I have a bone to pick with the writer of the story “A primer for picking a pooch” (July 31). If only finding the right match were that simple, our shelters would not be overflowing with unwanted pets.

If you want your designer dog at a reduced cost, just go to any shelter during the first week of May. “Oh, it’s time to clean house and the color of that dog doesn’t match our drapes and carpeting.” I can see puppy mills now pushing out miniature poodles based on your article, and many of those cute puppies will end up in shelters because their owners can’t afford the vet bills when breed-specific ailments start showing up. If you want to save money on your vet bills, get a mutt.

When you are about to make a 10- to 15-year commitment to a canine companion, spending a little time learning about some of the 300 recognized dog breeds might be helpful. You can find out if you are even ready for a long-term canine relationship if you foster care a dog for your local shelter. You will be a better pet owner if you complete a canine good citizen course with your dog. The classes are fun and will help you communicate better with your pet.

Ultimately, finding the right dog is less important that being the right dog owner. Your writer got one piece of advice right: Pick the dog that picks you. Every day I try to be the person my dog thinks I am.