As newlyweds we took a predictable path. We adopted a puppy before starting a family.
I was very specific about what kind of puppy I wanted and I waited patiently until the perfect furball became available on PetFinder.com. Because I feel that breeding golden retrievers to standard just reinforces their predisposition for cancer and other ailments, I struggle to understand why people continue to purchase puppies from breeders.
We chose a “mostly golden retriever” because we wanted that lovely golden temperament and we hoped to avoid the canine lymphoma that so often cuts purebred goldens’ lives short. Ace is a cross between a golden retriever and a yellow lab.
I also know that wonderful shelter dogs like Ace are euthanized at an alarming rate. I’ll even go as far as to say that, if you buy a dog from a breeder, that’s another shelter dog who will never get a permanent loving home.
If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, start at Petfinder. They have purebred dogs and mongrel curs, adult dogs and newborn puppies. I challenge you to browse the site without falling in love.