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Pets For Life - Not For Christmas!

Updated on March 4, 2012

My Tri-colour Rough Collie, Megan with Benji at 6 months old.


Benji came to us at justĀ 6 months old. He was a beautiful, coal-black, cross labrador retriever/setter. We were lucky enough to be the chosen owners for him from our local rescue centre - Second Chance Kennels in Fife. His story is a heartbreaking but all too common one. He was given as a present at Christmas. Two weeks after boxing day, he was booted out to fend for himself - he was only 4 months old.

To animal lovers this is the haunting but preventable reality every year at Christmas time. People, stupid people, continue to give pets to unprepared family and friends - as a suprise present!


Think About This Carefully

If you still think that your cute puppy is the best present to give your unsuspecting family or friend, have a look at the following inventory - this is an essential but very basic list of what a puppy requires when it is introduced into any home. Have you bought any of the following items? No? Then you need to! Or else your surprise gift to your loved ones is going to cost them a hell of a lot of unexpected expense - at the time of year when they can probably least afford it.

  1. Puppy collar - you have to ensure that the collar is a good fit and good quality - it must also be adjustable to allow for very fast growth.
  2. Puppy lead/dog lead - this speaks for itself.
  3. Puppy ID tag.
  4. Dog bowl for food.
  5. Dog bowl for water.
  6. Puppy food - and not just any old cheap can out of the local shop. Puppies require very particular minerals and vitamins. Inappropriate foods will cause puppies diarrhoea and can make them very ill.
  7. Tick and Flea prevention for puppies.
  8. Dog crate/cage - to keep the puppy safe while the owners do other things. This has to be of good quality and safety checked to the British Standards - or the equivalent in other countries.
  9. Puppy/Dog Brush - should be suitable for either a long, medium or short coat.
  10. Puppy shampoo.
  11. Puppy/Dog bedding.
  12. Toys - this is not just a cute addition. Puppy chewing helps with teething and for dental health. Toys are also good training aids. In addition, puppy play is a way that dogs learn.
  13. A good book/DVD that covers general dog care and health - this is an essential for any prospective dog owner. If you insist on buying a pedigree you will need to include a good book/DVD on the breed chosen.

Behaviour & Doing What Comes Naturally

In addition to all the above equipment that either you or the family/friend will need to buy, is the other implications of having a puppy. Think about the following. How would you cope if it was you who was landed with a puppy that you hadn't expected:

  • Puppies take time to train - could you cope with pee and poo on your carpets? If the answer is 'no' then why do you expect your family or friend to accept it? Your wonderful sister might well adore animals. But often people adore them from a distance. They don't have their own pets because they genuinely cannot face cleaning up messes like poo and pee.
  • Chewing and destructive behaviour. Puppies learn from their environment and experimenting. How would you cope if your puppy experimented with his sharp little teeth on your new furniture, your lovely afghan or your expensive shoes? Will your family/friend enjoy this?
  • How would you cope when puppy vomits up on your carpet - this could even include dead worms after his worming treatment? Would the people you are giving this 'present' to cope?
  • Will they be happy with the numerous feeds a young puppy needs daily?
  • Can they cope with a disrupted nights sleep because puppy needs to go out to do his business?
  • Will the puppy be left on its own every day for hours on end? This scenario is heading straight towards your loved ones having problems with puppy and the adult dog it will become. Separation anxiety can lead to destructive behaviour, attention seeking behaviour, constant barking and aggression. Not to mention physical illness.

If you have even the slightest doubt about one or more of the above - do not buy a puppy!

Most breeds require at the very least one hour's good quality exercise each day. Letting your dog run about your garden - IS NOT exercising your dog.


1. A cute German Shepherd puppy at 6 weeks old. 2. A German Shepherd at just two years old! Spot the difference?

| Source

In The Long Term?

The previous inventory is only the essentials to cover the first few weeks in a puppy's new home - how much does this add to the cost of your present? If your response is something along the lines of 'This is all rubbish, a puppy doesn't need half of this stuff' then stop right there - and learn an important life lesson! You obviously have no conception of the work involved - for years to come. More importantly you don't care - either about the people who will be on the receiving end of your surprise or the animal itself.

Try to at least have the decency to spare a poor innocent animal the grief of being booted out of the home or packed off to a shelter wondering what it has done wrong. The family/friend as well, will end up on a guilt trip not to mention the stress of having to try and re-home an animal they didn't want in the first place. Are you willing to accept responsibility that this is all your fault? If you think I'm over-reacting take a tip. Go onto any web site, anywhere on the planet, and look up abandoned animals at Christmas - the heartbreaking figures speak for themselves!

