In the US we have pet overpopulation. We kill millions of animals every year due to lack of homes. The pet over-population problem is horrendous. Stores support puppy mills that breed dogs and cats solely for the all mighty dollar. The breeder where I got my dog breeds too many dogs as a source of income, seemingly because her and her husband bred too much themselves. So while we lambaste these groups due to over population, there is another side. No breeding and no market for pets.

I was in Greece playing tourist and I saw the effects of a population that doesn't seem to have any affection for pets. To be fair, there were a few groups trying to make sure that the dogs had water and food. But by in large, you would see dogs and cats laying wherever they chose. They would walk next to the roads and most seemed pretty savvy about staying out of the roads, but the reality is that survival of the fittest is heartless and animals struck by cars is common. 

For food, the dogs would forage garbage. I noticed that there weren't many small dogs. I asked a waiter about it and he noted that you don't see old dogs either. The hierarchy pushes out the old dogs just as Lions push out the old male eventually. They go off to die without food during the winter months. If you can't fight for your food, you get in the back of the line and you get what is left. If you are on an island when the tourists leave, it might not be much. 

I didn't see one dog in 10 days that I could name as a breed. And I know dogs. They were all mutts. The interesting thing was that not a one of them was mean. I saw one that I pet and he was indifferent no matter where i touched him. Others would roll over and show their bellies immediately. And a puppy that I would have brought home (if we would have been local) took a few attempts to accept that it was going to feel good and being pet was a fun thing. He was 6 months or so old and already had scars on his head from the teeth of older dogs. 

Breeders take some hits in regards to causing our population problems. Some of those hits are justified. The flip side of the coin is that without ownership being widespread, there is still going to be a population problem. There is going to be a lack of pet population health. Without breeders, we don't have dogs that are properly bred to be fit. Artificial Selection is often more efficient than Natural Selection. While we have a quantity problem here, Greece has a quality problem. It would seem that the trick is to eliminate the purchase of dogs because they are cute or because little Sarah can't live without one. Pet ownership is an adult decision and responsibility. Research the breed. Decide if you can accept skipping the puppy stage and adopt. In my case it would have saved me a good chunk of change and some pee on the carpet. Talk openly about it with your friends, especially if they are thinking about getting a pet. Both approaches fail our pets whom rarely fail us. 

 

 This was typical of the dogs. Just crashed out enjoying the cool marble sidewalks.

 

Try as I might, this dog seemed to say "whatever": to my scratching him. I was saddened by the idea that a dog would rather be left alone. 

This would have been a keeper if we were within driving distance. Life had already left him with "correction" scars from the older dogs. 

Tags: Dogs, Greece, breeding, population

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