In praise of a proactive solution

When I was a young girl, I was charmed by the appealing pictures of my Grandmother’s Scottie.   While my mother was short on specifics, she quickly nipped that in the bud by letting me know that adorable did not necessarily mean suitable for small children!
How could that be?  Wasn’t Jock in Lady and the Tramp the kindest and wisest of them all?   How could anything that small pose any kind of real risk?
So I did what I have always done when presented with a situation I didn’t like… I went on a fact finding mission!   Fifty years ago, that meant going to the local library and hitting the adult section for books about dog breeds!
Lo and behold, my mother was right!   While Scotties inspire incredible devotion from their people, even affectionadoes were quick to admit they are not always a good fit for unschooled small fingers.
When we came back from Germany and could finally get a dog, my parents sensibly opted for a labrador retriever.  She made such a wonderful family pet that in my own turn, when we were ready, my daughter and I picked our own lab puppy from a good breeder.
He led a full and complete life with us and we loved him dearly!   When my daughter was little, his big goofy, gentle, happy go lucky self was the perfect fit for us.  
My daughter was in college when he went over the bridge …. and in time when I was ready, McG came here from a good breeder.  Once his feet were on the ground here, it was very easy to understand why Scotties are seldom recommended for children!    But in my books, he was absolutely perfect and I loved him dearly every day of his life!
The point I am making in my meandering way is that not every dog is suited to every family snapshot in time.   In the animal loving community, we are quick to get uppity with folks who surrender the appealing puppies upon realizing how utterly unsuitable they are to their everyday lives!
Yet really, how is anyone to really know?  Really great pet owners are usually only ‘in the market’ for a puppy every fifteen to twenty years.  That isn’t going to provide a lot of practice in picking the best breed, eh?
Even worse, the process of picking out a family pet is such a sentimental journey.   Folks fall in love with the cute face or the adorable breed in the latest movie.  Once love comes to town, logic often goes out the window!
Lucky for us here in NS, that one of our loveliest dog trainers is now offering a sweet new service.   For a very modest fee, prospective pet owners can consult with Sylvia Jay  for assistance!    
If I was going to start a diet, I would have a little chat with my Dr to make sure it would be suitable for my funny heart ( which like me, marches to its own beat :).    If I wanted to purchase a rifle so that I could resume competitive shooting, I would have to take at least two courses before being able to do so!
What a wonderful idea to offer professional help for such an important family decision!    Help that includes a puppy info package and entree into Sylvia’s clients’ exclusive on-line group that guarantees lifetime (your dog’s) support!
What time is it?   It is always time to salute proactive solutions to the homeless pet problem.  After all, every pet owner who gets it right the first time becomes part of the solution instead of adding to the problem, eh?

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