No pedigree needed to fall in lovePublished 12:00pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012
By Laura Pemberton, Staff Writergrades
As I was preparing to cover Bow Wow Luau, I was researching the Lake Martin Humane Society. I saw a photo on the group’s Facebook page that really caught my attention.
It was a painted photo frame that read, “the best things in life are rescued.”
It reminded me of my mom and my precious fur child.
My mom is a dog snob. She is famous for saying, “The only dog worth owning is a lab.”
She bred labs for decades, and her version of an acceptable lab is extremely narrow. They have to have blockheads, otter-like tails and a short stocky build.
Needless to say, she has never paid vet bills on anything that wasn’t American Kennel Club registered.
Bailey is my 2-year-old Peek-a-Poo or Malti-Poo. We aren’t sure which.
I got Bailey the summer before my senior year at Auburn. I turned 21, so my mom was feeling generous about my birthday present.
We have had at least one lab at all times my whole life, and I have loved them all.
But my Auburn apartment had a 25-pound restriction for pets, so obviously a Labrador Retriever just wasn’t going to make the cut.
Enter my begging and pleading for a lap dog. Long story short, Mom reluctantly agreed. I found a classified ad for Peek-a-Poos, and we set off to purchase a puppy.
We thought we were meeting “the reputable breeder” at Sam’s Club to follow her home. When she got out of the car with three puppies in a basket, my mom’s intuition went nuts.
Legitimate breeders show you both of a puppy’s parents and where the puppy is being cared for. This lady couldn’t tell me which parent was a Pekingese and which was a Poodle.
Mom knew immediately it was a puppy mill, but it was too late.
I was already in love.
I wanted a girl, but the soft furry white puppy stole my heart. We named him Bailey because he reminded us of Irish Cream.
When we took Bailey to the vet for the first time the next week, we discovered he was dying. He had internal parasites, but at less than 2 pounds he couldn’t take strong medicine.
For weeks I bottle fed him to build up his strength and prayed that he would make it. Mom was kind to him, but she swore she would never actually love him. He wasn’t a lab, and “fru fru little dogs” just aren’t for her.
Two years later, she calls at least twice a week and insists I put her on speaker so her grandpup can hear her voice, he sleeps in her bed when we’re in Birmingham, and she refers to herself as “Bee Bo” – because every grandmother needs a name. So much for not loving a “fru fru” dog.
I encourage everyone to rescue an animal. You may not know what his parents looked like or exactly what breed he is, but one day you may not care. You will probably fall in love regardless.
Pemberton is staff writer for The Outlook.