What of the future? Longer term the family/friend you are giving this 'present' to will also have to consider:

  • Vet Bills - not just for emergencies, but for periodic check ups and the puppy's/dog's annual vaccinations against major diseases. Most responsible dog owners also have their dogs neutered or their bitches dressed to avoid any more unwanted puppies coming into the world.
  • Longer term again is the conditions that a dog may suffer from. Not only will this cost in vet bills, but could mean drastic changes in their household when looking after a dog that is ill.
  • Cute little puppies all too soon become adult dogs. Will your recipient of your present cope with the adult dog? Breeds can vary enormously in temperament. Some breeds need experienced owners to cope with them and train them properly. Do you have the knowledge and expertise to choose the proper breed? Does the recipients of your wonderful surprise have the knowledge and experience to cope with - high energy breeds, working breeds, socialisation, aggression, destructive behaviour, training, obedience, health, food, grooming, exercise etc?
  • Did you know that even friendly breeds such as labradors that are not cared for properly can turn very aggressive/difficult/destructive? No? Then why are you buying a dog? I ask this because you obviously have no idea what it takes to care for an animal properly. Anyone with even a minimal amount of knowledge about animals would never consider giving them as a surprise present!
  • Do you know your family and friends really well? You better make sure you do! Do you know for instance that their alleged love of animals and their 'gooing' over photos of a puppy, does actually,100%, mean they want one? Now? Without being asked? Without being prepared? You know for a fact that they really don't mind having their whole life changed and turned upside down for the next 8 to 16 years?

If you have any doubts about even one of the above points - don't buy a puppy!

Dog Bites - usually occur due to inexperienced dog owners and/or dogs that are not cared for or trained/supervised/controlled properly. Dogs as young as 1 year

| Source

Follow These Rules

If you still insist that buying a puppy is a good idea then do it properly - for everyone's sake follow this one simple rule:

Before you even consider buying a puppy please ask the family or friend if they would like to have a puppy as a present.

If you have the least doubts about them coping with anything I've said before, then please, please don't buy a live puppy - buy them a nice cute, stuffed one instead.

This simple question can save untold heartbreak and stress for people and animals. Animal shelters do a wonderful job. But please don't add to their workload and limited resources by creating situations of unwanted pets, when a simple question can avoid it.

I've also focused this hub on dogs basically because I'm a dog owner and have been for 36 years. But you should follow all this advice for any animal you may be planning to buy as a surprise gift - kittens, small animals, birds, reptiles etc. - all need specific care and owners need specific knowledge to be able to carry out this care properly.

Having the true Christmas Spirit does not just mean buying lovely presents. It means being responsible and sensitive to the real needs of the people you love. It also means opening your heart to the rest of the animal kingdom and doing what is best for them - not what gives your ego a feel good factor!

Please think before you buy! If you want to spend lots of money on animals at Christmas - make a donation to an animal shelter/charity - you might just help an animal that has been abandoned because of thoughtlessness and ignorance! MERRY CHRISTMAS.



Submit a Comment

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hello bac2basics - apologies for taking so long to respond to your comment - things have been hectic at home recently!

    I agree with you, any kind of cruelty enrages me and the heartbreaking deaths of dogs that are not wanted is a very sad reflection on our society. And yes, maybe if ads like this did go out, it would finally get the message across of the stupidity and callousness of some human beings.

  • bac2basics profile image

    Anne 5 years ago from Spain

    Hello. Just read one of your hubs after your kind comments on one of mine. Thankyou so much for getting this point across so well. Peoples stupidity and disregard for an animals welfare makes my blood boil.I well remember a shocking ad the RSPCA put out many years ago. It was a huge pile of dogs that had been destroyed by them because they were no longer wanted. Maybe if this ad and others like it were put out more often it would at least make morons think twice before buying a cute little puppy or kitten as a toy.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi kkflowers, thank you for your visit and glad that you enjoyed the hub.

    I'm the same about my dogs, I absolutely adore them! They also have a wonderful capacity to either calm me down when I'm frazzled and cheer me up when I'm down!! We've had rescue dogs as well and yes, there is the relief that it will helpt o reduce the number of unwanted puppies.

  • kkflowers profile image

    kkflowers 5 years ago

    I agree that getting a pet is a personal decision and should be carefully considered and not given as a gift. I rescue instead of breeding, spay and neuter, love my pets!:)

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Crazy Mags,

    Many thanks for stopping by and for you interesting comment. As to those 'twats' who wanted to put Emma down - they don't deserve to have the chance to look after any animal! Maybe they would be better off with a stuffed dog - that doesn't move, poo, pee, need fed or walked?

