Meghan Markle: What she said about getting a rescue dog | Opinion

When we were first looking to add a dog to our family two years ago, we contacted every rescue organization in our area. This was at the beginning of the pandemic (which coincided with the purchase of our first house) and there were no dogs anywhere.

Rescue organizations have been able to be selective and set the bar high for families with young children. We felt this was unfair and discriminatory. We know how to take care of people; why couldn’t we control the dog?

Fast forward to when we brought our puppy home from the kennel at 8 weeks old. We bought Truman from a woman who breeds dogs with ideal temperaments for families like ours; he socialized with children from birth until we brought him home. The situation was ideal as it was and not ideal then.

Our first month with Truman was harder than bringing home a new baby. For both house training and behavioral reasons, I had to keep a close eye on him every time he was out of the crate. He clashed with our young sons (which was mostly the boys’ fault, but a constant problem nonetheless). One son begged to be taken to the breeder every day. While the idea was tempting at times, doing so was never an option on the table.

We brought in a trainer who helped us with dog training as well as child training. She kept remarking that we were very lucky to have a dog with the temperament that we did. He said that most dogs faced with antics like our kids wouldn’t settle for a light bite like Truman.

Eventually, our children and Truman got used to each other. Now Truman is such a beloved member of the family that it is hard to remember those first, difficult days. But we are so thankful to have brought home a patient and calm dog that will soon have half a dozen little ones.

Which brings us to Meghan Markle and the questionable example she’s set recently.

While promoting her new podcast recently, the Duchess of Sussex discussed adding dogs to the home she shares with Prince Harry and their two children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1. The Washington Post confirmed, explaining, “They specifically wanted to adopt a dog with a history of abuse and trauma.”

I asked Andrew Guindon, a certified dog trainer and owner of Total Dog Care in Ottawa, Canada, what he thought of the royal family’s decision. His initial reaction: “Not all well-meaning celebrities should be imitated.”

Guindon went on to write, “These dogs have almost certainly missed out on a critical learning opportunity from their biological mothers and their first human interaction, so it costs thousands of dollars to work with a behaviorist (in the absence of really solid experience and knowledge) and thousands of direct contact and training. hours budgeted for, it is not at all reasonable to see this as a well-intentioned gesture that carries significant risks”.

In this file photo, Seth and Bethany Mandel sit with their dog Truman in Silver Spring, Md., Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021.

Cheryl Diaz Meyer for the Deseret News

Markle’s announcement that she will adopt an abused dog is reminiscent of the Biden family’s decision to do the same. Finally, the fate of “Major” Biden, the first rescue dog in the White House, turned out to be sad: after numerous behavioral problems, he remarried “Friends of the Bidens”.

Unfortunately, in many circles there is a stigma attached to obtaining a dog through any means other than a shelter. “Adopt, don’t shop” is the mantra. This idea is being perpetuated not only by people who are passionate about rescuing dogs, but also by well-intentioned celebrities and public figures like Biden and Markle. For some, it’s a way to virtue signal to the general public.

But the reality is that sometimes adopting a dog is not the right thing for both the dog and the family. This is especially true for those with young children and demanding lives.

Parents need to push back on this narrative and shamelessly bring home a dog that is suitable for their family, even if it means it comes from a breeder instead of a rescue. It’s an idea that will have the “adopt, don’t buy” crowd yelling at you. But it’s something parents of young children need to hear and normalize by saying, “My child’s safety comes first.”

The Bidens and their rescue dog learned that lesson the hard way. Apparently the Sussexes will too.

Bethany Mandel is a contributing writer for the Deseret News. She is a homeschooling mother of five and a widely published writer on politics, culture, and Judaism. He is the editor of the “Heroes of Freedom” series of children’s books.

Leave a Comment