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In Today’s Bulwark...
DAN KING: It's the fourth state to halt the abusive practice—and the first to drop out of the federal version, too.
Happy Monday! I hope you had a good weekend. I know that members of Bulwark+ know about JVL’s weekend, and if you haven’t read his account (member or not) of the Nats-Padres game and the shooting that took place just outside, please do so. It is 100% worth every second of your time.
I had a much less stressful weekend than JVL that involved pools, BBQ, and my favorite grocery store in the world, Lidl. And my wife, twins, and our dog, Gus. But more on him in a moment. I also went to a dinner party in the suburbs north of Washington, which takes me about as long to drive to Richmond, our state capital. (More on that tomorrow.)
I want to talk about dogs. And before any longtime readers think this is going to be one of our kayfabe dog v. cats thing, please know I never had a dog growing up. I had a cat named Midnight. And next month will mark seven years with Area Dog (whose name is Gus.)
We moved from Alexandria, an inner-ring suburb to the exurbs before the pandemic. As you can conclude, being almost equidistant from parts of D.C. and Richmond suggests I live pretty far away from either city. We have a newish house that has more rooms than we have people, a big backyard with a good fence. It’s literally why we bought the house: dog and toddlers, who are almost four.
When we wanted to get a dog, our first, my wife was skeptical. This video, along with stories about my neighbors’ Westie, Rosie, convinced her.
We looked for a very long time at dog shelters, because the regional Westie rescue had an application that, if you’re realistic, was stacked against people who had never owned dogs. (And they also don’t place them with people with children under the age of 8.)
This rescue has a dedicated network of volunteers, because they love the breed, who instantly snap up Westies who end up in government shelters. Unlike places out west, most shelters around here aren’t big on killing dogs that don’t get adopted. We once went to a government shelter in Maryland, only to be beaten out by such a volunteer with a custom license plate that said WESTIE and had more stickers than a normal person should dedicated to dogs. (We have no such stickers but an Instagram account, so can I really judge?)
Deflated, we gave up. We wanted to help a dog that wasn’t wanted find a home, and between the rescue that wouldn’t likely let us adopt a dog, and their practice of swooping in and adopting said breed before others could adopt it, well, you only have so much time and ability. So, we went to a breeder.
No shame in that, and we don’t feel guilty. Our dog is friendly and loves other dogs, and after we moved, the pandemic happened. He went from having a handful of close canine friends to zero. So, we wanted to see about adopting a dog.
And here I’d like to give a shoutout to one of our readers, Rita, who went to a dog shelter known for being high kill to see about adopting a dog that I thought might be the perfect fit (at least for us, but if she wanted to adopt him I’d be happy so long as he didn’t die.) It didn’t work out, somebody else adopted him, and she ultimately ended up with a new dog and that’s why I love our Bulwark community. Whether you’re #TeamDog or #TeamCat or #AnimalsAreAwesome, which is where I reside.
So, we find a dog through a rescue here in the area that we think would be a great fit. They bring the dog out to visit with our family, with the volunteer who has lived in a D.C. metro high-rise for 20+ years and in addition to the application, which was extensive, we are grilled on everything. I thought we did well. We did not.
The person who lacks a fence and a yard and hasn’t had one for multiple decades decides our (seven year old fence with chicken fencing wiring) isn’t enough. And also, kids are bad for this dog, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. And we mentioned our kids in our application. If kids were bad, why waste the time? The girls were distraught. They wanted to bring this dog, who was clearly a breeder dog, into our home.
Thankfully, they’ve forgotten about her, because toddler minds are always moving, but this NY Mag item really resonated with me. The person hawking rescues in a park suggesting that this dog needs a $240 a bag raw diet is just as dumb as a person in a high rise coming to tell you that your house which was built quite recently with a dog fence in mind, isn’t up to snuff.
Here’s a kicker:
If everything else is equal, why shouldn’t a shelter try to give a dog to someone who can afford to give it the best life possible?
“They don’t treat humans nicely, but at least they treat dogs nicely,” she says.
Now that people are going back to work in an office, maybe we’ll have better luck. As much as people hate unreasonable HOAs, unreasonable dog rescues are worse.
How people are protected on public roads. A fascinating look at the technology that enables us to spend more money on things and save lives.
More of this, please. I hope the Biden administration can expand the plans to save Afghani interpreters and their families. (WSJ)
A pandemic feel good story…
WHO CARES WHAT THEY ARE CALLED? I’m not sure the “they must be called Asian Carp” crowd is serious about solving the problem any more so than they are interested in ginning up a fake controversy that, well, doesn’t solve the very serious problem of this invasive species.
That’s it for me for today. We’ll see you back here tomorrow. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Drop me a line: email@example.com
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.