Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Odds and ends

I have a few odds and ends to post today but if you will stick with me I think they all come together.


First, I saw a little piece online about the movie Marley and Me.  The film has been out in the U.S. for a couple of months but it only opened in China this week.


Jennifer Aniston upstaged by dogs



Jennifer Aniston had no idea she would be upstaged by the dogs in her new movie.

The 40-year-old actress admits she and Owen Wilson often struggled to steal the limelight from their canine co-stars while filming romantic comedy ‘Marley and Me’.

Speaking about the character of Marley – who was played by 22 different Golden Labradors – Jennifer joked at the UK premiere of the film in London’s Leicester Square last night (02.03.09): “They didn’t warn us about that. Those dogs in the movie were really good!”


Owen, who looked dashing in a dark grey Burberry suit, laughingly revealed the dogs didn’t always behave themselves during filming.


He explained: “There was one scene where one of the Labradors kind of lifted his leg and he wasn’t supposed to.”


Owen – whose own pet Garcia had a cameo in the movie – insists he and Jennifer enjoyed working with the lovable animals because they are both dog owners.


He explained: “I had a real soft spot for Copper, who was a 25-year-old Labrador. But they all did great.”


…’Marley and Me’ – based on the best-selling autobiographical book by John Grogan – tells the story of a young married couple who end up buying a puppy which they soon realise is the “world’s worst dog”.




John Grogan doing a PSA on responsible pet ownership

John Grogan, the author of Marley and Me, has done some nice PSAs  for the AKC.  They have been tied in with the release of the movie and they are about the importance of responsible pet ownership.



Responsible dog ownership is something Grogan, the author of the best-selling book on which the film is based, knows better than anyone.  Marley and Me recounts his life with his rambunctious Labrador Retriever, who quickly grew from an adorable puppy to a 97-pound steamroller. In the PSA Grogan states:


“Puppies…they’re so cute. Until they’re not. Then they become 100 pounds of thundering, hairy, yelping, jumping, drooling, go-exactly-where-you-don’t-want-them-to-go… commitment. In a word: Marley.

I’m John Grogan. I was Marley’s very patient and loving owner for over 13 years. I know there is nothing like the joys and rewards of pet ownership but… someone’s got to be the responsible one… most likely you. “


The PSAs, part of the AKC’s longstanding public education campaign, remind potential dog owners that dogs are a big responsibility and that the decision to buy a puppy should not be taken lightly.


Mentioning the AKC reminds me that I visited a site this morning that was discussing the Obama’s choice of a Portuguese Water Dog for their girls.  I was very saddened to read most of the comments following the article.  The comments weren’t just in favor of mixed breed dogs.  They were virulently anti-purebred dogs.  How have we reached this point?  How and why are people so rabidly divided about what kind of dog someone should own?  Shouldn’t it be a matter of personal preference?


Here are the facts.  In the 1960s-’70s there were 20 million cats and dogs euthanized annually.  Today there are an estimated 3.7 million cats and dogs put to sleep each year.  This is still a lot of animals but it represents enormous progress, thanks to education about voluntary spaying and neutering.


Most animals in animal shelters are there because they are owner turn-ins.  No amount of spaying and neutering and no amount of blame heaped on breeders will prevent people from turning their unwanted animals in to shelters.  It’s irrational to blame breeders for things that owners do.


Here are the top ten reasons why animals are turned in to shelters:


From the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy

Requests for euthanasia because of illness (7.4%)

Moving (7.3%)

Found animal (of unknown origin) (6.6%)

Landlord will not allow pets (5.3%)

Owner has too many animals (4.8%)

Euthanasia because of animal’s age (4.6%)

Cost of maintenance of pets (4.1%)

Animal is ill (4.1%)

Allergies within the family (3.98%)

House soiling (3.37%)

As a group, pet behavior problems accounted for the greatest reason for relinquishment, representing 12 percent of the total.


People seem to be blaming purebred dogs and purebred dog owners for what happens to mixed breed dogs when their problems are completely unrelated.



Some 300,000 puppies are imported annually by shelters.

In many parts of the U.S. there is a shortage of cute, adoptable puppies.  That’s why there are shelters in the South which have worked out agreements to send puppies and young dogs to the Northeast and other places.  There is still an overage in these areas and they are happy to send their dogs to places which don’t have adoptable dogs.  That’s not to say that every shelter is empty.  Most shelters have adult and old dogs which people don’t want to adopt.  Some of those dogs may be Lab mixes or bully breed dogs (the so-called “pitbulls”) that people have become afraid to adopt because of the way the media has sensationalized them.  Some shelters are even importing puppies from outside the country, from Mexico, China, Puerto Rico, eastern Europe and other places.  In 2006 an estimated 300,000 puppies were imported by shelters and rescues into the United States.


If shelters in the U.S. are importing puppies for adoption, can we really have a pet overpopulation?  Or do we have a pet distribution problem?  Whatever we have it’s not the fault of purebred dog breeders or purebred dogs.  Much less than a quarter of the dogs found in shelters are purebreds.  Good breeders act as a safety net to advise the people who buy puppies from them.  If the owner is having a problem the breeder can offer advice and help with behavior problems.  If the owner can’t keep a puppy the breeder can very often take the puppy back and find it a new home.  Purebred rescue groups can step in and provide support.  If a purebred dog does end up in a shelter they can come in and rescue the dog if the shelter will work with them.  All of this makes it harder to find real purebred dogs in animal shelters.  What you often have in an animal shelter is something labeled a purebred dog because it kinda, sorta looks like a dog of some breed.  I once answered an ad in the paper from my local animal shelter that said they had a Gordon Setter.  When I picked the dog up it was, indeed, a black and tan dog, but that’s where its similarity to a Gordon Setter ended.  It was quite clearly some kind of shepherd mix.  I took the dog anyway and found it a good home.  But that’s a good example of how animal shelters label dogs as some kind of purebred when the dogs have no relation at all to an actual purebred dog or even a dog of the right breed.  This kind of labeling distorts and skews any kind of statistics coming from animal shelters on their intake numbers.  Basically, an animal shelter will say anything to get a dog adopted.


If you are under the impression that animal shelters are full of purebred dogs that come from breeders then you are laboring under false information.


March 4, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Greyt Inspirations Life placed an interesting blog post on Odds and endsHere’s a brief overviewI have a few odds and ends to post today but if you will stick with me I think they all come together. First, I saw a little piece online about the movie Marley and Me.  The film has been out in the U.S. for a couple of months but it only opened in China this week. Jennifer Aniston upstaged by dogs(Agencies) Jennifer Aniston had no idea she would be upstaged by the dogs in her new movie.The 40-year-old actress admits she and Owen Wilson often struggled to steal the limelight from their canine co […]

    Pingback by Topics about Pets and Life with animals » Odds and ends | March 5, 2009 | Reply

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