There seems to always be a backlash when a movie or TV show features a certain pet.  Right now, it is Huskies, American Alsatians and Inuit Dogs.  Apparently, some less scrupulous breeders have been marketing them to Game of Thrones fans as "Dire Wolves".


People excited by the series, and the amazing animals portrayed in it, are preyed upon by people selling them the dream of owning their own Dire Wolf.  Unfortunately, the reality is a lot different from the dream, and the new owners soon find out these animals require a lot of exercise, and shed quite a bit. 


Suddenly, they are no longer interested in owning a movie pet, and now rescues and adoption services are inundated with a large number of these animals.  Many of these animals would have found caring, knowledgeable homes as pups, and lived normal, happy lives.  Instead, they are bought by unsuspecting owners, who then do not properly train or care for the animals.  When they are finally done with the adventure, the animal gets a second stressful stage of its life, living in a shelter or worse, until it can find a new home. 


This extended period of not being cared for or trained properly can ruin an otherwise wonderful animal, and render it unadoptable, and eventually lead to it being put down.  A tragic ending for an animal that deserved better.


We've seen it  with Chihuahuas (Beverly HillsChihuahua, Legally Blonde), Jack Russell Terriers (Mask, Frasier), Golden Retreivers (Air Bud ), St. Bernards (Beethoven) and even Rabbits (Hop).  People may have been in the market for a companion animal, but end up making the wrong decision based on a current pop trend. 


Proper research is essential in making a decision to add a companion animal.  I'm not saying that someone who is a Game of Thrones fan can't be a great owner for a Husky, it could be an amazing choice.   Having their own part of a beloved franchise, that they can love and care for, that is part of their everyday lives can be incredible for the right person.


The main issue is going into it with eyes open.  That's the unfortunate part, when it is done for the wrong reason, without research, bad things happen.  Jack Russell terriers are a prime example.  They are wonderfully smart and active pets.  Which is one of the main reasons they are used in so many movies.  But in the TV series Frasier, Eddie (played by Moose) is a lovable, curmudgeon of a couch potato.  Nothing like what a Jack Russell typically is.  So people bought JRT's thinking they were getting "Eddie", instead, they get a pet that needs to be constantly exercised and challenged, and if they aren't, they can become destructive.  Not what they were expecting, and not what they can handle.


Getting the right pet for your family isn't a difficult task.  There are plenty of resources available that outline the level of care and exercise each dog breed requires, and help in selecting one that fits your family's needs and wants.   A few hours research can lead to a lifetime of happiness with a companion animal, and avoid the heartbreak of another animal ending up in a shelter or worse. 

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