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Happy… Sad

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Someone asked me, “CCK, how can you be so happy all the time?”

My answer: It must be the chocolate, which gives you endorphins. So eat your chocolate, everyone! That being said, I do occasionally feel sad. Every time that I leave my volunteer job, I feel an overwhelming rush of sadness and helplessness. Don’t get me wrong– I absolutely love the time I spend volunteering as a dog-walker at a local shelter. I adore playing with the dogs, and I’ve even come to enjoy walking the bigger dogs (they end up walking me!). But at the end of the day, I just want to take them all home… but I know I can’t do that. I wish I could convince everyone that adoption is the way to go when buying a dog. No matter what type of dog you’re looking for, you can find it at a shelter– big, small, lapdog, guard dog, old, young, mutt, purebred, etc. And if you’re in love with a particular breed, go to and punch in the breed name– the site’ll hook you up with some dogs of that breed in your area! So there’s NO excuse not to adopt.

Just last week, a neighbor of mine bred her dogs… and sold the puppies. As I watched little children run to her yard and ooh and aah over the critters, I wanted to shout as loud as I could, “DON’T DO IT!” But of course I kept silent as each and every one of those puppies was sold, taking away from my shelter dogs another potential chance for a good home. I’m not angry with the buyers– they don’t know any better than to buy a cute little purebred puppy from a breeder or puppy mill. I just wish it didn’t have to be this way…

Please don’t be offended by this post if you did buy a dog from a breeder or puppy mill! My own dog, Molly, was bought from a breeder before we really knew much about the plight of shelter animals, so I am in NO WAY condemning loving dog owners who have bought their pet from a breeder! Sorry for the gloominess. I’ll be back tomorrow with a happier post, I promise!

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Simple and Divine says:

    You truly have a heart of gold. So amazing. But I have to say that being the owner of a dog that came from a breeder, I, in no way, wish I didn’t have him. I adore him more than life, itself, but I completely understand what you’re saying. The sad thing is, when my parents said we were getting a new puppy (bc our old poodle had passed away) I was so overwhelmed with joy I didn’t think of anything else! My cat is a rescue situation tho. Anyways, I love your kind heart and am so glad that you posted this because it makes me realize that it’s so important to see those openings for helping others even when they’re not at the front of your mind. To see them all the time, I mean.

  2. Vaishali says:

    That was a nice post. I too get sad to see people breed dogs or adopt from breeders. You’re doing a lovely thing by volunteering at the shelter, and you will make a difference in the long run, believe me.

  3. ~randi~ says:

    I really liked this post, and it’s okay that every one of your posts isn’t cheerful. You’re only human, after all. Also, I can totally relate to your feelings of sadness being that I am the biggest animal lover I know! 😉 My fiance always says, “If we were on a sinking ship and you could only take 1 person in the lifeboat with you, I know who you’d pick…our cats!”

  4. Mel says:

    Truly agree! All of the animals I’ve had in my life come from my local shelter. Both my cats are from my local shelter! It’s so important to get the message outhere. Thank you.

  5. Bianca says:

    Aww, that’s so awesome that you volunteer at the shelter. I really should. I always tell myself that I couldn’t handle it, that I couldn’t bare to watch those poor puppies and kitties “disappear” after their time for adoption was up and no one wanted them.

    I have 4 cats and a dog now, and I know I don’t have room. But I’d want to take them all home. Good for you, for having such a huge heart!!!!

  6. Wheeler's Frozen Dessert says:

    Thank you for spreading the word about adopting from shelters! I think that’s all people really need – I didn’t consider adoption until one of my friends mentioned it – and now I’ll never buy from a breeder!

  7. Kumquat Peekapoo says:

    My inlaws breed goldens, and it makes me so sad. I know their livelyhood depends on the sale of these dogs, but I wish they could see the animals the way my husband and I do, and find a different way to make money :(

  8. Romina says:

    My dog was bought from a breeder, but he was the runt, so he would have been killed or abandoned if not. He is also a hunting dog, so my father uses him as such…or used, he’s too old now. =(

    But you’re right, I wish more people would adopt dogs, just like I wish more people chose to adopt children instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for in vitro fertilization.

  9. pleasantly plump vegan says:

    i have always gotten my kitties from shelters (except when a neighborhood cat finds me!) but we got our dog from one of those puppy mills stores over 4 years ago. while we LOVE our dog so very much, we will never buy a dog ever again. i feel guilty to this day. i would love to adopt a dog, but we live in an apartment and really don’t have the room (or money) right now.

  10. Jenny says:

    What a great post. I love Beagles, but everytime we are thinking of adding a new dog to our clan, we always end up at the shelter, with some screwy dog who really “needed” us at the time. Although I think there are a lot of reputable breeders out there, and I adore lots of specific breeds, I think people should also consider the mixed breed shelter dogs. They are awesome!

