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Ain't Nothing But a Pound Dog

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Meet Gobstopper.

She's an 8-month-old Basenji mix, give or take a few details. We're not really sure about her background because she was a stray. And last Saturday my husband and I picked her out from among the numerous other dogs available from the county's animal shelter in Castaic. We went with a pound dog because of (a) the cost and (b) there are hundreds of good animals just waiting for a home that could use saving from their fates at Puppy Lake.

Now, I'm not saying life is all is lollipops and roses with Gobstopper. Since we don't know about her prior life, we're dealing with a few issues (i.e., snapping and biting), but other times, she is the most lovable, eager-to-please doggie ever. Like right right now, she's sleeping at my husband's feet while we're watching the Red Sox game. It's only been a week, so we'll see if we can tame her Cujo tendencies.

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Now for those of you out there thinking about adopting a dog from the pound, my advice to you is to research the exact breeds of dog you're interested in (for example, if you want a mellow dog, scratch the Basenji off your list) and really think about how this new member of your family will change your schedule -- and whether you're willing to make that commitment of time and money.

If you are, then maybe the pound is the way to go for you


>>> The LA County Department of Animal Care & Control has shelters in Agoura, Baldwin Park, Carson, Castaic, Downey, and Lancaster. Dog adoption fees are $54.06 for male dogs; $69.06 for female dogs and $49.65 for puppies under four months of age. These fees include spaying and neutering costs, initial vaccinations, a 7-day exchange and a free health examination at participating veterinary offices. License fees for adult dogs are required in addition to the adoption fees.

>>> The city shelters are on Lacey Street, Missouri Avenue in West LA, San Pedro, 11th Street in South LA, Van Nuys and Chatsworth. The cost for a Los Angeles City resident to adopt a dog is between $86-91. Adoption fees include vaccinations and spaying/neutering; microchipping; and the first year license fee for dogs.

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Gobstopper's worth every penny we've spent on her so far.