October is National Adopt a Dog Month


By: Tracey Zysk – October, 2011

Well when you have three animal writers for the Valley Patriot all PRO ADOPTION…you know we are all very excited about the month of October being the American Humane Association Adopt a Dog Month.

Why adopt? Well why wouldn’t you?

There seems to be many misbelieve and stereotypes about adoption dogs that are simply not true. People believe if they adopt a dog it will never be able to be trained. They also believe the dog will have several emotional issues or may be aggressive. Then there are those that feel they can only have a pure breed from a breeder.

Well, all of these are totally incorrect. In fact, dogs want to please and make their owners happy. Therefore, if you are compassionate enough to adopt a dog and give him a good home, your dog will realize and appreciate that. He will want to learn and will enjoy being trained. He wants to do well and since he was in a shelter he is now ready to please. He has already been through more pain and hurt than we can ever imagine. Several of these dogs, were abandoned, abused or tossed aside.

Behavior is a learned trait. It can also be corrected. It doesn’t matter if the dog has been in a shelter or from a breeder and with one owner. The question is what are YOU teaching the dog? The dog will reflect what you taught him. Believe me, I have seen some of the most unruly dogs come from homes that purchased the dog from a store or a kennel. The dog acts on what it was taught. Don’t punish him for your behaviors or lack of discipline.

Take a good look at what you are doing and then take the corrective action from there. Once again, a shelter dog wants to make you happy. If you have concerns about his behavior when you adopt, start him in a six week training program and I promise you will be amazed at how well he actually does. Patience is the key and with positive reinforcing and some encouragement your dog will be a very well trained and behaved dog.

The breeder theory…really? You honestly think that because you purchase a dog from a breeder you will be buying a better quality dog?

No, that is not true. All you are doing is spending way too much money. Breeders charge $800.00 -$1500.00 and even over $2000.00 for a dog. Not to mention you will still be spending on spay or neuter and then a couple more series of vaccinations. A shelter dog tends to cost $300.00 -$500.00 includes the spay or neuter and will be completely up to date on shots. Then there are those that say they only want a pure breed. Well, guess what? 1 out of 4 dogs in a shelter is a pure breed.

My Lani, my sweet, sweet Lani, you all have read my articles about her. She is a beautiful pure breed Boston terrier that I adopted from a rescue league. Her history was horrible; she was a puppy mill mother. All she did for three years was live in a crate in a puppy mill in Texas. Her purpose in life was to reproduce puppies so her pure breed litter could be sold in stores. You would walk into the mall and buy one of her pups for approximately $900.00 as Lani was still living in that crate, in that mill, still reproducing more puppies to have them taken away from her for you to purchase at your local pet store.

After three years, my Lani was rescued and then adopted by me. She is the most compassionate loving dog I have ever encountered, she is well trained, is healthy and a complete love. I ADOPTED my pure breed, well behaved, Lani.

With October being Adopt A Dog month I hope you consider adoption as an option. Puppy Girl Kate Whitney is with One Tail at a Time Rescue and Chris Arnott, freelance writer for the VP is with the Lowell Human Society. Both organizations have information in our paper and I hope you reach out to either Kate or Chris when considering adding a furry friend addition to your family.

Save a Life Adopt a Rescue and please don’t shop – ADOPT!


Tracey Zysk, Doggie Columnist

Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover MA is a local pet care professional. She has been featured on local radio, tv and newspapers educating the general public on animal care and animal health & wellness. Tracey is a proud supporter of Police, Fire & Military K9 units. Tracey may be reached at wigglewalk@comcast.net. Become a fan on facebook at Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care and follower of www.traceythedogwalker.blogs.com