Adoption? Adopted?

I never realised adoption was such a grey term.

I thought it meant you took something/someone when it was unwanted.

But browsing around the dogblog world, as you do when you have a dog with a blog, I have become increasingly puzzled by the use of the word ‘adopted’.

There seem to be an awful lot of dogs out there whose birthdays are known, who go to live in their ‘furever’ home with their new mummy and daddy, six or eight weeks after they are born, and live happily ever after.

That doesn’t sound to me like ‘adoption,’ it sounds like mummy and daddy have bought a dog.

I accept that you can get pups from rescue centres. Our first (rescue) dog was a pup although I certainly can’t remember his birthday. The second one was somewhat older, and we may have been given his birthday because the previous owners had handed him in. They’d had a baby, and although he was good with children – they’d still got rid of him. Yeah. That rings true doesn’t it? (He never did like children.)

My small gripe is, that if you have bought a pedigree dog and forked out hundreds, or maybe thousands, of notes for it, you should say so. I may not agree with your decision to buy a dog when there are so many on death row needing homes, but I am sure you have good reasons (no sarcasm intended).

Surely you should be able to stand up for whatever principles you have and not mind saying that you have bought a dog? And at least I will know not to offend you with one of my occasional rants about people who buy a designer life pedigree dog.

Because there are no two ways about saying ‘I am a rescue dog,’ ‘I was rescued,’ etc etc etc., that is pretty clear. ‘I was unwanted, kicked out and then someone rescued me’. Adopted sounds so …. vague. Especially when it doesn’t say where the adoption was from.

So there we go. A plea to all dogbloggers. Either say ‘I was extremely expensive and come from an amazing pedigree stock,’ or ‘I am a total cross-breed that no-one wanted, and I was so pleased to find a home in the end.’

Not difficult is it? But none of this ‘I was adopted’ fudge.

Thank you. Have a good weekend. Especially if you are a rescue dog.

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in abandoned dogs, animal rights, blogging, dogs, pedigree dogs, rescue dogs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Adoption? Adopted?

  1. Totty says:

    Pedantic Pensionista here….adopted in the human world generally refers to somebody, generally a child, who is unable, for whatever reason, to stay with “their” biological parent and is taken in by a substitute family as a permanent member of that family. Very few pups, apart from those kept by dog breeders to continue the line, get to stay with their parents, they are “adopted” by humans, and whether they are pedigree or Heinz has no bearing on how long they stay with that family it seems to me. Rescue centres have their fair share of pedigree dogs, handed in complete with paperwork, and they go through the same process as the mutts, including sterilisation to ensure that they are not exploited by people out to make a quick buck. Who is to say that a dog can’t be “from an amazing pedigree stock” and also “pleased to find a home in the end”?


    • You may – or may not – be surprised to find out that I did look up both adoption and adopted, before I decided to write this piece.

      So to quote my computer dictionary as I am too lazy to do anything else:

      the action or fact of adopting or being adopted : she gave up her children for adoption | the widespread adoption of agricultural technology | [as adj. ] an adoption agency

      verb [ trans. ]
      legally take another’s child and bring it up as one’s own : there are many people eager to adopt a baby.

      • choose (an animal) to become a house pet : the best way to know a dog’s traits is to adopt a mature dog.

      I’d actually not heard the term ‘adopt’ a dog before. Most people say they are going to ‘get’ a dog. So I was surprised to read that in the dictionary definition.

      Regarding puppies, most puppies arrive for two reasons.

      1 Either the breeder wants to make money/continue the breed line/or whatever, but the litter is planned and the surplus, literally, the unwanted ones as far as the breeder is concerned, are for sale. I don’t think buying something is adopting it. This is a cash transaction, pure and simple.

      2 Puppies arrive because there is no neutering/spaying and they need to be got rid of in varying ways. For sale if possible, palmed off onto friends and enemies, chucked out on the street corner (don’t tell me you haven’t seen this one in Spain), or knocked on the head and chucked in the arroyo.

      Any one of the above dogs may find their way to a rescue shelter as you say. And there are a lot of specialist breed rescue places around. Two out of our four dogs were pure breeds (from local shelters not specialist) and we were offered the pedigree papers for the first one (at an extra cost). This was in the days before compulsory spaying/neutering at rescue places. I have no idea if pedigree papers are still available for the average mutt at the rescue centre rather than a specialist breed one. The second pure breed we got had been in and out of rescue places a few times so there were no pedigree papers available for him. If he even had them.

      I’m not arguing with what you are saying, rather that your point was not the one I was making. There is a lot of controversy in the dog world regarding buying versus rescuing. By which I mean spending hundreds or more buying from a breeder rather than paying the nominal cost to rehome from rescue. The first is buying an expensive pedigree dog, possibly even going on the waiting list for one. The second is rescuing a dog that has been chucked out.

      I disagree with the terminology that dogs are ‘adopted’ – unless it is specifically from a rescue centre. Otherwise they are bought.

      Clever selective use of my quotations. I’ll just repeat them in full for anyone else who may be reading and have forgotten the original above.

      ‘I was extremely expensive and come from an amazing pedigree stock,’ or ‘I am a total cross-breed that no-one wanted, and I was so pleased to find a home in the end.’

      I daresay I can write more about this later. And,

      Gracias 🙂 Que pases un buen finde con tu familia.


      • Totty says:

        I did say I was being pedantic ….it is not in my nature to agree 100% with everything I read….:)
        I’ve had two dogs in Spain, a Podenco “rescued” from the campo, and a GS who adopted me by following me home…


  2. Kyanite Blue says:

    I am with you 100%!
    In dog terms they are ‘adopted’ ONLY when rehomed/rescued/saved, not when purchased as pups from a breeder or god forbid a Pet Shop.
    My Hero was a pure breed Springer Spaniel, Kennel Club registered too, but when his original owner wanted to return to London it was a case of ‘Blue, you take him or I’ll put him to sleep!’ and I knew he meant it too, so I adopted Hero!
    If I should ever again have a pup, I would adopt!


  3. VicsHill says:

    I can see the black & white side to this discussion in regards to the fact that the dog has left its birth family, to live with another family, so in that respect I guess it is officially classed as an adoption.
    Adoption papers are what I have signed on the three occasions I have taken a dog from a rescue centre, so I have always said ‘I adopted him/her from……’ mainly because I haven’t ‘rescued’ them from the home, as they were being looked after perfectly well while waiting for a new home.
    Though I do think the owners of pups purchased from breeders etc. say adopted to make themselves sound good.
    Just got to mention I do love the way the BCTGB call their rescued dogs ‘guests’ while in their care 🙂
    Sorry for such a long reply K,


    • Interesting take. Regarding the black and white perspective, leaving the birth family, my view is that they were never intended to stay with that birth family, and they were bred as superfluities, so I still maintain that adoption is a technical fudge.

      Actually some of the rescues we went to look at, and certainly the one Paddy came from, were not good. Anyone rehoming from those was definitely rescuing. Can’t remember what we signed! And as for Pippa – well. Who adopted/rescued who/m??

      But yes, my main point was about people saying they have adopted a dog when they have bought one from a breeder.

      BCTGB is obviously a good place. Reading all the American ones on death row in America really got to me.


      • VicsHill says:

        Oh! K don’t get me wrong, to me an adopted dog is always going to be one than someone else has discarded, whether its a street dog or one from a animal home, I personally dont understand why folk are saying adopted when getting one without a ‘past’ except that they are taking the word literally and more than likely for their own conscience.


  4. Excellent post. Happy Bloggentines Day to you!


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