This post is somewhat of a follow up to all those vegans post I’ve written on this blog, and also especially those I’ve written recently. This post is basically about the whole #AdoptDontShop thing that’s so popular with vegans on social media and in the U.S.
I’m from Sweden. Born and raised and I still live here. I’ll probably live here all my life too. Sweden is a very special country to live in. Our laws and security system makes it one of the best countries a person like me can feel safe and secure in. Of course, it’s not a perfect country, but it’s a nice place to live in according to myself. The weather sucks, of course… Regarding veganism, we “pride” ourselves on our extreme and awesome animal rights laws, but in real life – it’s as bad as any other country. We just don’t use that much antibiotics. We still torture and enslave pigs, cows and chickens for their flesh and secretions as much as any other country.
America, aka the U.S have a huge problem with backyard breeders, homeless dogs and cats, shelters filled with unwanted pets, and horrible animal rights laws. That’s no lie. This is true in a lot of countries world wide, not just the U.S. Due to this issue, mainly all the vegans I’ve seen on social media urges people that wants to get cats or dogs as pets(more likely family members) to adopt them instead and don’t buy a dog or cat from a breeder – no matter what. In their situation, I definitely agree. However, what I feel regarding myself and getting new fur babies into my home, I feel a bit different about the whole thing.
I have, to be honest an awful history of having pets. Trust me, I do regret so much which is why I act differently these days regarding getting a new fur baby into my life. I’ve had dogs, I have a cat, but I used to have two. My current cat is called Maja and she’s as of now 12 years old. I hope she’ll live until she’s a hundred or something. Or at least 20. She’s not adopted, rescued or not even bought. I don’t remember if I paid anything to get Maja and her brother all those years ago, but I’ve had her since she was a baby. She’s probably inbred, but she’s really frickin’ healthy and I love her. So much! I wanted to get a cat due to having a dog was too much trouble and my history with having dogs have been nothing but regrets.
When I was younger, I was pretty easy to convince, and because of that, I’ve made so many mistakes in my past. My first dog was a Welsh Corgi Cardigan named Rasmus. I’d just gotten my first real apartment, and I had all the time (and money) in the world for a smaller dog. Even though I was desperate to get a Great Dane, I decided that my first dog would be of another breed and I ended up with Rasmus. I only had him for about 5 months. Why, you may ask? Did he die? Was he sick? No, he was almost perfect. No, I had an idiot boyfriend back then (the first of a few really bad jerks) who hated the fact that I got a dog. He forced me to get rid of him. Aka, to make the breeder take him back. If I didn’t, he’d leave me. So after days of arguing about it, I went along with it. It took a while until the breeder could take him, and during that time, my idiot bf fell in love with Rasmus, and when it was time to say goodbye, my jerk of a boyfriend changed his mind and wanted me to keep him. Then it was too late. What happened? He blamed me for everything! A month later after the breeder took him back, the jerk left me. There I was, no dog and no boyfriend. I hate his guts for doing this to me still to this day, about 16 years later now…
The next idiot of a boyfriend (who later turned into my husband, silly, desperate me) wanted to give me the whole world. If I wanted a dog, I should have one. If I wanted stuff, I should have it. No matter what I wanted, I should get it. That resulted in various dogs coming into our household, some rescued, some mixed breeds and another Welsh Corgi Cardigan named Hampus. All during these years, I was still so desperate of getting a Great Dane, and I did my best to save up money to buy my first one, but I was never able to save anything. No, since he wanted to give me everything and more, we always spent that money doing something else (or getting some pet) instead of just being better with money and let me save to get my most wanted, longed for Great Dane of Awesomeness. Even though I liked (or loved) Rasmus and the WCW breed, I felt that he nor the other dogs were not a Great Dane.
