COMM 215, Essentials of College Writing
August 13, 2010
Adoption of a well trained dog can be very beneficial to their human caretakers in terms such as lower blood pressure, guiding the blind, therapy assistance, and even saving a life. Owning an animal for some provides a stronger bond than that of family members, as families become increasingly dysfunctional. For those people who wish to adopt a specific breed of dog, their wishes can be fulfilled by checking with breed-specific adoption groups as well as leaving special requests with their local shelter. Adoption of cats is also important, however, the focus of this paper will be on dogs. Adoption of animals helps to decrease euthanasia rates, the rate at which healthy animals are killed because they are unwanted.
According to Shelter Survivors, lucky are the dogs who are adopted from shelters as 64% of them, abused, neglected, and abandoned, are euthanized because of lack of space. With 70,000 dogs and cats born every day, as opposed to 10,000 human babies that leaves three to four million animals euthanized each year (Kilcommons, 2006). Many are the stories of adopting dogs from shelters and the love and companionship that was provided by that adopted family member (Huxford, 2010).
Dog adoption, unfortunately, is not for everyone. Elderly people on fixed incomes find the proper animal care, food, grooming, veterinary bills, expensive. The training of dogs is also a concern, dogs must be trained, to sit, stay, come, stay down, be quiet as well as heel on a leash. Dogs bore easily and need considerable daily exercise, play time with their human owner. Many dogs are working dogs and have instincts that need to be stimulated for the well-being of the animal, for example, the Labrador Retriever is frequently employed as a therapy dog. They are capable of opening doors, shutting on or off lights, bringing certain objects to the owner, being the ears, and sometimes the eyes.
Dogs have been known to save their owners when an accident occurs. The owner, two time adventure racing world champion, Danelle Ballengee, the dog, three year-old German shephard/Golden retriever mix, Taz, location, Moab, Utah (Metzler, 2006). This adventure runner has run in places like Argentina, China, Mexico, Morocco, Sweden but nearly found disaster in Utah after reaching the half-way mark in a 10 mile run. The temperatures during the day were in the low 40's, she had hit a patch of black ice and plummeted 60 feet down a canyon. She could tell that she was not paralyzed but could not stand.
The first night, the dog slept on Danelle's stomach after she did sit-ups to keep warm. The second night, Taz kept his distance. She finally told the dog, “I'm hurt. Go get help.” That was when the dog ran back up to the trail. A search and rescue team had been formed and noticed Taz on the trail (Flynn, 2008). The team tried to catch Taz, he was headed toward town but when Taz saw the team, he changed directions and led them to Danelle. She was later air-lifted to Denver where she had a titanium plate and pins inserted in her pelvis. She was told it would be two to six months before she would walk again because of the frostbite (Metzler, 2006).
Although the dog, Shannon, was inside the home when the accident occurred, a quarter of a mile away from the home, the half Border collie, half Golden retriever is also credited with saving a life. After unloading branches into a gully from the saw-toothed front-loader attachment, Ted Mandry walked back to the tractor when he noticed that the tractor had slipped out of gear, moving straight for him. He did get speared by the loader, screaming in pain. He whistled and hollered but doubted that anything could be heard over the noise of the tractor. No one knew where to find him. His wife, Peggy would worry when he did not show up for...
References: Frank, Joshua, Frank, Pamela Carlisle, Attitudes and Perceptions Regarding Pet Adoption, Conference Papers – American Sociological Association, 2003 Annual Meeting, P1-20.
Metzler, Brian, Dog comes to racer 's rescue, ESPNOutdoors.com, December 22, 2006
Kilcommons, Brian, Wilson, Sarah, Rescue Groups & Shelters: Bridging the Gap, Dog World, Dec2006, Vol
Coco, P., Dog Defenders, Scholastic News – Edition 4, (2006), p.68.
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