I got Shassi in 1993 from Sunojo Kennels. In 2007, I got Tierce from Anautuk Kennels, bred out of two Sunojo parents. In 2017, I got Shimi from Sunojo Kennels.
Of course, both breeders did the requisite testing and showing and evaluation before breeding, but I got more than just dogs with excellent antecedents.
Both breeders have always been there for me. If I have a problem, if I have questions, if I need emergency dog care – they are there. If I and my husband both died, I know that Shassi and Tierce will never be without a home and would never be cast into an uncertain future.
I didn’t just buy a dog when I bought these three dogs; I bought lifetime support for myself and my dog. Not only are these people friends; they are also a part of a network of Shiba people who will never, ever let one of their dogs be subject to the whims of fate if there was any way to prevent it.
“Well, get one from a rescue,” you might say. Problem is, rescue can be a lucrative business when done poorly. Just as puppymills sacrifice the well-being of the dog and owner for profit, ‘retail rescue’ or ‘McRescues’ play on the emotions of well-meaning people to sell dogs for hundreds of dollars – dogs that may have been given scant medical examinations and insufficient temperament evaluation before being placed in homes.
The best rescues – and they do exist – take their responsibility seriously. They vet their dogs carefully, foster for extended periods, and evaluate the dog’s reactions to the stimuli of normal life in the society where they have come to live. Like good breeders, they do take their dogs back. They give generous support to owners – who may be dealing with behavioural problems from past mishandling, temperament and health problems from irresponsible breeding practices, and other vagaries caused by the luck of the draw.
If you want a dog, from whatever source, ask yourself about the kind of people you’re getting your dog from. What kind of actions do you want to support? What kind of future do you want to help build with your money?
What is your dog source doing for you? What are they doing for the community? If dogs are an important part of society, what is your dog source doing to promote a healthy attitude towards dog ownership?