    But putting that aside I really admire you for the work that you are doing for our wonderful dogs and I look forward to reading more of your hubs about the shelters and rescues you care for.

    Many thanks again for stopping by.

  • Crazy Mags profile image

    Crazy Mags 5 years ago

    Seeker 7- I wanted to check out your page because you commented on one of my hubs. Also, I had been doing searches for people that write about pets and animal rescue. I volunteer for a local labrador retriever rescue here in Houston, Texas. I have fostered many and have owned some. I have a white one right now named Emma. She was neglected and abused and I fostered her, adopted her out, and then took her back when the people that adopted her found out she was not "perfect" and wanted to put her down. I could not believe it. I agree with your article. If people would start being more responsible, there would not be so many unwanted dogs (or cats, or other pets for that matter) in the world. Thanks for your article. I hope to write some hubs about animal shelters and rescues here in Texas at some point.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    HI MT! Yes I would definitely have nightmares and I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I know I had harmed a dog in anyway. I think the sister really didn't care if Benji could fend for himself or not. Once this bundle of fluff started to act like a normal animal and not a stuffed toy, that was it as far as this stupid, cruel woman was concerned.

    One of the neighbours saw Benji over a period of two days on his own crying and looking in trash cans etc. He got Benji and took him to his house and gave him something to eat - steak pie and potatoes I believe! Benji would have loved that, he was a greedy wee torag with food! - anyway, this lovely old guy tried on a number of occasions to speak to this woman, but she denied all knowledge of knowing Benji, despite the fact he had been seen in her home. Anyway, this old guy just wasn't fit enough to look after Benji and knew he needed a good home. He knows folks from the Second Chance Kennels and called them up. They kennels took Benji and then we got him. The sister's brother telephoned the kennels about a week after Benji came to us to ask how he was???? The kennel staff asked what had happened and the brother told the story. So whether he told the sister or not I have no idea. But I'm glad she lived quite a few miles away, I don't know what my reaction would have been if I had ever met her - it wouldn't have been lady-like that's for sure.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    I don't know how you can get just get rid of a dog and think he/she can fend for themselves. It blows my mind! Wouldn't you have nightmares and wonder what had become of the dog. Did this 'sister' find out that you took the dog in? just curious. To me, treating an animal badly says so much about a person and who they really are. Thanks again for your candor in this important hub.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi MT - lovely to hear from you as usual and many thanks for the very insightful comment.

    I agree with you - I'm the same when I get a new dog. Making sure not only the environment is what they need but that I can also give them the love and attention they need - especially true in the early months of having a rescue dog. I've had two as well. My first one, Benji, was booted out not long after Boxing Day because he was given as a gift at Christmas. A brother who 'just knew his wonderful sister would adore a puppy' - yes, well, she adored him until the pee and the poo started and when she also found out she would need to walk him, take him to the vet etc., this not so 'wonderful' sister put Benji out to fend for himself! It breaks my heart, and if this hub can save even just one dog, then I'll be happy! But it never ceases to amaze me the ignorance, stupidity and sheer cruelty of some people!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Seeker-I can't thank you enough for your Realistic and Straight Forward article about giving animals as pets. I am a big believer that the pet also needs to pick you. Your right that most people don't know the commitment that goes into owning an animal. I have two rescue dogs that I knew I wanted and could handle. I didn't rescue the second one until I became a work at home person which was the reason for my decision. My dogs are in animal heaven here and make me and my family whole.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi smilemegrj, (I love the photo of your dog - he is very, very cute!)

    Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad that you enjoyed the hub! Take care!

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Lady_E,

    Many thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment - much appreciated.

    I agree about the budget. What I did after my second dog, I made a short-term budget but also a long-term budget as well. That way you don't get so caught out with the surprises that our lovely dogs spring on us! Such as unexpected vet bills etc.

  • smilemegrj profile image

    smilemegrj 6 years ago from North Dallas

    Straight forward and very true! Lovely Hub!

  • Lady_E profile image

    Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

    Very interesting and educative read. I just realised you have to have a budget set aside for a dog. They need a lot and I agree - A Pet is for Life.....not just for Christmas.


  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Hollie - as usual it's great to hear from you and to read your comments. Hope 2012 has started off well for you!

    Tilly! Oh the poor little soul!!! She is beautiful and soooo cute! We must have matching dogs indeed! Her abuse must have involved a collar in some way? Roy - my avatar - was so badly abused by this cruel arse of a farmer, that he and his half sister, another Border, were almost put to sleep by a vet! If I ever got my hands on that twat!! But that's another story, and my language would be sure to offend people who I respect totally.

