I can't stand it when people breed animals, especially puppies, for money. As in, for a source of income. It makes me crazy. And sad. And irritated.
Why? Why would you intentionally create more dogs and cats when the Humane Society of the United States estimates that 3-4 million are euthanized per year? That's somewhere between 165 and 220 dogs and cats euthanized every day, in every state in our country. And let's not even start on the number beyond that who are abused, neglected, used for fighting... it just makes my heart sick. Why would you deliberately contribute to this problem just so you can make a few extra bucks?
I was asked a while back to share a Facebook post from a friend who was trying to sell puppies. I thought it must be an accidental litter or... something. It wasn't. He bragged to me privately how much money he was making off these puppies. I didn't share the post and I unfriended the person. (This was not someone I was very close to in real life.)
I've seen people who breed for money scrimp on things like vaccinations, checkups, deworming treatments, food supplements... and even worse, they have virtually no incentive to screen new owners for the animals. After all, they make the same amount of money no matter who they sell to. Unsavory people buying puppies from Craigslist or the backs of pickups for $500 apiece can abuse and neglect to their hearts' content. When they get caught, the animals end up in shelters and often euthanized.
It just makes me nauseous. So please, don't do it. Or you owe me a box of Tums.
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On another note, I miss birthday surprises.
I started writing about this on my birthday. Which may or may not have been over a month ago, but hey, I'm just not as prolific a writer as I used to be. I write a lot in my head. Less than 1% of it makes it out of my head. I need to get better about this.
Anyhow, I used to think I wanted presents for my birthday. I probably did. But in the last few years, I've realized it's not the presents I really long for. It's the surprises.
When I was a kid, my parents threw me great parties. They weren't necessarily extravagant, but I never wanted that anyway, so it was perfect. My gifts were always big surprises. Again, not expensive, but they didn't need to be, because the buildup was huge and the surprise was always worth it.
I remember my first bicycle. It was purple with a white banana seat with a flower print on it. It had a white wanna-be-wicker basket on the front with plastic flowers on the front. And the little streamers coming out the handlebars. I was just about the most excited kid on the planet when I laid eyes on it, because I had no idea it was coming.
I guess I'm that person who loves surprises.
And I miss them.
Don't get me wrong, I always get taken care of on my birthday (and at Christmas, and lots of other special times too). But there aren't usually surprises in the mix anymore.
And I miss them.
But there's good news. Ever since I became a parent, my memory has been fairly poor. I forget where I put things and I forget appointments and people's phone numbers.
So the good news is, I can start engineering my own surprises any day now. It's going to be awesome.