You brought him where?

After working my Sunday reference desk shift today (B-U-S-Y the Sunday before Thanksgiving break, I tell you) the siren song of Target was too much to ignore. Ostensibly my reason for going was to pick up a clothes rack thing for the basement, on which to hang out-of-season hanging clothes. But heck, it’s Target! When do I ever need a real reason to visit Target?

So around the store I went, picking up this (the newest Interweave Knits magazine) and that (a BuiltNY lunch bag), and that (the Interweave Knits holiday extra) and this (a couple of v-neck long-sleeve t-shirts, in white and dijon yellow). Found the clothes rack area, agonized over which one to get, and settled on the sturdiest-looking single-bar one that didn’t have a big old PVC cover (even though I’d really LIKE a cover – now I’ll improvise with an old sheet). A few steps away are the pet-accoutrement aisles. Sucker for my dogs that I am, those aisles suck me in. Every other time (or so) something jumps into my cart, but this time I saw something that disturbed me so much I had to leave.

In the aisle with all the wacky outfits on one side and a wide variety of doggy toys on the other was a family of 5 or 6 people – I’m not sure who was mom, dad, kid, cousin, aunt, uncle, son, etc., but it was quite apparent who the dog was.

Yes, there was a dog in Target. Now I’m a big fan of dogs in public places generally – and I include Target in the meaning of the word “public” even though it’s a private store, yadda yadda. But this dog had no reason on the face of the earth to be in this particular Target, this night, with that family. Why?

Said dog was a puppy which had no business being in a large, busy store like Target. But that wasn’t the worst of it. The puppy was a Chihuahua, and it was on the floor, and people were trying to navigate the aisle and didn’t always see the puppy. And the pup had on neither collar nor harness, nor was a leash present in anyone’s hand.
Those dogs are TINY – this thing couldn’t have weighed even a pound yet. If an errant shopper’s foot or cart had clipped that little guy he’d have been seriously injured. At one point, one of the older guys was trying to find some toys for the dog and the dog ran behind him, and he just said, “Someone should make sure to get the dog out of the way so I don’t step on him.” Um, dude? LOOK where you step when there is a teeny, tiny creature in your presence, and no one has thought to bring something along in which to keep him safe! The kids weren’t much better – they were rather rambunctious and I can only imagine that someday one of them might inadvertently step on or sit on this pup. Sigh… poor pup.

A few aisles after that, what did I see? Oh yes, Paris Hilton’s new fragrance. I blame her for the new spate of Chihuahua popularity. Tinkerbell Shminkerbell. I’m sure she’s a sweet dog, but celebrity dogs like her (and especially the tiny breeds, which are often perceived as “accessories”) result in so many dogs being bred by puppy mill breeders. Those dogs are usually sick, have significantly higher rates of congenital health issues, and have more rates of behavioral issues than dogs bred by reputable breeders. Don’t get the dog du jour, don’t buy a puppy from a pet store, don’t buy a pup from someone who advertises in the paper… Either research your breed and reputable breeders for a long time before you find one you’re comfortable with, find a breed rescue organization and adopt a dog that way, or go to a shelter (with someone whose opinion you trust and who doesn’t instantly turn into a pile of goo around all those needy bogs) and adopt a dog from there.

That’s how I ended up with both of our beasts – they are both shelter dogs. Maggie was a deliberate choice. I spent a lot of money to buy a house so I could share my life with a dog. I spent a few weekends at the local shelter before I found her. Otter was a bit more of an impulse, I admit. I knew a second dog was coming, but just not that day. Amy and I headed to Home Despot to get a post-hole digger, popped into the PetSmart across the parking lot, and there he was the the PACCA adoption coordinator. He leaned up against me through his crate and I was a goner. The story goes on and on, and perhaps I’ll write about it tomorrow. Suffice to say that it’s a good story, he’s definitely in the right home, and Maggie for the most part has forgiven Amy and me for disrupting the gig she had going.

One thought to “You brought him where?”

Comments are closed.