It was worse with all those other dogs as well, those mixed breeds and rescues we took care of or bought and handed back after a few weeks or months. After like the second or third dog, I felt like I’ve had enough. No more pets! Not until I’ll be getting my Great Dane! Well, what happened? My boyfriend, then turned husband went and bought Hampus. At the worst time of my life. I was not ready, nor did I want a dog. Hampus was also the worst, but I was probably even worse. Back then I followed Cesar Millan’s advice and I probably made a monster out of Hampus due to that. I had no energy those days and I just was a bad dog owner. It was before I knew I had fibromyalgia as well, so my lethargic behaviour had no explanation. I was also unemployed with little or basically no money. We managed to keep him for a year, which is almost a miracle, but he eventually went back to the breeder and on to another family that had time for him. I was honestly relieved after that and I felt so bad for getting “along” with having a dog back then. These days I shrug thinking about following Cesar Millan and all the horrible stuff that entailed. You have no idea how much I’ve changed in that area.
With the next idiot (after the divorce) we got Maja and her brother Nisse. The plan was to get two male cats who were siblings, and we’d found a “breeder” from a friend of ours. A week or something before we were supposed to get the cats, we found out that the breeder killed off all the male cats except for Nisse. I was so angry, but we still went on with it. Nisse was the king of cats, and he was lovely. Maja was a frailed little skeleton of skin and bones and afraid of everything. It was hard having cats, and we thought of selling them to somebody else, but we kept them and I’m so glad I did that today. I could not imagine living my life without Maja right now. When I split from this idiot of a boyfriend who destroyed my life in ways some can’t imagine, I took Maja with me and he took Nisse after a while. Nisse did not like that I moved away to another city and he peed and pooped wherever he felt like. Then the third jerk took him (aka the ex) and after that everything was better. For a while. Nisse died at like 3 years of age due to some kidney disease that could have easily been prevented. That made me hate this ex for forever and ever on top of the disaster of a relationship that we had. Maja thrived, however being a lone cat.
Since Maja, I have not gotten any other pets in my life, besides babysitting and having visitors with paws and fur. I’m still desperate of getting a Great Dane, and I will not get any other dog breed before I’ll have my Great Dane. Now, my plan is to wait until I have a steady higher and stable income and a workplace that accepts a Great Dane at the office almost daily. The other days he’s not with me at work, I’ll work from home. I do, however want another cat, either soon ( a kitten) or after Maja, but my current bf does not want any other cats after her. I do understand why, but still. I’d like to have one. If I do, I’d get a cat from a reputable breeder. Why? Because I’d like to have a cat with quality. Preferably a cat who’s not scared of everything and anything, not inbred and I’d like to have the biggest, friendliest cat available. I mean I do like big dogs, so why not a big cat? Like the cat I’m currently babysitting. Don’t get me wrong. If I could go to a shelter in Sweden and find purebred Norwegian forest cats, Maine Coons or Ragdolls, I’d easily get a kitten from them if I was to get another cat. I just don’t see that it’s likely it would happen if I’d get a purebred cat in the future. It is more likely I’d have to go to a breeder. And that’s fine with me! Healthy breeders are worth the promotion in my book.
I’ve been wanting a Great Dane since 1997. It’s been my whole life goal to get this breed. This longing for this specific breed has kept me alive, kept me going, kept me fighting for a life I’d like to live and I have my reasons for waiting so long to get one. First of all, I’ve never had the money for such an expensive breed. The costs if everything goes perfectly his whole life would amount up to at least $300 per month, and most of my years, I’ve not had that money to spare. Considering the normal expenses for a Great Dane, and the risks or chance of bloat, some expensive surgery or anything else, I’ve never had the money to care for a Great Dane. If I’d actually gotten a Great Dane some 15-20 years ago, it is most likely true that I’d end up giving him back to the breeder due to my bad financial situation I’ve had since I moved away from home. With the experience I now have with too many dogs bought, rescued and handed back to the previous owner – I have sworn to myself and others that I will never, ever get this Great Dane breed until everything, and I do mean everything is in order. That is why I’ve waited for so long and probably will wait for another ten years if things won’t change for the better and I’ll become a programmer for real. School right now is in a very weird place for me, so I have no idea what will happen right now in my future. The risk I’m taking is I’ll be the one who waited her whole life for a Great Dane, and never got that special “him”. I’m fine with that, really, even though I hate the thought of it. The reason is due to why I’m waiting. If it’s never the right time, it’s not the right time.
