Since I recently posted about our wildlife friend, Blackjack, the black fox, I feel compelled to write about an issue a high school friend brought to my attention — the lack of adoptability for black dogs. I adopted Simon, our wonderful flat-coated retriever mix eight years ago from a shelter, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Simon is one of those black dogs, but has brought tremendous joy to my life, and has been a constant companion to me and later my husband as we hike the mountains of Colorado. He has done many fourteeners, as well as snowshoe hikes and backcountry ski adventures, and has been a great source of comfort and friendship. We added Shawnee, a border collie mix to our family three years ago, and the two of them are great buddies.
Black dogs of any breed, particularly big black dogs (BBD) are overlooked and frequently wait months to be adopted, and are put down at a higher rate than other breeds or colors of dogs. It’s a shame because many of these dogs are wonderful breeds (retrievers, chows) and are great, friendly dogs but are dismissed by potential adopters because of their color. There’s a wonderful website about this, that promotes attention to the issue, Black Pearl Dogs. Also, I want to give a special shout-out to Summit Mountain Dog Rescue, where we adopted Shawnee from, who takes in rescue big dogs from Texas, who are often about to be euthanized. Both these organizations are doing wonderful work getting dogs adopted who might otherwise be put down, so if you’re thinking of adopting, give them a look.