Economics bloggers have their side interests. Felix Salmon has cycling. Tyler Cowen has restaurants. Yves Smith has cute pictures of animals (see the “antidote du jour” in any Links post). Mine is dogs.
My dog died on Wednesday last week at the age of sixteen. We loved him like a child, which I know to be true now that I have a child. He made me a better, happier, more generous person.
My wife and I adopted Dauber at the age of eight, after his first family gave him up because they didn’t have time for him. He was what you would call “hard to place” – besides being relatively old, he barked a lot, hated other dogs, and didn’t particularly like people. He also had many medical problems, beginning with bladder stones and damaged vertebrae (when we got him) through pancreatitis and congestive heart disease. I think it’s highly likely that if we hadn’t adopted him he would have been euthanized eight years ago.
But the lesson, and the reason for this post, is that Dauber gave us as much joy as any being could have given us. So the next time you are looking for a dog (or other animal companion), please visit an animal shelter and see if you could adopt a dog who has been given up and needs a home, rather than going to a breeder and increasing demand for puppies when so many dogs already need families. And please consider adopting a dog who is hard to place, maybe one who is getting on in years and isn’t as cute as a newborn puppy.
In our area, we like and are making a donation to the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society. There are also various sanctuaries and shelters throughout the country for animals who have trouble finding families, but I don’t know any well enough to recommend them; you could contact the Humane Society of the United States and ask if they have suggestions.
Thanks for reading.
By James Kwak