The hardest thing about living in New York isn't the sky high rent, or the tiny apartments, or the wretched winters, or the ever-present looming threat of terrorism. It's that having a dog is so damn difficult. It's so damn difficult that I actually don't have one. For the first time in my life... I am a dogless human. For those of you who aren't dog-lovers: 1) I don't understand you and 2) I understand that you don't get why not being able to have a dog is such a big deal. But please believe me when I say it's soul-curshing and often makes me contemplate leaving the city (or a least spending 60-90% of my income on rent so I can have a dog and a yard for it to pee in and a dog walker so the dog isn't just a tortured prisoner in my amazingly expensive apartment all day).
Now as luck would have it, last year I had a job that involved my scouring the New York area for puppies (for entirely humane purposes I assure you. I'm only being vague because I like to maintain some mystery). While researching breads, I came across the most wonderous Tumblr. It's called, The Dogist.
To be honest, I care not for Tumblr, mostly because I don't understand it. But The Dogist is literally just amazing pictures of dogs! What joy! How could you not be made instantly happier by looking at these glorious beasts? How? I ask you, how?
Like this little pup!
Or this one who looks a bit like my dog back home, Scout (aka Scooter)!
See? This one is Scout. (He was sad because he saw my suitcase)
Oh man I miss that boy dog! I can't wait until Christmas. I like to tie a bow around his neck to make him festive.
Okay, back to The Dogist!
One of the things I like most about The Dogist is his adoption posts. I am a firm advocate for adopting pets rather than buying them from breeders (even reputable ones) or pet stores. You really wouldn't believe the number of perfectly wonderful, healthy, kind, and loving dogs in shelters, sanctuaries, and *gulp* the pound. Just jump on your local animal shelter's page, take a look, and realize that those are only dogs (and cats too) in your immediate area. These dogs did nothing wrong and their only mistake was being brought into this world by people who didn't have the sense to spay and neuter their animals. Seriously, you can get it done for free, so just be a cool and have your pets spayed and neutered.
The Dogist posts dogs available for adoption with their location and links to the shelter where they can be found.
The Dogist also took beautiful photos of some of the Victory Dogs, the dogs used by that wretched creature, Michael Vick, for the vicious and completely abominable act of dog fighting (I'll spare you my rant on why people involved in dog fighting should die, but really... it's one of the move vile things done by people).
These dogs were betrayed by the worst of human kind and have come through it. These pictures are beautiful compositions that show them not as victims but as strong and resilient animals who've been given a second chance at life and love. These aren't pictures of broken animals, but of forgiving creatures with scars, not wounds. It's lovely to see someone show not only Pit Bulls, but victims of dog fighting, in such a positive and accepting way. Pit Bulls have been so demonized in our culture and they don't deserve it irresponsible and violent humans do.
Dogs have been good to mankind for thousands of years and we should return the favor and show them the love and respect they deserve. By putting these canine portraits out there, The Dogist is reminding us all of just how beautiful and fun-loving these animals are.
The Dogist also has a wonderful program called "Give a Dog a Bone" where you can donate $50-$100 and The Dogist will personally deliver a bone to a shelter dog, photograph, and post the dog. Not only will the dog get a treat, but it's chances of getting adopted will be greatly increased by the post (and it's good publicity for the shelter too). True story, I saw a dog on The Dogist who was up for adoption and then ran into it on the street two days later and he'd been adopted because of The Dogist's post!
If you are looking for a good place to donate money either as a holiday gift for your less materialistic friends and family, or just because you feel like being awesome, Give a Dog a Bone is a fantastic way to help an animal in need! Maybe your donation will help some shelter dog and stand noble and proud in a grassy meadow with the wind blowing through it's ears like this pup!
If you're looking for more good places to donate to animals in need, here are links to my two favorite animal rescues in New York (and The Dogist again). They are both doing really good work and your donations will definitely go toward a worthy cause. Tis the Season, so maybe click on some of these links and give what you can or I'm sure your local animal shelters/rescues/humane societies would be happy to accept your monies!