According to a recent article of USA Today, the number of dogs being stolen has risen dramatically in 2011.
Stealing dogs with the intention of demanding a ransom from the owner is not
a new phenomenon. In fact, the first ever dognapping case was recorded in 1934. The stolen Boston Terrier was returned to its
owner after 5 long months so the story had a happy ending.
Dogs become part of our families. They will be just like a small brother or
sister to the kids. And when they are kidnapped and there is a chance that
money can buy them back, we pay gladly – provided that we have the money
demanded, that is.
Over time, as conformation showing became more popular, show dogs became the
targets of thieves. It’s easy to see that if the owner of a regular dog is
willing to pay thousands of dollars in ransom, the owner of a valuable show dog
might pay tens of thousands of dollars to get his pooch back.
Dognapping – not only for ransom but reselling, experiments and a number of
other purposes – has become widespread in the United States by the 60’s. So
much so that it had actually become one of the most talked about issues of the
time. The public dismay and the floods of letters demanding something to be
done put enormous pressure on the senate. As a result, the “Dognapping Law”,
which became the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was born.
Being very portable, easily adaptable to different climates and more affordable in maintenance, it is no wonder that small breed dogs are growing in popularity. Noted for being lively and energetic, they make terrific pets for apartments and are comfort dogs as well. People living alone or the elderly feel better with them around. The following small dogs are popular for their uniqueness.
Shih Tzu’s’: Lion appearance demands attention and respect
Yorkshire terriers: Crave for owner’s company and are known to be jealous.
Pugs: Sweet and huggable
Chihuahuas: Charismatic and have big hearts.
Smaller dogs tend to have a longer life expectancy and not subjected to health concerns of big dogs such as hip dysplasia or arthritis. However keep in mind that smaller dogs don’t mean smaller responsibilities. They still need attention, love and visits to your local veterinarian.
Nature rewarded me with a love for dogs and an allergy for cats. Had it been the other way around, I might not be writing this article right now. Yet, although I steer clear of cats – for mostly this reason- I would find it unbearable if I were allergic to dogs. Yet some people are not so lucky, since they are allergic to dogs as well. For those dog lovers out there who suffer from allergies, upon high-fiving a doggy-paw, there really is a cure. A cure? Well…..apart from the anti-histamine tablets and nose-drops to alleviate post-nasal drip, the trick really lies in finding the right dog – and more correctly, the right dog breed – for you.
What are the reactions that cause humans to suffer from allergies? The allergic response is triggered when our immune system reacts to a perceived threat. Some people have a bad reaction to dander (flaky dead skin cells), saliva or secretion from the sebaceous glands of their dogs. Allergy sufferers can also react to the dust, pollen and dirt that gets caught up and spread around by their dogs.
So what is a hypoallergenic dog breed? Well, hypoallergenic dog breeds, are those breeds that are considered the most suitable for those who suffer from allergies. Although they do produce some dander, the amount is so small that very few people experience allergy symptoms when in contact with these breeds. Hypoallergenic dog breeds are usually single-coated, non-shedding (or low-shedding), generally smaller dogs, those dogs that retain the dander due to their curly coat, or are naked!
A list below shows those breeds that are best suited for allergy sufferers. If you have your sights set on another breed, then the best test to determine whether your allergies will be affected, is to spend 20 minutes in a closed off and confined area with the dog. Cars tend to work well for this. This is a simple test which can save the owner from heartbreak in the future.
However, do bear in mind, that no dog is completely 100% hypoallergenic. The ones below only have a much lower dander producing and shedding activity than the other 100 or so breeds and are thus recommended.