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Podcast Episode 10: "I want a pedigreed dog. She wants a rescue mutt. It turned into a fight...and the fight got ugly."

Episode 10: “I Want a Pedigreed Dog. She Wants a Rescue Mutt. It Turned into a Fight… and the Fight Got Ugly.”



He wants a purebred dog. She wants a rescue mutt.

What started as a logistical discussion about getting a dog quickly became a heated, vicious fight about values and ethics.

Don’t you love those questions that seem to be about one thing, but betray a totally different, deeper problem? That’s definitely the case with today’s letter.

We could’ve recommended the obvious compromise: select a breed, then find a rescue organization that specializes in that breed! One quarter of all homeless dogs are purebreds, bro! Depending on the popularity and rarity of the breed, there may be a wait list. But if you’re patient, you can find one that fits both criteria.

… But, yeah, we didn’t even bother with that. Because it’s so incredibly obvious that the purebred dog versus shelter mutt question is the flashpoint for a deeper, more troubling issue. And it’s one we think merits a breakup.

Do you see the same thing we see?

Today’s question

“My girlfriend and I are in our mid twenties, and have been seeing each other for four years now. We moved in together last spring and things have been going well. I love this girl. She’s sweet, funny, interesting, pretty, and a little eccentric. She’s absolutely my dream girl and I can’t picture myself without her but we’ve been fighting for over a month and it’s been hard.

“At the end of May we decided to get a dog together. We’re both dog people, having grown up with them. Since my parents are close to a couple that breeds dogs, we’ve bought all three of our dogs from them. My girlfriend, on the other hand, had only one shelter pup

“When we first started talking about raising a dog together I asked her the standard ‘what kind of dog should we get?’ questions about what breed she preferred. And she scoffed at me and said it didn’t matter, because we would adopt a pet, not buy one. She said it like it was obvious and that I didn’t have a say otherwise. We got into an argument about the pros and cons of adopting or buying. And it just escalated from there.

“I’ll get to the point and say we both started taking it personally and said some things. I said that buying gives you better quality, and that you know what you get. She quite rudely said that if we’re paying for quality how come my family’s dogs have had health issues and died young, while her shelter dog lived to be seventeen. She said she looked down on people who’d rather pay thousands of dollars than save a life. We decided to cool down and give the discussion a rest.

“We both felt unfinished after that but let it go but then we started getting at each other for different lifestyle choices. Like how she wants to get married and have kids one day and how I’m not so sure what I want yet. And how in my family having a degree is important and to her it’s not. Sometimes we teased her about it since she only has a certificate but we never meant it rudely to her since she has a great job as a software engineer.

“She’s always been sort of indifferent to everything and said everyone has different values and the right to have different opinions should be respected. She eats meat, wears fur, buys non-organic, buys fast fashion, is non-religious, she’s fairly liberal but tends to criticize some social movements, which is all fine but my point is she’s never had a firm stance on anything. But it’s like I picked a fight about the one thing she feels strongly about and it’s been rough since then. I’m not sure what to do anymore and I need advice.”

This episode is coming out a day late because it was such a struggle to edit. A bent wire caused intermittent static on my microphone. Piggy was drinking something with ice, and her microphone picked up every clink. We both rambled like crazy, both because we feel very strongly about dogs and cannot resist talking about our own dogs. But hopefully you’ll agree that it was worth all the work to dissect this deliciously shady letter!

Thanks as always to our Patreon donors for funding our inaugural season. Technical issues aside, it’s been fun figuring things out! We’ll have so many improvements in mind for a future season two. If you have a question burning in your mind, we are happy to answer it! Find out how at our Patreon page.

Please note: we have added a Patreon goal for providing transcripts! Auto-transcription tools leave much to be desired. To make readable and high-quality show summaries, we really need a human editor. So if you want transcripts, please become a patron!

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5 thoughts to “Episode 10: “I Want a Pedigreed Dog. She Wants a Rescue Mutt. It Turned into a Fight… and the Fight Got Ugly.””

  1. I agree completely–really hope the dude happens to listen to your podcast. Or better yet, his girlfriend does…

    A thing about “buying non-organic” (it’s my degree and I can’t resist, sorry): organic as a label isn’t *always* all it’s cracked up to be. There are some great farms run by really conscientious people; but the problem is, “organic” is not regulated category by any government (or nongovernmental) agency. Anyone can claim the “organic” label. Many times, what a business actually mean is that they put what are *technically* organic–but far worse for the environment–compounds onto their soil as fertilizers and pesticides. Terrible shit like sulfur. Sulfur is AWFUL for soil quality. Etc etc.

    I recommend focusing on local over organic. Going organic in a truly healthy, sustainable way is only certain when you go to a local farm or co-op and you know who they are and can visit the farm to check up on them. People have the tendency to assume that buying local is expensive (although…organic produce prices, anyone? You want to talk about expense…) and inconvenient because you have to go to a farmer’s market. But some chain grocery stores are working to get local products on their shelves AND advertise them. I know my local King Soopers does this.

    Now you know more than you wanted to…

    1. Thank you for talking about this. Organic food is often not all that it is cracked up to be. Locally grown produce has the huge environmental benefit that it hasn’t had to travel the hundreds or thousands of miles that a lot of produce often does. A few months ago, I bought a grapefruit from the store only to realize when I got home that this grapefruit had been shipped from South Africa to the Southeastern United States, where I live. I’m going to try to grow a small garden this year for both environmental reasons and to have a fun hobby.

  2. Yay dogs!! Had I been recording this it would have been a 19 hr rambling episode, but to keep it quick: for the dog side of this couple’s issue, there is a breed sitting right in a perfect venn diagram of both of their wants: adopting a retired racing greyhound! A purebred (barf, that term) bred for health, speed and a non-aggressive temperament (because they have to live literally on top of each other during their racing years). A breed bred intentionally into planned homelessness AT BEST five years into their life, if they are fast enough and lucky enough to even race that long. But many get hurt or dumped for being slow much much younger.

    The racing industry floods greyhound rescues with so many dogs needing homes each year that they have to send many to non-racing states to give them a better shot at finding families, so you can be super picky about finding the specific houndie who connects with you! And since they’re adults you have a good idea what you’re getting, though they do open up a lot once they feel safe.
    And yes, they are fast, but require no more exercise than a similar size breed, and are often pretty lazy. 45 mph couch potatoes. I adopted my pup while living in a small condo and we loved it (though I later did buy her a large fenced yard that happened to have a little house on it).
    Adoption never means settling!

  3. Adopting is definitely best, but also be aware that if you have kids or other pets some places won’t adopt out or are very careful about the type of dogs will adopt out. We waited two years and had several meeting with rescues where we got our hopes up only to be not approved due to home size, having kids, having a cat, fence not tall enough, etc. It can take a long time to get your pup – but also worth it! (FWIW we were specifically looking for a certain temperament and size due to one of our children’s needs).

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