The question was an honest question and I think many people provided decent answers.
The answer is very simple though, a dog has no more in intrinsic value (belonging to a thing by its very nature) then any other animal. Dogs have no more intrinsic value then a chicken, a cow, a pig or a coyote. But, in this country, dogs that are pets have only been more Assigned superior value, but that is purely an emotional societal driven idea. It is an idea that is not based on intelligent logical fact.
The reason I am pointing this out is because a lot of the criticism I have received on this forum, comes from this societal idea of a dogs superior value. I think the majority of the people here, share this sub-conscience idea that dogs are more valuable then other animals. But this is a purely emotionally based idea based on an assigned value that you have given to dogs and not an intrinsic value that they have.
I stated that no living being has greater value in and of their self, so I do agree with you their. I don't assign dogs more value then any other animal, BUT I do assign my dog more value then any other dog. He's MY dog so he has more value to me, and yes that's based on emotion. I like nearly all dogs, I love my dog.
My criticism had nothing to do with how I view my dog, or any other dog, but rather then fact that, you asked the best site for finding a dog and then seriously objected to the process of adopting a dog through a decent rescue or animal shelter. This is what you wrote " My suggestions to all of you, is to think hard before you again make the recommendation and encourage people to get a dog from shelters. I am not saying anyone here is responsible for what happened, but I had not thought about looking at shelter dogs before I was encouraged to do so on this forum." You wrote it because you went to a shelter that let you adopt a dog that was not suitable for you, and you went to that shelter because, near as I can tell, the reputable shelters were daring to try to match you up with suitable dogs rather then letting you pick for yourself.
Here is the reason I used my chickens as an example. Yes, I have very beautiful chickens, which I enjoy very much. But the truth about raising show chickens is that you have to cull your birds. For those that don't understand what culling is, it means that you have to get birds of lesser quality out of your breeding program. Out of a 100 chicks, I may have to cull 97%. What happens to this 97%? They are converted into food for my table.
Now, I know some of you just had a knee jerk reaction to that last sentence, but how many of you eat chicken? Or how about beef, pork, and lamb? (Please no vegan comments here. We know what you believe. Okay).
If dogs have no more intrinsic value then any other animal, why do we think that it's okay to kill and eat one, but the other (Dogs) must be treated with almost human like care? Why is it that a state government that passes all kinds of laws to protect dogs from abuse, also hires full time professional hunters to chase down kill coyotes (Dogs) from helicopters by the thousands? (I can post video if you don't believe me about this.) I bet there are even people on this very forum that go out and kill coyotes (wild dogs), but think that their pet dogs deserve to be treated like humans. The truth is that the fact that we hold a much higher standard for the treatment of dogs in this society, is just proof that we have "Hypocrisy of Ideas".
I could go on and on demonstrating the ideological hypocrisies of the American society concerning domesticated dogs, but it is not necessary. You get the point.
You could also ship the birds off to a rescue if you wanted to go that route, you could not breed so many of the chickens, you could not let so many of the eggs hatch. You choose to use them as a food source, frankly I don't care. At least your birds likely had a better life then the ones they sell in the supermarket that come from commercial breeders.
Yes they cull coyotes, let their population get to large and they become a nuisance animal and would likely just get shot by ranchers or make a living snatching people's pets. They also cull dogs, only they don't call it that. They call it euthanizing them after their short stay at the high kill shelter is done. I bet you your flock of chickens that they cull a heck of a lot more dogs then they do coyotes. It's just a lovely fact of the dog over population in this country. Don't get me started on the number of cats that are culled.
Actually I do not treat my dog like a human, I do not baby him, he is treated like a dog. I do not expect anyone to take care of their dog as I take care of mine, but I do expect them to meet a minimum level of care. I do expect people to provide their dog with appropriate shelter, exercise, fresh food and water, vet care, and to not abuse the dog. If they want to provide dog beds, fancy collars, hire trainers, multiple toys, etc, that's up to the individual
Many of the comments and even advice here have been based on this illusion of supreme value that has been assigned to dogs. I think the reason so many of you are critical of me is because you don't seem to get yet that I don't share your value system for dogs. Or if you do, you don't like me for it. The problem is, that you have ideas that you live by that are not founded in logic or intelligence, but are founded in emotion. You are free to disagree, but you would then bare the burden of making an intelligent argument for why domesticated dogs hold a higher intrinsic value then other animals, and I think you know that you can't. The only argument you might make would be based on utility (whether physical or emotional), but that would still place them in the same category as livestock.
Listen, I am not saying you are wrong from loving your dogs. It's just wrong for you to ask everyone to value domesticated dogs the way you do, or judge them for not living by your emotional standards.
No see there you are mistaken. I don't care if you don't value dogs the same way I do. I find it sad and think you may never have the same level of enjoyment, pleasure, or love, that I and my dog have, but I don't dislike you for it. So long as the dog is well taken care of I don't care about a person's personal beliefs.
Emotions will always play a role in how we value living beings. Using your chickens as an example. If you and a friend had coops set up next to each other in a barn and the barn caught fire, are you going to save your chickens or your friends? If you are going to save yours then why? The chickens are just chickens they have the same value so why not save his? Then again maybe you place more value on yourself and wouldn't risk your self to save any of them.
Personally, I view dogs in the same manner as I do my chickens. They exist for my purposes, not me for theirs. I do not exist to provide them with a good home, they exist to provide me with enjoyment. Not ascribing the same emotionally based illusion of superior value to a dog as you do, does not make me a bad pet owner. My animals are very well taken care of and generally live full lives with me and die of old age. I would challenge anyone here to come and visit me and tell me if any of the dogs that I have owned in my life were not the most friendly, well balanced, healthy dogs you have seen.
Why am I saying all this? Because, I just want you to understand who you are dealing with. I hold a completely different value system then you. I do not subscribe to the modern American cultural ideas about dogs. I understand that I am in the minority here and that there are many people that are fanatical about their FEELINGs towards dogs that are based on this emotional illusion of superior value. Unfortunately, a lot of them volunteer at shelters.
I think maybe you should try and understand why the adoption process is in place in the majority of the good rescues and shelters. It really has very little to do with American cultural ideas about dogs and a lot to do with seeing the worse of humanity.
Maybe you should try volunteering at a shelter or rescue so you understand why many of them feel as they do. You say that you take great care of your animals, well many that end up at rescues or shelters come from abusive or neglect situations. Many of those volunteers have worked day and night to save an animal and theirs no way they are going to let them go back into a similar situation. So yes, they interview prospective adopters, and then work to find the dog that will best fit the living situation. If the dog is not good with children then they are not going to let it go home with a family that has twin 6 year olds. If it has high prey drive then it won't be suitable for a home with small pets. If it's shy then a person that likes to throw parties is not going to be an appropriate owner.
When I'm looking to adopt a dog I'm also looking for one that fits my criteria, but I'm wise enough to know that if I go to a good shelter or rescue the people their are going to be my best bet to find that dog. They know the dogs, they work with them, they care for them. Now maybe you are Dr. Doolittle and can talk to the dogs and don't need the shelter personnel to help you. Maybe you can ask the dog, "Hey buddy, how do you feel about having little children touch your bone?", and have the dog answer, but as much as I wish I could I cannot.