A couple of years ago, the neighbors came by and Billy talked with them outside. They had brought us a malnourished puppy they had found in the road and asked us if we would take care of her. When Billy came inside to ask me if we would take the puppy, I acted on impulse and immediately said, “Yes.” I had no idea what kind of puppy, what gender, whether she was sick – I just heard, “They don’t want her to get hurt” and impulsively answered in the affirmative.
I prefer older dogs to puppies, we’re trying to get our number of dogs down, not up, and paying for a puppy’s vetting was not something I had planned on – in fact, it presented a hardship for us. I didn’t have anything prepared for the puppy’s arrival and had no idea how she might get on with our other dogs. In other words, this was an impulse decision and there would be consequences.
If the neighbors had been a rescue group or shelter, should they have refused to give me this puppy, based on the fact that it was an impulse decision and we were not at all prepared for a puppy? What if the neighbors operated a dog pound and this puppy was at serious risk for killing? Should they have turned me away and waited to see if someone who had thoughtfully planned for a new puppy showed up wanting this dog before her number came up on the kill list? In other words, would a puppy such as this be better off dead than given to an impulse adopter?
As it turned out, the puppy – now called Mulder – was the special dog I’ve been waiting for all my life. Who knew, right? I mean really, there was no way to guarantee that this impulse decision would have a good outcome. But there are those who argue that pets are better off dead than adopted on impulse. What are your thoughts?