A Dog is Not Just for Christmas, A Puppy is not a Present
by Skye Anderson, MS
(This blog first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on December 10, 2012.)
A dog is not just for Christmas, a dog is for life! Think 10-20 years down the road and please think twice about getting a puppy for Christmas. A stuffed dog would be better (we call them ‘stuffies’). You could also gift a new leash, water bowl, collar, ID, some books and DVDs, and toys for your future canine.
The holidays are a hectic time. Shopping, wrapping presents, dinner parties, indoor pine trees, tinsel, poinsettias, tree ornaments, on-tree lights, wrapping paper, ivy, chocolate, guests, drinks, rich food, loud noises, strangers, late nights and late mornings. All these are things that may not be dog-friendly, especially for new dogs who need a settling-in period and an escape place.
Dogs may get a lot of attention during the holidays when the kids are home but what about when they go back to school and the dog is abruptly left 'home alone' for several hours, day after day? Suddenly deserted. And the kids have after-school and evening activities. What’s a dog to do (except get into trouble)?
Have you ever tried to housetrain a puppy when it is 5 degrees above zero outside? Of course, you want to accompany your pup outside so you know when he is successful so you can reward him - wouldn’t it be easier to get a pup in the spring or summer?
I made a mistake once - in 1967. My highschool sports team went to the shelter and got a dog for our coach. It’s hard to believe now, but, hopefully most people know better today in 2012. Don’t give a living gift to another person, especially if they are just recovering from a pet’s recent death. When they are ready is when you want to be there to help. That’s the value of stuffies (and leash gifts).
Of course, if you live alone and have a week or two off from work or if you are a senior couple, a new animal might be just right for you.
But for the most part, wouldn’t it be better to wait until spring break or summer to add a new member to the family when you have more time to set up a successful routine and canine home? Think about it, then think about it again.
Photos: I'm Not Just for Christmas (DStark)/No Puppies this Christmas! (Dogster.com)/Come January . . . . (Janice - firstname.lastname@example.org)/A Puppy is Not a Present (Dogster.com)