What is the True Value of Dogs?

It started with a Facebook post.

Ellen and Boston Terrier Lucy
Ellen & Lucy_061512

A woman re-homed her Boston Terrier for $400. After the new owners had to return the pup, she posted this question:

I’m just curious, what is the true value of a Boston Terrier? I got mine for $380 but she is worth so much more in my opinion. How much was yours?

It was blatantly obvious that this owner had decided to jack up the re-homing fee and maximize her profit. What she was really asking was, Do you think I can get $600 for her? How about $800?

While most individuals blithely posted what they paid for their dogs, I and a few others expressed a different point of view. This was my response:

You posted a week ago about having to re-home your Boston. Posting a question about how much your Boston is worth raises some very disturbing questions. What is a Boston worth? My Lucy died 919 days ago. I’d gladly give up 919 days of my life for one more day with her.

That social media exchange is the reason for this blog. What is the True Value of Dogs? How do we define what true value is? How do we measure true value? If we assign a monetary value to this or that breed, is that really their true value?

PTSD Veteran and Service Dog
PTSD Veteran & Service Dog

If you ask a trainer about the true value of a highly trained service dog assisting a combat veteran with PTSD, the answer might involve the costs associated with the two years it took to train that pup. Ask the veteran who receives that service dog about its true value and the answer will have nothing to do with money.

Neither the trainer nor the veteran are wrong. It’s a matter of perception and perspective. The True Value of Dogs means different things to different people.

From Beagles used for cancer research, to Border Collies herding livestock, to German Shepherds performing Search & Rescue, to Labrador Retrievers assisting the blind, to Miniature Poodle companions for lonely Seniors – there are many different answers to the question of What is the True Value of Dogs.

Let’s explore the question, and all the different answers, together. Please share your stories, your experiences, your memories, your photos. I would love to hear from you!

​~ George

Never forego an opportunity to hug or pet your dog. There will come a day when you would gladly do anything for one more hug, one more belly rub, one more touch.