to Dad, at least on the “apples only” front.  I haven’t seen Dad feed Dannan anything but apple in quite a while, even though Dannan and I have been staying at Mom and Dad’s house for a couple of weeks.  I shudder to think what happens when I’m not around.  But I’ll be satisfied with a third of an apple, if that’s all he gives him.  Dannan loves apples, and they’re not bad for him.  I just can’t believe that it took my father almost four years to get the message that this is a matter of health and mobility for Dannan.

Okay, father rant is over.

In other news, my stalker ex did not try to contact me this past weekend when he was in town.  I didn’t even run into him anywhere.  Perhaps he has finally moved on?  I asked my roommate if I was being too paranoid to be so concerned, and she said, “No, after all, we’re talking about The Stalker.”  I’m just relieved and happy.

My other almost up-to-the-minute news is that the house three doors down from my parents’ house burned down this afternoon.  My mother’s friend, Joan, lived there for thirty years before moving to an apartment when she couldn’t handle the yard anymore.  We don’t know any details about the fire, or even if there was someone home when it started.  But the entire city’s fleet of fire trucks were there, ambulance and police in accompaniment.  I hope we hear more about what happened tomorrow, but the media in our city is just plain incompetent.  The t.v. station itself could be on fire, and the story would never appear on the local news.

Finally, I have a big decision to make, and I’m in a quandry.  I might write about it tomorrow.

I struggle all the time with the belief that I am not as good a guardian as Dannan deserves.  He has a very boring life, and I always feel guilty that he doesn’t have a better life.  I hardly ever walk him, he doesn’t get to the dog park very often, and I don’t keep him mentally active with training the way I should.  I beat myself up about this all the time;  however, recently I’ve been not too down on myself.

Until today.  My mother commented to Dannan about the fact that he leads a very boring life.  Now my guilt is raging full-force again.  Dannan has done so much for me, and I do so little in return.  He deserves a better life.

I was tagged for this one by my fabulous niece, Banana!  Twenty random things about me, then I’m supposed to tag twenty people.  Well, I’ll do the twenty random things, but I won’t tag anybody.  I know not everybody likes these things as much as I do, LOL.  Feel free to swipe it if you’d like to waste some time!
1. I still drive the car I learned how to drive in when I was sixteen. (Utterly sad, I know!)

2. I regularly wish I could move back to Victoria. Like, tomorrow. Even with the snow!

3. I am going to talk myself into staying on as Chair of the Kamloops SPCA Community Council, even though I often wish I could walk away.

4. Lately, my right hand has been much colder than my left.

5. I don’t spend as much time with my parents as I think I should.

6. If I could choose to have a super power, it would be invisibility.

7. If I were a vegetable, I would be broccoli.

8. If I were a pattern, I’d be paisley.

9. I have seen Great Big Sea in concert so many times that I can’t count the number of Kitchen Parties I’ve been to (at least a dozen).

10. I’d rather watch something on t.v. than watch a movie.

11. Dannan and I were interviewed for an upcoming feature about dog bloggers at Petdoc.com.

12. Dannan has ten times (at least!) the number of holiday cards as I do. He’s a famous little brown dog!

13. For the very first time since I started driving (eek, 20 years ago!), I was a little freaked about winter driving last weekend.

14. I bought Christmas tree ornaments this year, despite not planning to put up a tree.

15. If I could pick any job from my past to do again, it would be assessing dogs’ temperaments.

16. If I could have any job in the world, I would be an animal behaviourist.

17. I (almost!) never go anywhere without chapstick. If I forget it somewhere, I buy a tube the first chance I get.

18. One thing I’d like to do before I die is to have something I wrote published in a mass-market format.

19. If I opened a store, it would be a hat shop.

20. I drink at least four litres of water per day.

…Why do I get the flu every winter even though I get my flu shot?

So I feel like crap today, and apparently so does Dannan.  He threw up all over the couch a few minutes ago, and I grabbed the wrong spray bottle.  I thought I was grabbing the bottle of odour neutralizer, but instead it was the bottle of bitter stuff that you spray on things to keep your animals from chewing on them.  I sprayed a whole butt load of it on the couch cushions, not realizing what it was because I couldn’t smell it.  Finally, I realized my mistake and went to get the Prosolve.  (I checked the bottle before spraying this time, natch.)

I can sure smell the bitter stuff now.  Cuts right through a stuffy head and nose, let me tell ya.  And that burning in the back of my throat?  I don’t think that’s a coincidence.  I’m just waiting for the Prosolve to do its work, then I’ll try to sponge off all the ick.  And no dog will probably ever go on the couch again.

I totally wanted to do a post this afternoon about the December blues and holiday expectations.  Since I’ve just gassed myself and all furry creatures within a 100 metre radius, that might have to wait.  Dannan had the good sense to head downstairs.  He’s probably throwing up all over my bed now.  At least that’s easier to wash.

So instead of the in-depth, thoughtful post I envisioned, I’m rambling on about dog puke.  Welcome back to the Muse Asylum, aren’t you glad I’m back?

How long does it take you to get out of bed in the morning?  Depends on how fast I have to get up.  Mostly, I cuddle with Dannan for ten minutes or so, then get up.  But if I have to, I’m up like a shot when the alarm goes off!

Do you usually sleep on one side of the bed or another?  I like to sleep diagonally on the bed.  Sometimes, I have to move a little brown dog to do it, though!

Something you wish to accomplish before the end of the year:  I would like to apply for all available subsidized housing in town by the end of the year.

Visit the Manic Monday site here!

