Doctor Love: Adopt, Don’t Shop

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

Readers, email your question to [email protected] Your letters are edited solely for grammar, spelling and length.

Dear Love,
My friend just bought a puppy from a breeder and I am so upset I can hardly speak to her. She knows I am involved with shelters and fight daily to save dogs from death and the abuse I see is heartbreaking. She wasn’t ashamed when she told me and didn’t apologize when I explained my position on her purchase. She said she’s had the same breed of dog for years and always got her puppies from the same breeder and feels more comfortable getting another puppy from him.
How can I educate strangers when I can’t even make friends understand that there are hundreds of dogs in shelters who need loving homes and will die unless people like her stop buying from breeders and puppy mills? Every time I see her post a new photo, I want to unfriend her it hurts so bad. What can I do to make her see that she has really damaged our friendship by purchasing a pet rather than adopting?
/s/Adopt, Don’t Shop

Dear Adopt,
The Doctor won’t debate the argument over adoption versus purchasing. You will not accept any other meaning of getting a pet, so it would be useless to even try.
It’s your friendship that needs to be addressed. The deed is done—your friend bought a puppy. Is her lack of understanding of your position on this issue worth the price of the friendship?
People take their stand on many issues—religion, politics and yes, pet ownership. Will you unfriend everyone who stands firm on their point of view when it differs from yours?
If you can be objective you might see that your friend hasn’t personally targeted you. She didn’t decide to do this just to hurt you. She has a history with the breed and breeder and she has loved all of the puppies who came from this breeder. She is doing what makes her comfortable and getting her new family member from a place of love, not vindictiveness towards you.
Keep doing what you are doing—it is a wonderful thing to rescue animals that have been thoughtlessly tossed aside. But you cannot expect everyone to champion your cause. It doesn’t mean they aren’t sympathetic, because probably they are. It means they have their own causes dear to their hearts and they choose to follow them.
Try to open your mind and heart, and if you can’t, be honest with your friend. Tell her you will take a break from her without closing the door on a future returning to the friendship, okay? It will help you grow.

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