Tuesday, March 1, 2011


More and more I’m appalled when I see people showing pictures of their dogs and puppies whether on one of the e-mail lists or on Facebook. What I’m appalled about is looking at the background of some of these pictures. I’m seeing a gazillion dogs cramped in one muddy, dirty looking dog run after another. I’m seeing dog houses that are ready to fall in on their occupants. I’m seeing filthy looking puppies that look like they roll around in their urine and feces all day. I’m seeing many more dogs than the owner can possibly give the much needed attention that they all deserve.

I’m seeing nails that look like claws, and ears that look as though they’ve never been cleaned. Some of these people are “proudly” displaying these pictures and are advertising their animals for sale. Even sadder is seeing the positive comments that people write about the pictures that they are looking at. Besides feeling sorry for the poor dogs, who wants to buy them? I mean really. Coming from a filthy environment, how can one expect the dogs to be healthy?

Now I understand that this time of the year when the springtime is "trying" to sneak in the backdoor of "Old Mister Winter" that along with the warmer weather, she brings the sticky, yucky mud right along with her. We all have dogs that track more than a few muddy paw prints in on the kitchen floor. This is part of normal dog ownership. But I'm not talking about a few muddy paw prints. I'm talking about dogs that are literally living in the mud! It's one thing that they are, but letting the public see it, well let's just say that they're advertising the fact that their dogs are very poorly kept.

Throughout my lifetime involvement with the German Shepherd Dog breed, I have been to some very well known breeders kennels as well as the smaller less known breeders. Let me tell you, being well known doesn’t necessarily mean their kennels and therefore, their dogs are being very well taken care of. Some of these animals only feel a brush going through their coats to make them look pretty just for the show ring. Once it’s all over, back to their “not so nice” kennel enclosure they go. Now I’m not talking about people that are poor. I’m talking about dogs that are kept poorly!!! You can be poor, but be clean.

And how about those dog bowls and water buckets? I bet those bowls don’t know what hot water and soap feels like. The water buckets match the color of the mud that the dog is running through. I mean how much does it cost to give your dog fresh, clean water every day? How much effort does it take to pick up those dog dishes and soak them in hot soapy water?

I have a friend that bought one his Select champions from a breeder that told me that the mother of the dog was decorated in caked on mud and when he went into the breeder’s home, he was afraid to touch anything for fear of all the germs that he was sure to contact. Yuck!

I went to a very well known breeder one time that owned some of the top producing Select dogs in the country. I mean if you went in his back yard, one dog was more outstanding than the other as they gaited through piles of thick ice and snow laden with dog droppings. Oh he was a very well liked old guy alright and boy could he breed some great dogs. But those great dogs lived in not so great living conditions. Looking at the man’s house neither did him or his family.

Why just a couple of weeks ago, a breeder calls me up and asked me if I saw some puppy’s pictures that were being advertised on Facebook. I told her that I did. Then she asked me, did I notice the person’s house where the pups were set up. I did. What she was saying is the place was a mess. Now I’m not going to win the “Martha Stewart” award for the best kept house in the dog world, but if I were advertising puppies, I would make sure that the place I was taking their pictures wouldn’t attest to the fact that I need to hire a housekeeper!

The way a person takes care of their dogs and their living quarters says a lot about that person. Many times if the dogs are kept dirty, the owner isn’t that much better. Certainly people that advertise their dogs looking like this and showing the environment that they live in one could easily say that “truth comes to advertising!” What you see is truly what you get!!! Dropping a bowl of food on the ground and in some cases, dropping the food on the ground without a bowl……well let’s just say that animals deserve better than this!

From the book: "It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff"......This book changed my life! Veteran "organizational consultant," TV show host and author Walsh (How to Organize (Just About) Everything) has more ideas in his latest book on clutter management than the spare closet has junk, and, even better, it's organized, in-depth and entirely user-friendly. Part One examines the "Clutter Problem": how it happens, how it hampers and how to face it without excuses or discouragement. Part Two presents a step-by-step approach to "Putting Clutter in its Place," which begins with "surface clutter" and developing a household plan before moving on to the bulk of the book, a walk through of each room in the home. Also included are ideas for involving other family members, letters Walsh has received from viewers of his TLC show "Clean Sweep," vignettes illustrating how real people deal with common organizational challenges and plenty of charts, checklists and sidebars ("Clutter Quiz," "Yard Sale Planning") for added utility. Walsh is upbeat and funny throughout, treating the task at hand like "a thrilling archeological dig," a "positive and exciting" way to unlock your "ideal home" and "unearth those things that are most important in your life." Entertaining and instructive, this is one guidebook readers should place in their "keep" pile.

My rating: Dogs deserve clean living quarters: (4)


  1. It is sad to see or hear about dogs living like this. Sad

  2. Yes it is Bruce for any dog no less one as noble and regal as the German Shepherd!

  3. I too have seen photos of dismal dirty living quarters for these dogs when people are advertising ones for sale. Very sad to think of them day in and day out living in such squalor.

    You mentioned that some of the humans also live in dirty surroundings. What's worse, I think, is when the dogs themselves are living in horrific areas, but the owners homes are spotless. That speaks volumes about how they believe any animal should be treated.

    So very very sad.

  4. Yes, you're right. I just had someone write to me of a place that when you went to their house, it was lovely and well kept. What they hid behind the barn was entirely something else. For shame!

  5. This particular subject is one I find most frustrating. When I feel like I'm "rescuing" an animal that I'm actually purchasing, there is something terribly wrong in my opinion. And, as Hunde Haus posted, if their house is immaculate it's even worse.

    I've lived in rural, urban, and subdivision-type areas. There is a huge difference in the mind set regarding how animals should be treated and what are acceptable living conditions. I cannot change others' beliefs or behaviors so I do what I can do. I screen possible puppy buyers to the best of my ability and place them with people I feel will give them a better life than the examples in your blog.

    Thank you again, Barbara, for a compelling subject that, many of us, not only have experienced first hand but also have strong opinions about.

  6. I've received many personal messages about this subject and I'm sadden to read about some of the stories people shared with me about the living quarters of some dogs. Thanks for writing!