Published in the
on Saturday, August 28, 1999
To the editor -- As the owner of a Bouvier, I am concerned about the effect the movie, "Dog of Flanders," may have. "Beethoven" and "101 Dalmatians" were so popular that many moviegoers impulsively bought St. Bernards and Dalmatians without any idea of what owning a dog requires.
Unscrupulous breeders produced thousands of dogs for quick sale to buyers who wanted "the dog from the movie." Overbreeding caused serious health problems for St. Bernards and Dalmatians. We need to stop this from happening to the Bouvier. No dog should be brought home on impulse. Families must prepare for responsible ownership before acquiring a dog, particularly a puppy.
Dogs have ongoing needs -- feeding, attention, grooming, training, and medical care -- and puppies can be very destructive and expensive. The following Web page would help all prospective dog purchasers make the right decision for their family and lifestyle: http://bouvdogofflanders.com
Bouviers are wonderful, but they are the wrong dog for many people. They are large, long-haired, require grooming and lots of exercise, carry dirt and mud into the house, are stubborn and must be properly trained. Please enjoy the movie but realize that the Bouvier may require more time and attention than you have to give.
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