Here in Canada, this coming weekend is our Thanksgiving weekend.  So, instead of doing a TT about pet peeves, I decided to do one about things I am thankful for.  I can always bitch about my pet peeves next week.  🙂

1.  I am thankful for my parents, who are strong, wise, generous, and who love me so very much.

2.  I am thankful for my best buddy, Dannan, the little brown dog.  He makes it possible for me to get up every morning and smile.

3.  I am thankful for my sisters and brother (Sis1, Sis2, and Brother Bear).  They are possibly the best siblings in the world;  certainly better than I deserve sometimes!

4.  I am thankful for my best friend, Roomie.  She is a strong support, and has been instrumental in my recovery.

5.  I am thankful that I had my breakdown, because I am much better off than I would have been if it hadn’t happened.

6.  I am thankful for my counsellor, DD, who is exactly what I want and need in a therapist.

7.  I am thankful I live in Canada (sorry, non-Canadians), because I am Canadian.  (If you happen to be Canadian, I think you know what that means!)

8.  I am thankful that I have a warm, secure place to live and food to eat when I’m hungry.

9.  I am thankful for all of the wonderful people who work on behalf of animals and children, who need others to be their advocates.

10.  I am thankful that my mother instilled in me a love of reading.

11.  I am thankful that I started my blogs.  I have met wonderful people, laughed A LOT, seen some absolutely amazing photographs, and managed to write fairly consistently.

12.  I am thankful for memes like Thursday Thirteen, because they lead me to new blogs that I might never have otherwise discovered.

13.  Finally, I am thankful that I have so many wonderful friends, who make me laugh, let me know I’m loved, and keep having faith in me.  And are there to be my support when I would just fall over without them.

For more Thursday Thirteens, check out Beth’s super site!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Today is Puppy Mill Awareness Day.  I would ask you to please read this post, even though it is a hard subject to read about.

A puppy mill is usually defined as a breeding facility that produces puppies in large numbers. In my neck of the woods (the Interior of British Columbia), we often include backyard breeders and smaller-scale operations in the definition of a puppy mill. What I focus on is the treatment of the animals, rather than defining a puppy mill merely based on numbers of puppies bred.

So, for me, a puppy mill is a place where dogs are bred and some or all of the following are present:

  • lack of sanitation in the breeding facility;
  • overbreeding;
  • inbreeding;
  • poor quality food and inadequate shelter;
  • overcrowded cages or pens;
  • inability of the animals to express behaviours that are natural for those animals, and necessary to their well-being;
  • minimal vet care;
  • lack of human contact and socialization of puppies (and their mothers); and
  • focus on profit rather than on the welfare of individual dogs.

One of the reasons that I don’t like to focus on the total number of puppies produced is because the conditions in which the dogs and puppies live is to me far more important. I have seen many puppy mills where there are many adult dogs forced to live in space that is too small for that number of animals. Where cages are piled on top of each other in every available space.  Where the dogs live out in the open, without a roof over their heads.

Or where there is either a lack of food and/or water, or the quality of that food and water is deplorable. (And here I’m not necessarily talking about the food being of minimal quality in the way that many dog owners would judge. I am talking about food that has gotten wet and allowed to mold, or rotten human food given to the dogs, or dogs having to cannibalize other dogs who have died and not been removed from the area. And water that is dirty, nasty, or just not there at all.)

Where urine and feces are never cleaned up, just allowed to build up and rot. Where the breeding females are bred every time they come into heat, from their first heat onward. Until they are too worn out and no longer of value to the breeder. Where no one ever spends any time with the pups or the dogs, and they are not socialized to people or to situations. Where disease and genetic health problems are widespread, and veterinary care is lacking (often completely).

I know this is hard to think about. But if we don’t think about it, and make decisions based on facts and evidence, then we unwittingly support the practice and perpetuate it.

Where do puppy mill puppies end up? In pet stores. Even if they say that they don’t buy from puppy mills, those puppies are highly likely to have come from a situation of poor welfare and poor standards of care.

Where else? On the Internet. In the newspaper. From the breeder’s backyard. From the mill itself. And if you go to breeder, you will not likely see where the dogs and pups really live, or how they are really treated. And if you ask to see the parents of the pups, you have no way of knowing whether they truly are or not. It is a common practice for bad breeders to show you better cared for animals that the parents actually are.

If you want know more about puppy mills and what you can do about them, please go to the Puppy Mill Awareness Day site. The number one thing that you can do to stop these inhumane breeding practices is to adopt a dog or puppy from a shelter, or pound, or rescue group.

And please don’t think that all animals at shelters and pounds are “problem dogs”. Most of the dogs who wind up at an SPCA, humane society, or other shelter are there because:

  • the people who brought them there didn’t know the dog would get so big/need so much exercise/have so much hair;
  • they have developed allergies, or their children have;
  • they have a new baby;
  • and the number one reason that dogs are brought into shelters is that the people are moving and cannot find a place that allows dogs!

These dogs are there through no fault of their own. Many of them are “adolescent” dogs, who are full of energy and have no outlets for that energy. Many of them are not trained in even the basics of proper behaviour (like not jumping on people, or how to sit), and just need someone to spend a little time with them.

Dannan, my fabulous little dog, came into the SPCA as a stray.  He is smart as can be, loves to learn, is healthy, and has no behavioural issues.  He is also typical of the kind of dogs that are at shelters.

So please, think about where your dog has come from, and if you are getting another (or know someone who is getting a dog), please think about this issue!  For the love of dog, please think about it.

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