"No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs " by biologist Rob Laidlaw (2012) is not your average dog book. It is more an inspiration to help dogs that need you, by becoming what Laidlaw aptly calls a "dog champion."
Dogs have super senses, starting with their amazing sense of smell, from which dogs attain so much information. Who passed this corner? When? Our various dogs sniff their way along the sidewalk to the park, totally engrossed in their research.
Laidlaw tells us, dogs are highly social and should not be kept alone for any length of time. They're wonderful companions and family members. They need playtime and a comfortable home. They should not live chained outside. They need good food and fresh water.
It's best to get your dog from a shelter or from a rescue operation because when you adopt a dog you're saving a life. If you buy your dog from a pet store, the chances are the dog came from a puppy mill.
Puppy mills are money-making ventures that produce as many puppies as cheaply as possible at the expense of the animals' comfort. Dogs live isolated, in crates, might not be fed the best food, or kept clean or get proper medical attention. They don't get loving attention.
Even if you can't have a dog, you can still hang out with them.
Mobile Mutts is a fantastic locally based dog rescue operation. That's where I got one of our two rescue dogs. Volunteers transport dogs from southern states where there tends to be less municipal money and more high-kill shelters to the far north where there are no-kill shelters. Our Tree Walker Hound, Lil, was found in a field in Kentucky, put in a shelter and scheduled for euthanasia when she was put on the Underdog Railroad. I mean, Mobile Mutts. And, yep, we got her.
Many dogs need adopting--dogs who live on the streets, retired greyhound racers, beagles used in science experiments, dogs in shelters.
As a "dog champion" you might inform classmates about puppy mill conditions, write letters to congressmen about the plight of puppy mill dogs, volunteer at the Humane Society, overnight dogs for Mobile Mutts, make a documentary film.
As Laidlaw says, "Anyone can be a dog champion. Just make a commitment to help and then get going." Dogs everywhere are counting on you.
Patricia Hruby Powell ([...]) is a nationally touring speaker, dancer, storyteller, librarian and children's book author. Read about Patricia's rescue dogs and find links to the organizations mentioned above at Patricia's blog at talesforallages.com/reviews/