thank you to Erin Shanendoah from the dog blog Life By Pets for sharing her thoughts on puppies as Christmas presents.
It’s the time of year when you hear constant cries of “pets aren’t gifts,” and people call for shelters and rescues to refuse to adopt out animals during the holiday season. (You hear these same kinds of cries regarding black cats around Halloween.)
My first problem with this idea is that it doesn’t take into account other reasons people might want to adopt a pet. We brought our beagle home from the shelter less than one week before Thanksgiving.
We were getting her because we had just lost one dog and our other dog was missing his friend terribly (he wasn’t exactly alone in this). If we had lost our Aussie one week later, should we have been prevented from adopting until after the holiday season?
But even forgetting those situations, I actually believe that pets can make wonderful gifts; that the gift of a new family member really brings home the meaning of the season. Under the right circumstances, what difference does it make if the new puppy comes at Christmas time or any other time of year?
A puppy as a surprise Christmas gift for a child
I know a couple that is giving their daughters a puppy for Christmas. It will be a total surprise.
Per their father:
[T]he girls have no idea. They know there is no way in hell I’m getting them a filthy animal that will pee and poop all over my house where I sleep and eat. No freakin way!!! Actually, that’s not completely true. I did tell them that if they can find a dog to babysit for a whole month, and they walk it, feed it, and clean up after it every single day that I’d think about it. They’ve been arguing for a few months about the unfairness of it all, since they can’t find a way to get a dog for a month, but I’ve been telling them that if they really wanted one, they’d figure something out.
They have been walking the neighbors’ lab, and they babysat a really sweet old dachshund for four days last month.
Obviously, their father is a bit of a curmudgeon (the best kind), and has asked that his daughters (both pre-teens) work to show them that they want and are willing to care for a new pet. He’s actually really excited about taking them to meet their new puppy on Christmas morning.
Now I know that people out there are yelling at their computer screens – you can’t trust kids to take care of the pet! If that’s your pet care plan, don’t get the pet! and I can tell you, the parents of this family know that, too.
Yes, their daughters are working very hard to show they are responsible enough for a dog, but the family also knows that puppies are a lot of work, and the girls will be in school. Luckily, mom is a mostly stay at home mom, and she is quite prepared to be the one taking the puppy out every couple of hours as they work on potty training.
Mom and dad both know this will be a lot of work and the majority of it will fall on their shoulders. They’ve already snuck out to buy a dog bowl, collar and leash, and Nature’s Miracle. They’re making sure their cat has a way to escape the dog.
In essence, they are doing all the right things. They are ready and excited to bring a new family member into their home.
The fact that they get to surprise their daughters – on Christmas morning, no less – is just an added bonus. and I can promise you, this is a Christmas those girls will never forget. It might even be the one they call the best Christmas ever. how can you argue with that?
Now, you might argue with me, that’s not what we’re talking about. In this case, both adults are in on the giving. A gift for the children is not the kind of gift we’re against. It’s when one adult surprises another adult with a pet that’s the problem.
I’ll counter that with this story, What? We got a new Puppy?!?!? from Life and My Finances.
Puppies as surprise gifts from one adult to another
This is a personal finance blog, so the story is told in a different fashion from how you might read it in the pet blog world, but that doesn’t change that it’s a great story.
Basically, the wife has wanted her own puppy all her life. husband wants a puppy, too, but as a personal finance kind of guy, had the ground rules of they needed to be able to afford it. Well, they just bought a house, and the house needs some work done, so no puppy until after the house is completed.
They’ve been talking about a dog for a long time. They both know they want one. They are both prepared for one. wife just thinks it will be a few more months. This allows the husband to find the perfect puppy and bring her home to his wife as an early Christmas present. She’s surprised. They are both thrilled as can be with their new family member.
ENS Han siger selv: “Vær ikke bange for at skabe disse minder.”
Dette bliver en af de mest mindeværdige juleaften, de har som et par, fyldt med den glæde og latter, som en hvalp bringer. Og igen, spørger jeg, hvordan kan du argumentere med det?
Ja, det er muligt, at der er en ung kvinde derude, der har været sammen med en ung fyr i et par måneder, en fyr, der taler om, hvor meget han elskede sit barndomslaboratorium. Og måske tænker hun på sig selv – jeg ved, at en hvalp ville være en god julegave til ham. Jeg er enig, det er ikke en god situation, men hun kunne få ham den hvalp til hans fødselsdag, og ingen ville vide det.
Det er jobbet med folks screening af adoptionsapplikationer for at forhindre den slags opførsel. At sætte et moratorium på ferieoptagelser løser ikke problemet, og det forhindrer de magiske minder, der er lavet i de to foregående historier.
Kæledyr kan virkelig være gaver – faktisk synes jeg, de er de bedste gaver af alle, uanset hvad sæsonen er.
Har du nogensinde besluttet at få en hvalp i løbet af ferien for dig selv eller et familiemedlem?
På billedet er Erins Beagle Junebug.