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Friday, November 14, 2008



Big Black Dog Syndrome

Now I’m not only mad, I’m completely appalled. For those of you who didn’t know this about me, I am an animal lover. I also believe in adopting rescues. My feelings about the subject can best be summed up as:

Animals are not my whole life-they just make my life whole.

I’m bringing this up because while I was trying to find a vet that believes in cleaning an animal’s teeth without sedating them, I came across the syndrome which I’m using as my title this week.

A bit of background on my love of dogs and cats-I’ve always loved my pets. No, I have never dressed them up, put them in a purse or “pushed” them in a stroller or taken them anywhere without a specific invitation, but they have always been considered a big part of our family.

When growing up, my terrier mix and I were inseparable. Our cat and her son and the terrier were treated to Sunday morning breakfast (French toast and syrup) and coffee with the rest of us. After I got married, our first “child” was a pure white domestic short haired stray cat that cost us a fortune, but we loved her and cared for her through mostly sick and thin for 13 years. Our shepherd mix had us crying buckets for weeks at her passing at age 13-1/2 as well.

Truth be told, we cried harder for those animals at their passing than for several relatives that shall remain nameless. Both of them behaved better, had more heart and loved us unconditionally. As we did for them.

We adopted Sunshine and Pepper and have loved every minute of their existence in our lives. The thought of them not being with us truly chokes us up.

Now, with this in mind, imagine my dismay when I read about THE BIG BLACK DOG SYNDROME?

What exactly is this horrible occurrence you are asking-it’s this, more big black dogs are euthanized than any other canine!


Not because of anything more than people not liking how they look! What is that? To prove a point this website for adopting rescues took a picture of 5 Labradors. 4 were black, 1 golden. Then they proceeded to say that the golden lab spent one day in the shelter, 2 of the black ones went through 3 adoption displays before they were taken and the other 2 went through 5 and then were euthanized!

That very day, before I was surfing the net looking for my original intent of finding a vet who wouldn’t sedate my 12-1/2 year old Sunshine just to clean her teeth, we had been to the pet superstore to buy her food and biscuits. There was a dog adoption fair going on.

Honestly, had the roof not had to have the expensive repairs, the 3 skylights hadn’t been leaking and the dryer not died in the prior weeks before (and I hadn’t lost the day job), my husband and I would have adopted a big black dog. We saw a close match for our black shepherd Lucky at the fair. This pup was also a shepherd mix with the same white chest and under chin, with little white tips on her great big paws. She was 12 weeks old. Very calm, very sweet and I can’t tell you how much we wanted to bring her home for our present crew of Sunshine, Pepper and Toby.

This is why we believe in pet birth control. After reading about this horrible fate of perfectly wonderful animals, I was furious. Not only because this is happening, but also because I couldn’t run back to the fair and spend the $350 to adopt at least one of the BIG BLACK DOGS I had to leave behind.

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