Diavolino Italian Greyhounds

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Should You Get A Rescue IG?

The first thing you may hear from people when you tell them you are buying a purebred dog is that you should never buy a dog, you should rescue.  They will also tell you that for every dog a breeder sells, a shelter dog dies.

Neither statement is true.

Now, I believe in Rescue!  I support Rescue!  I bow down and pay homage to the dedicated souls who do the dirty work involved in Rescue.  But the truth is, not everyone wants a rescue dog, and even more importantly, not everyone should have a rescue dog.

Do not be ashamed about wanting a purebred puppy of known, tested heritage.  There is nothing wrong with that and do not allow animal activists to try to convince you otherwise.  Yes, it is true we love the personalities inside the dog, but what attracts us to the dog in the first place is the outside of the dog, the breed.  By breeding for a specific body type, we are also at the same time breeding in certain personality characteristics that carry from generation to generation.  There is a comfort to knowing pretty much what we can expect when we buy a puppy.  There is a comfort to knowing that if something crops up, we can call the breeder who can advise us, based on the generations of experience the breeder has had, and their breeder before them. 

First, let's describe what a Rescue dog is.  A Rescue dog is not a dog you bought at a pet store, even if at a reduced price, because you felt bad for it.  You did not rescue that dog, you bought that dog, and helped seal the fate of it's parents, who truly do need rescuing.  A Rescue dog is not some breeder helping place someone else's dogs because they can't keep them any more.  That is rehoming a dog, not rescuing a dog.

A Rescue dog is a dog that had nowhere else to go.  A dog whose only option may have been death.  With one exception, Rescue dogs do not come from reputable breeders, as reputable breeders take back their own dogs and do not burden Rescue with them.  If a dog from a reputable breeder finds its way into Rescue, the breeder moves hell or high water to get the dog back into their own care, thus relieving Rescue to care for other dogs.  Reputable breeders know that they are committed to every dog they have produced, for it's lifetime.  They do not allow Rescue to shoulder their own responsibilities.

The one exception is, if a reputable breeder passes away and doesn't have a detailed will explaining the dispersal of the dogs, their dogs may end up in Rescue.    However, most breeders are now providing detailed instructions for their dogs in the event that they are no longer on this earth to care for them.

Rescue dogs may have been puppymill dogs who have never felt grass under their feet or a warm blanket wrapped around them.  Rescue dogs may be a dog who has lost his family and is found as a stray.  He may be a dog that was impounded in an abuse or neglect case.  He may be a dog who has such a serious injury or illness that his owners can't or won't care for him.   He may be a dog that the owners deemed untrainable, or who bit someone from fear.  Sometimes, a Rescue dog is a wonderful, socialized, trained dog that someone just didn't want anymore, or was unable to keep anymore.  In every case, a Rescue dog is a dog who does not have a breeder to accept responsibility for what they have produced.

So does that mean a Rescue dog is a bad dog and that you shouldn't get one?  Absolutely not! 

Getting a Rescue dog may be the most rewarding thing you do in your lifetime.  To show an animal who has never known what it is like to be loved how to play, how to snuggle, how to experience life, wow, what an honour.   Sure, you may have to work a little harder for it.  Sure you may have some setbacks.  But when that dog looks at you and you see that it has come to trust you, you know that you did the right thing. 

A Rescue dog may not be the image of perfection that you maybe dreamed of.   If that is important to you, then you may not want a rescue.  But if uniqueness appeals to you, so what if the dog's ears aren't perfect, so what if his leg is a little crooked, so what if his tongue hangs out of his mouth after years of dental neglect, you know his heart is full and in return, so is yours.

So do not get a Rescue dog solely because you were guilted into it.  Don't get a Rescue dog because of some false illusion of doing the 'right' thing.    If you want to be a hero to a dog, get a Rescue.  If you want to re-experience the joy and discovery in life, get a Rescue dog.  If you have a heart full of love, get a Rescue.

Do not get a Rescue to prove to everyone how 'politically correct' you are.  If your heart isn't in it, the dog will know.  Don't get a Rescue dog because you just want a cheap dog.  Rescue organizations charge just enough to cover the basic care of most dogs.  Not enough to cover the extensive veterinary care and rehabilitation some need.  If your only concern is spending below X number of dollars, you may not have what it takes to be a Rescuer.

Do not apply for a Rescue dog because "breeders ask too many questions".  Be prepared that Rescue will be stricter than many breeders.  Now you may think that odd, as shouldn't the goal of Rescue be to get the dogs into homes as quickly and easily as possible?  NO!  Their job is to get them into their forever home.  Forever.  These dogs have already been let down by humans once before, and the Rescue reps will do everything in their power to make sure it doesn't happen again. 

If you truly do have a heart as big as Texas, you might want to consider becoming a foster home for Rescue.  A foster home temporarily homes the dogs that come in, evaluates them, retrains them and rehabilitates them.   And then, when the dog is ready to start his new life, the foster home sees him off, cries some tears and turns around to start saving the next one.  Sometimes the foster person has to be the one to hold the dog in their arms as the dog is released from years of neglect and abuse, knowing that as much as it hurts their heart to do so, that at least this one time the dog knows that someone cares.  This is all done with the guidance and support of the Rescue group.

It is unfortunate that in the "want it now" and "disposable" society in North America, Rescue has become what it shouldn't be... a repository for irresponsible breeders and irresponsible purchasers.  What should be a respite and refuge for the truly needy dogs, the rescue organizations are filling up with dogs because people didn't do their research and didn't make a commitment.

Remember, responsible breeders do not fill up Rescue, nor do they populate shelters.  It is a combination of irresponsible breeders and irresponsible buyers who do that dirty deed.  If more people truly thought about the purchase of a puppy, considered if they had the time and patience to housetrain, took the time to learn about the breed, realized that caring for a dog for 15 years takes money, then far less dogs would be in shelters.  If more people took the time to learn, then they wouldn't buy from bad breeders, so if there ever was a problem, that dog would never end up in a shelter or a rescue.

As a responsible breeder, I am tired of being painted with the same brush as Backyard Breeders and Puppymills.  I resent irresponsible breeders for the fact that I give my time and my money so that the dogs they so carelessly produce don't have to suffer.  I do not begrudge a penny of my money or a second of my time spent on the dogs... what I do resent is that I, and other responsible breeders, are picking up the slack where those bad breeders dropped it.

The Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue took in over 800 homeless Italian Greyhounds in 2008.  Other organizations took in many as well.   Everyone says they are a responsible breeder... but obviously everyone is not. 

Please visit the following Rescue sites.

Italian Greyhound Club Of America  (go to main site to find representatives in your state)

Italian Greyhound Club of Canada

Lifeline Italian Greyhound Rescue

Midwest Italian Greyhound Rescue 

Wiseguys Italian Greyhound Rescue

Silverhounds

Triangle Italian Greyhound Rescue

 If you are part of an Italian Greyhound Rescue Organization and would like to be listed here, please email me!

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