Updated: October 24, 2012 6:25AM
Dear readers: About this time of year, I can’t resist writing about humans who are dumber than the dumbest dog, which by the way is not the shih tzu.
It’s common knowledge that acting on impulse or appearance is not the way to welcome a pet into your home.
Still, there is a Schererville computer programmer who bought a bulldog from one of the local pet stores and paid more than $2,500 and thought he got a deal because the original price tag was $3,500. This dog has already been to the veterinarian for some health issues.
Then there was the Porter County woman who bought one designer puppy and one purebred pup from a Merrillville pet store and paid more than $1,500 each.
After two weeks with the pups she gave them up because they were, in her own words, “whizzing and pooping machines.”
So chalk up two for people who could have gone to a local shelter and acquired a dog for a lot less money and at the same time rescued that animal from a life in the cage.
The animals that arrive in shelters each year have already had their share of bad luck. But before you choose a pet that will depend on you, be sure you can support that animal emotionally and physically.
Do your research and choose a breed with the characteristics that fit well into your home.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Have you and members of your household agreed on acquiring an animal?
How old are your children because if they’re under 6, pet shelters experts recommend that you wait a few years. Puppies have extra sharp teeth and claws and strike back when teased. Toy-sized dogs may be too delicate for an exuberant toddler; large dogs can knock over a child or an elderly person.
Is anyone in the house allergic?
How much time are you home? Animals need schedules.
Do you have a fenced-in yard or is there a nearby park?
Do you have the financial means to support an animal? Shelter adoption fees are usually minimal, but the costs of medical care, training, food, grooming toys and other supplies add up.
It is very cool to adopt a dog from a shelter.
I was once a shelter dog. My woman-human adopted my two housemates, Oscar and Opie Taylor, and me from the animal shelter in the Miller neighborhood of Gary, and she thinks we’re awesome.