August 24, 2007

Renting Dogs?

Posted in companion animals, dogs, taste better at 12:28 pm by nevavegan

Just a quickie to comment on the recent story about a company that rents out dogs by the hour.

Many of us in the rescue/animal welfare/animal rights community have been upset by this story because it seems to reduce dogs to the level of other rented things–cars and tuxes. It’s also disturbing because it fails to acknowledge that dogs bond with their caretakers and need a consistent home, a routine, and pack-feeling they get when they bond closely with a few people.

I read the whole thing and wondered who would ever be willing to pay for such a service.

For people who love dogs but don’t have the time or energy to adopt one there are always options.

When my aunt was first diagnosed with cancer she longed to adopt a dog, but she couldn’t in good conscience do it because she didn’t know how long she’d be able to care for a dog. Her prognosis wasn’t good and she feared that any dog she took in would outlive her and face upheaval and possible homelessness. So my aunt found the perfect solution–she made friends with a person in her building who had a dog and dog-sat and dog-walked this neighbor dog when she felt up to it. This brought the affection and company of a dog into her life and helped out her busy neighbor as well. And it was good for the dog to get the extra attention.

Others find they can satisfy their dog-nurturing urges on a part time basis by either fostering dogs for a rescue group, or just spelling the full-time fosterer off by taking the dogs to the dog park for an afternoon. Dog lovers can volunteer at a shelter, they can help out at adoption fairs, and they can always dog-sit for friends and family.

Dogs take a lot of time and care, and I applaud those who are responsible enough to wait to adopt until they are sure they can provide the perfect home. But sometimes you just need to go running with a dog, or get a sloppy lick across the face. There are tons of good options without resorting to “renting” a dog.