Several weeks ago I blogged about camping without a dog. Hubby and I were feeling the lack. We’ve had dogs since the 2nd year of our *mumble*-year marriage. They’ve always been an important part of our family. Most of the dogs we’ve had have been rescues.
But a part of me really wanted an Irish Setter. As a kid, my first dog was an Irish Setter named Mike. He came to us when his previous owners couldn’t housebreak him. Mike and I were the same age. We grew up together. A couple of years before he passed on, we bought another Irish Setter we named Lucky O’Shaughnessy – Shaun, for short. These two dogs were both my friends and my mentors growing up. Kids can learn a lot from a good dog. Or two.
The price of Irish Setter puppies these days, if you can find one, is staggering. A pup was going to cost me more than I paid for my horse! I was – quite honestly – flabbergasted. It’s not that I don’t value a good dog. I doubt anyone values them any more than I do. But we still have to live in the real world.
That world is full of shelter dogs who need homes. Most of these dogs are owner-surrendered animals. They may be a casualty of divorce, or a move, or of being claimed by people who were ill-prepared to care for them. The dogs haven’t done anything wrong – the people have. We have never had a bad experience with a rescue dog.
On my third trip to the Huron Humane Society – a private no-kill shelter not associated with HSUS – I found our next dog. While I had in mind something like a beagle mix about a year or two old, the dog who captured my heart was only 5 months old and a mutt among mutts.
Meet Murphy. No, he’s nothing like an Irish Setter. But he’s got a great Irish name!