When I will get my Great Dane, I’ll have a fulltime, wellpaid job, working as a developer somewhere where I can bring my Great Dane to work, no matter what. From puppy times to his last breath. I’ll have enough money to be able to live alone if possible with a mortgage or high rent to pay, and still be able to afford a car and pay for surgeries or other events that may occur for my baby. Not until then will I have my Great Dane. I feel proud of myself for having this plan and for acting this way.
There is also the health aspect. I do not plan to get a Great Dane, that’ll die on me after 5-6 years of cancer or heart disease from a breeder that does not care about the breed’s longevity and future. From what I’ve learned during all these years, I also feel that having a healthy Great Dane is more important than anything else. I plan to keep him healthy as well, with good Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods, long walks, attention, cuddles and everything else he or we might need from each other. He will be my everything when he’s here. That is why I am waiting. If I could get a purebred, healthy Great Dane puppy (because my dream is to bring my first Great Dane up from the beginning) from a shelter or a rescue here in Sweden, I would, but I’ve already found my breeder of choice and they’re one of the absolute best in my opinion regarding breeding Great Danes here in Sweden. Since I’ve been wanting this specific breed for basically all my adult life, I do think it’s important to choose wisely. I do not want to get a dog, just because it’s a dog. I want my Great Dane. My puppy. My future lifelong friend. I want to be there from the moment of conception, when he’s born, when it’s time to come home to me, and if I do everything right, he might be by my side for 13 years or more. There are no specific Great Dane rescues available anyway in Sweden, because we do not have that big of a problem with backyard breedings or unwanted pets, even if they do exist. I’d rather go dogless forever then to just get another dog considering my history of pet ownership. I refuse to deviate from this plan of getting a Great Dane.
The way I see my future of owning Great Danes something like this:
- Get my first Great Dane from the breeder I’ve chosen. He lives with me for at least 10 years (the age here is just a reference). Let’s say I’ll get him the same year I turn 40 or 41. I’m currently 37.
- The next GD, will come from abroad as a puppy as well, from the U.S or Canada from one of the best breeders in the business, because I’ve always wanted a Great Dane from the U.S. This is due to the American standard of the breed. I prefer that one more to the European one. Let’s say I’m 55 when this happens. If not from the U.S, it will be from the next best breeder available in Sweden or Scandinavia, with perfectly healthy Great Danes that also uses American bloodlines for that special look and temperament.
- The third GD will probably be from a shelter or an older dog. I’m probably 65 or 70 then this happens, so it will most likely be better to have an older dog, if I’m healthy enough that is. Or even alive.
The scenarios above are if I’d only have one dog at a time. It could very well be so in the future that I’ll have more than one Great Dane at a time, but only after I’ve gotten my first one and he’s gotten old enough that it’s time for a new puppy in our lives.
I hope you who’ll read this will respect or accept my arguments regarding my waiting of this breed and why I’m not interested of adopting a dog for myself. From what I’ve learned, it’s so important to get the breed that is most suited for you. I am not an active person. I’m a couch potato. I have mobility issues due to my fibromyalgia and I’ve come to learn that no other breed is like the Great Dane. I do find pugs really adorable though, but the same idea is there too, if I’d get a pug. I wouldn’t get it from a shelter, I’d get one from a really good breeder, and I wouldn’t mind if it took years in order to find the perfect breeder. I’d personally be so heartbroken if anything were to happen when I finally got my Great Dane and I had to give him back or sell him to somebody else. I do not want to live through that again. I love dogs and cats, no matter what breed – but the Great Dane is far too special for me to do anything else then what I’ve written in this post. There is simply nothing like a Great Dane…
Oh, and in case you wondered about the American bloodlines and U.S standard of the breed. The breeder I’ve chosen do have use dogs from the U.S, and due to that, they get the most loving and healthy Great Danes available. Their temperament is amazing!
I can’t wait to have a Great Dane like that.