Jill Abramson is writing a column in the New York Times called “The Puppy
Diaries” about her new pet, which she bought from a reputable
Prior to her decision to buy, the column says, her
son “bombarded me at work with impossibly cute photos from Petfinder.com” of pets who needed homes,
but she chose to, as she called it, “be selfish” and buy a dog.
not quite clear why she made this choice, other than her husband fell
in love with a Golden Retriever that friends had:
We discussed at length the relative merits of adoption versus a
If we adopted a dog from a shelter, as my sister has done
twice, we would be taking the more virtuous, good-for-animals (and
society) route. Saving a dog that needs a home or had been mistreated
by a previous owner is an unselfish act. But we were leaning selfish.
Henry wanted a bigger dog this time, and, when we took our beach walks,
he looked longingly at the dogs who fetched and swam. He fell in love
with a gentle English Standard golden retriever who belonged to
friends, and had his heart set on a dog just like her. Our friends
suggested a breeder.
She seems to have wrongly
assumed she wouldn’t be able to find a Golden on Petfinder, that
somehow homeless dogs would be mutts. (Petfinder is host to a large
number of Golden Retriever rescues.) I can’t help but think what a better life lesson it would have been for her
son if she had reinforced his altruism toward homeless pets. To my mind,
parents should take every opportunity to pass along positive life lessons, and
this seems to have been an opportunity missed.