Everyone has been talking about the latest Game of Thrones season for the past month. It’s everywhere you go! But we at Digital Doggy wanted to deliver an important message about one of the stars of the show: the Direwolves.
(Don’t worry, there are no spoilers!)
For those of you that don’t know, direwolves in Game of Thrones are dog-like creatures that are found by the Stark family. Direwolves are an unusually large and intelligent species of wolf, and also the sigil of House Stark. They’re one of the most popular animals of the show (aside from dragons, of course), and fans of Game of Thrones all want their own version of the Direwolf.
The only problem is, they don’t actually exist. The closest breed to a Direwolf is the Siberian Husky, and unfortunately, these huskies have seen a 700% rise in abandonment this year, according to Blue Cross, a pet rehoming charity in the UK.
Siberian Huskies are typically used as sled dogs, and as such, their specific breed requires a ton of exercise, for at least a few hours a day. New pet owners excited to have their very own Direwolf may not have the ability or time to take care of a dog like this. Sled dogs, if they aren’t controlled, can run for miles and will often only stop because of extreme exhaustion. Siberian Huskies are also meant to live in extremely cold climates, hence why they have a thick coat of fur to help shield them from the cold. Since they can’t simply take this coat on and off whenever they feel like it, these huskies need temperature controlled climates, and will overheat in warmer weather.
Even actor Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, stepped in to help. In an article from ABC2, he said, “Shelters are reporting that huskies are being abandoned, as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse. … If you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility.” And he’s right. Bringing a dog into your family is a huge responsibility and takes a lot of time, effort, and care. But it can also be extremely rewarding.
This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened, either. When films like ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ and ‘101 Dalmations’ were released, both breeds saw increased interest. However, they also saw increased abandonment.
So, the next time that you’re thinking about adopting a puppy because you saw one in a show or movie, think again. And if you’re serious about adopting, make sure you know what the responsibilities and requirements of your specific dog breed will be. Will Fido need lots of exercise? A special diet? Do some research on your dog before you make a commitment. We recommend taking a test run and trying out fostering a pup to see if you’re ready to own a doggo. Fostering is a great way to see if you’re ready to have a dog in your home, and local shelters are always looking for foster parents for dogs. Since many of them just don’t have the space to take care of all the dogs they see, fostering really does save lives. Plus, most shelters will cover the cost or even provide supplies, including food, a dog bed or crate, and a few chew toys!