I recently watched an adorable video on Life With Dogs featuring puppies playing amongst Christmas presents. I’m not going to lie. I was conflicted. The video was absolutely adorable, but a part of me worried that people would come away thinking that getting a puppy for Christmas was a good idea. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people comment on the cuteness of the video, but also include a statement reminding people not to purchase or adopt a pet for a Christmas present. I wish more people would heed this advice.
Recently, I was reminded of the importance of this message when a friend sent me an email regarding a co-worker who was looking for a new home for a relative’s Sheltie. The dog in question had been purchased as a gift by adult children for their elderly father, who was already suffering the beginning stages of dementia. The dog was supposed to become a beloved companion for the father as he declined in health. Amazingly questionable logic isn’t it? Why give a dog to someone who won’t be able to care for it in the future? Why put a dog in a home to become attached to someone knowing that some day soon they will have to be separated? I cannot fathom why someone would choose to do this, but they did.
Sadly, this is story is not all that uncommon. I still remember the little ball of fluff (a cute little Yorkie puppy) that was surrendered at our shelter a few years ago because the daughter it had been purchased for did not want it. The parents had spent nearly $1000 on a gift that could not be returned to the store like any other Christmas or birthday gift (although I would argue that surrendering a puppy at a shelter might as well be considered like any other gift – returnable, expendable, exchangeable).
I know that somewhere this Christmas some child or girlfriend or elderly parent will receive a pet as a gift. It’s a reality I accept. I just hope that THIS pet will be treated as the living, breathing being that it is, and respected and loved and cared for – for ALL of it’s life and not just for the short time in which it is a gift. Getting a pet should require more forethought than a last minute gift idea.
Note: I wrote a post back in 2009 listing the reasons why getting a pet for Christmas is a bad idea. I think it is still applicable today.
This week’s Favorite Video Friday continues the our cat theme from Wordless Wednesday. I found the fist video quite some time ago but was saving it for a special day. Then, I happened across the second video and couldn’t resist sharing both of them together. You’ll see why when you watch them.
Personally, the first one is my favorite one, despite being a bit blurry, the music is so perfect that it makes me laugh every time I watch it. I hope you do too. Enjoy!