Pop culture influences everything. For example, smoking was deemed a ‘cool’ thing to do because of the glorification of it in old Hollywood films. Growing up reading Harry Potterand watching the films, I genuinely wanted an owl for a pet. But owls can’t be pets, so it’s not entirely shocking that the same thing is happening with Game of Thrones.
When we watch movies or television shows, we often find ourselves inspired by our favorite characters and tend to mimic ourselves after them in some ways—especially if you’re young and impressionable. Obviously, we want to be like our icons or our favorite characters.
In the case of Game of Thrones, many fans have come to admire how cool direwolves are, but you can’t own a pack of direwolves like the Starks do because they don’t actually exist in our world. Naturally, the closest thing to those adorable little wolf-dogs is basically a husky. They look wolf-like without being actual wolves, which is a win-win for most people.
But, unfortunately, a lot of Game of Thrones fans wind up buying husky puppies only to give them away later. Huskies are nothing if not high-maintenance dogs. They require a lot of attention, exercise, and discipline to remain healthy and happy within their forever homes. For that reason, Peter Dinklage is teaming up with PETA to bring awareness to the situation at hand.
Since the show’s premiere back in 2011, animal shelters and rescues have reportedly seen a significant increase in abandoned husky dogs. “Please, please, if you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, ALWAYS adopt from a shelter,” Dinklage pleads.
“We understand that due to the direwolves’ huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying Huskies,” Dinklage continues. “Not only only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these Huskies are being abandoned—as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse without understanding their needs.”
This isn’t the first time that there’s been a spike in specific breed abandonment due to the influence of pop culture. Back when Legally Blonde came out people were getting Chihuahuas but abandoning them quickly after. One should always remember to consider the full needs of an animal before bringing said animal into the home. Don’t let pop culture blind you from the reality of being a pet owner.