I have 2 dogs — Blanca and Zoey. They’re both chihuahuas. Zoey is 12; Blanca is 14. Zoey was adopted from someone I knew whose dog had puppies. But Blanca, she’s a different story. One I want to share.
I wanted a chihuahua. I knew I wanted one that was solid, light colored. I did not do any legwork or research and assumed I would not find one anywhere except from a breeder or a shop. I ended up finding her at a pet store, and I won’t disclose what I paid for my dog, but it was A LOT.
Since getting her, I have done a lot of learning, and I discovered that puppy mills exist. I didn’t really know anything about them 14 years ago, but I soon came to learn the horrors of them. If you’re an animal lover. then the details about puppy mills will make you absolutely sick to your stomach. I also learned that many pet stores are notorious for acquiring dogs from puppy mills, and I am fairly certain that my Blanca was probably the product of a puppy mill, and I unwittingly contributed to that practice continuing by buying her at a pet store.
If I had to do it all again, I would reach out to rescues specifically for chihuahuas to see if I could find the kind of pup I wanted. I would go to a shelter to see if they had a dog I wanted. I would NOT go to a breeder (not for a house pet; that’s a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a dog I’m not going to do anything with except feed and love on). I would NOT go to a pet shop. I would adopt. That’s what I would encourage anyone to do for any kind of pet. There are far too many unwanted animals out there that need a home; there is no need to pay big bucks for a house pet. Period.
And while I am on my soap box, please also do not bring a pet into your home unless you plan to keep it for the rest of its life. Pets are not disposable. You do not get to just get rid of it when it becomes an inconvenience. Blanca, being up in years, can’t hold her peeing and pooping as long as she used to be able to, so she does end up having accidents in the house. It’s a pain, and it’s gross. But I will NOT get rid of her because of it. Instead, we use puppy pads in areas where she is prone to making a mess, and we clean floors, throw rugs, and carpets where she has accidents. We invested in a good carpet cleaner, and we have plenty of cleaning supplies. THAT’S what need to be done, not throw her away because she got old.
So the next time you are looking for a new fur baby, please adopt, don’t shop!
P.S. Thanks to my friend Sheila for suggesting I write on this topic. She is a fierce advocate for all things furry!