I’m having my speckled pup, Sherman, neutered on December 20th. I know it seems a little mean to have this little procedure done so close to the holidays, but I’ll be away from teaching for Christmas break, so he and I can hang out at home while he recovers. With any luck, Sherman won’t even need one of those plastic cone monstrosities. Although really, if I did get him a cone, he could be the life of all my holiday soirees, complete with his own lampshade.
Check him out below, so fully into his yummies that his eyes are blissfully closed, and his little heart is full of puppy joy. In fact, little Sherm is so happy in this photo that he’s probably also got another issue going on (hint: it rhymes with “loner”) which is a key reason for his upcoming snip.
The thing that’s funny is that many people react negatively to the fact that I’m having my dog fixed. Castration is not a big deal for a dog. Really, the body parts he’ll be leaving at the vet’s office are about the size of a pair of jelly beans. People have their dogs’ ears cut to hold strange and unnatural shapes, or have their tails lopped off to fit a certain desired appearance, yet there seems to be a serious aversion by many to neutering their dogs. I’ve had people tell me that I should breed him because he’s cute, because he’s got such a nice personality, or so that he can at least experience “it” once in his furry little life. Here’s the thing: he’s not a working dog, and he’s not carrying any fabulous mutt-puppy genetics. He won’t be missing any fantastic life-changing experiences: dogs don’t go out for romantic dinners or buy fancy pooch lingerie for a amorous evening. I’ve yet to hear of a German shepherd lighting some candles or a beagle putting together a sultry playlist on his I-pod in the hopes of getting lucky.
The truth is that for a dog, foreplay involves sniffing some personal areas and a quick, impersonal hump in the grass (or the snowbank here in Canada). It’s not a life-changing experience, except for the lives of those millions of unwanted puppies that come into the world and are, if they’re lucky, euthanized humanely in shelters, and if they’re not, whose pitiful existences are short and brutal, full of fear and pain. How many dogs are abandoned, shot, starved, or abused because there are simply far, far more puppies in the world than responsible people to love them?
See the Edmonton Humane Society’s information about sterilizing pets HERE.
I’m neutering my dog to prevent adding to a pitiful problem in our society. I’m also having him neutered because it will make him less likely to become aggressive, or to scale the fence in search of a rendezvous with some hot piece of, um, tail. He will not be at risk for a number of different cancers. There won’t be any embarrassing situations where Sherman thinks that making sweet puppy love to someone’s leg is a good idea, leaving me to make excuses and awkward apologies. He will also still be welcome at doggy daycare, which is a life-saver for me because it tires him out completely every Tuesday. The city will charge me a significantly lower licensing fee after Sherm’s snipped. It’s a situation where everyone wins.
Call me a grinch if you like, but Sherman is being neutered, and it’s not a decision that I’ve thought twice about. I’m not going to tell other people what to do with their own pets, but I really do wish that more people decided to be responsible with their dogs (and cats). I’m going to my favorite farm mart this weekend to pick my puppy up some yummies to put under the tree this Christmas (bully sticks-oh, the irony) and probably a new Kong and some other things to chase and play with. So, even though little Sherman will be surrendering his testicles this holiday season, I’ll make sure Santa brings him more than just an empty sack.
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