  11. loveofoats says:

    Aww, I don’t have any animals, but I’m sure when I do get one, I will take your advice and adopt it instead :)

  12. Betsy says:

    my dog was a rescue, and i can’t imagine if we hadn’t gotten him!!!!

    if i had room in my aparment, i would get a dog from a shelter in a heartbeat. alas, i have sooo little room here, it’s not possible. thanks for all your hard work for animals!! i know they appreciate it.

  13. Cody says:

    I had a (silent) fit when my mother-in-law went looking for a puppy from a breeder. I knew there was no use talking to her about it, because every conversation about veganism/fair trade/sweatshops/etc. that we’ve had with her have ended in a “better them than me” sort of response.

    …I took a ten minute break in the middle of this comment to see about volunteering at my local Humane Society. The buses don’t run that far. Which sucks.

  14. Vegan_Noodle says:

    Totally agree with your comments… I think people just need to be educated about the situation. You do amazing things for animals :-)

  15. Robin says:

    Oh I love this post! One of our dogs is from a shelter and the other one we got as a 3 month puppy when someone left him in their backyard when they moved. Even if people are looking for a specific breed, they can usual find it in a shelter or at a rescue. No need to be breeding more dogs when so many still need good homes. What really kills me is when people breed dogs with bans, like Pitbulls. There are SOOOO many pitbulls at the shelters in cities without a ban around here, why would you every add to the problem? It’s so sad. Anyway, great post.

  16. LisaRene says:

    You are amazing! I’ll be very curious where you will be in 10 years and what you will have achieved.

  17. Urban Vegan says:

    Hey sweetie, you’re allowed to feel sad–completely understandable with the vlunteering–so please don’t apologize. I also want to scream when people pay $600 for a designer dog when plenty of sweeties are euthanized for no good reason…

  18. Cookiemouse says:

    You are only too right. I’ll link to this in a future post, as I also agree that adoption is a great idea. These animals all deserve some love and a good home.

  19. poopiebitch says:

    I agree with you completely! My family always had lots of pets when we were growing up, and almost all of them were adopted strays (a couple came from shelters). We never bought from a breeder or puppy mill – even when we were kids my siblings and I knew there were other deserving animals who needed good homes! My parents still take in strays to this day (we always lived in the country, so lots of strays around!).

  20. lengslog says:

    I feel the same way. People shouldn’t buy their pets. There are so many unfortunate ones out there that need a home and someone to care for them.

    I’m assuming you got your little doggy from a shelter? I got one of my cats from a shelter, but Miss Dottie is from a pet store where I used to work.

    Chocolate makes us all happy!

  21. Kim says:

    We got our dog from a breeder, technically. Both of her parents were purebred papered show dogs, but one was a Corgi and one was a Rottweiler.

    The mixed puppies weren’t going to last long at the breeder’s, so now we have Karly.

  22. arimcg says:

    Aw, I love my little shelter pup! I wouldn’t have it any other way…after you visit a shelter once, I don’t see how you can possibly buy from a breeder.

    Nice blog!!

  23. Sam says:

    You know, I could have written that post! I feel the exact same way when I leave my local shelter. There is a commercial that runs here every so often and makes it seem like you’re a lesser person if you don’t buy your dog from their store. I seriously feel like throwing something at the tv every time that commercial is on! People like you have big hearts who would give anything to help people, animals, everything and everyone. We need more people like you in the world. (And more chocolate, but that’s a different matter!)

  24. Ricki says:

    This is a terrific post–thanks for getting this (important) word out. You probably saw it, but Oprah just did a show on puppy mills as well–it had me sobbing.

    Both our Girls were mutts that would have been killed otherwise. I agree with folklore that mixed breeds are healthier–our dogs seem to have the best characteristics of each of their breeds. Many of my friends have bought purebreds, and while some are okay, others are just a little too inbred for my taste!

  25. Bonnie says:

    I agree with you on this and I think it’s great that you do so much to help these animals – remember that, by helping to walk the dogs and by talking to other people about adopting from a shelter instead of buying from a breeder, you’re doing the best you can! and I think it will do a lot of good, too. I can tell that you’re inspiring people just by looking at your blog and the comments you’re getting :)

    I don’t think this post is offensive in any way. We did get a rabbit from a breeder in the past, too, but I know I never want to do that again – even though I loved that rabbit! It’s just best to support the shelters instead of the people who actually make money by breeding animals…

  26. Rural Vegan says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, CCV. No matter what kind of pet someone is looking for, there is one matching that description in a shelter right now waiting to be rescued. Thanks for spreading the word!

  27. Good for you. I wish more people were informed about this.