    But back to Tilly and the collar. I think the abuse must have involved a collar. I say that because the rescue centre we got Roy from - the same one we got Benji - the staff took about two months very delicate and hard work to get him and Gail to wear a collar. Initially Roy would roll onto his back and pee with fear whenever he saw a collar. Some of the abuse that took place, involved him getting a collar and leash on. The leash was tied onto a hook that was so high, he had to stand on his hind legs, then he was hit either by a belt or stick - he had two hairline fractures of the ribs + excessive bruising! Gail didn't have any fractures, but the bruising on her hips and ribs was horrendous. He had other things as well - as did Gail - but it's really too heartbreaking to go into it all, and it really gets me so angry!

    Hey - well done to have managed to rescue a drowning dog! That takse not only courage, but a huge love of animals!

    Many thanks again Hollie for your visit and give a huge hug to Tilly for me!!!LOL!

  • Hollie Thomas profile image

    Hollie Thomas 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Seeker7,

    I always feel really sad that we have to remind people that a puppy is for life. Well done for raising such an important issue. Personally, I love animals, especially dogs, but never give in to the temptation of a puppy! I always end up getting suckered when it comes to adult dogs that have been dis guarded, then take them home.

    With the exception of my first dog (Which I rescued from drowning) My dogs have always been from a rescue centre. Note my avatar, Tilly, cross border collie who was so damaged and mistreated, she still goes balistic when you try to put a collar on her (not sure what happened there, but hate to see her distressed)She's been with me for six years now! Did I mention previously that we have matching dogs? :)

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi rebecca, lovely to hear from you again for taking the time to leave a comment - it really is appreciated.

    Staggering and shocking at just how many dogs - and other animals - are abandoned after Christmas. A situation that could be avoided if people would take the time to think, and think again and then ask the people involved if an animal is not only what they would want, but if they can cope with it.

    I'll check out your hub on euthanasia, it sounds very interesting.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Very touching and so true. It's probably staggering the amount of people who get a dog and take it back. I think you would enjoy reading my article on euthanasia. Check it out. It is called Bittersweet Heart Ache.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Eddy, Lovely to hear from you!

    Yes, it is heartbreaking and as you say true! We have unfortunately many stupid people on the planet who, instead of thinking sensibly, feed their egos instead and so buy totally inappropriate 'gifts' for people such as animals!

    Many thanks for the vote up and the support of the hub - here's hoping that the message will get across to at least one person if they read the hub and all the wonderful supporting comments!

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

    Oh what a heart rending article and sadly also so true.

    You have covered the sensitive subject amazingly.

    I have to vote up up and away.

    Take care


  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Wes! Great to hear from you - hope things are well with you and glad that you enjoyed the hub!

    Do you know, if I won the lottery or football pools I would have lots of dogs!!! I just adore them, so yes, I can understand when seeing a photo of a dog it does make you want to get one! I honestly couldn't imagine my home without a four-legged, tail-wagging, bundle of joy running about!

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Susan,

    I know what you mean, when those kinds of ads come on - at any time - I tend to look away as it really distresses me. It's the same with the ads for the youngsters and kids who are getting neglected and abused - I find it really hard to watch.

    Anyway, on a lighter note, many thanks for your visit, it's always lovely to hear from you and glad that you enjoyed the hub!

  • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

    Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

    Thanks for the beautiful and thoughtful hub!!!

    As a dogless person, at this time - every picture of a dog makes me wish I had one.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    It always angers me at this time of year because of the commercials I see on TV. They always play the sad ones of all the dogs and cats that have been abused that are in need of homes. Bad time of year to broadcast these commercials. Excellent Hub!

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hello Lizzy! Lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for supporting the hub and our animals! I think we have all said on HP that if the hub even helps just one pup, dog, kitten, cat or any other animal then it will be a wonderful present for us all.

    Once again, many thanks for your support and the vote up + sharing - it is really appreciated!!!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Absolutely spot-on! Thank you so much for sharing this vital bit of what should be common sense, a commodity sadly lacking among many people these days.

    Voted up across the board (except for 'funny'--that, it is not), and shared "everywhere."

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi A_J - many thanks for your lovely and supporting comment. As many of us have said in these comments, even if this hubs just stops one person from buying a pup with no thought to what they are doing, then my Christmas will be a very happy one!

    Lovely to hear from you and many thanks for the vote!

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi KKG, lovely to hear from you, hope things are well with you!

    Poor dogs - there are some people in this world who are evil. It's not a word I use often or lightly, but that's the only word I can use to describe them.

    I've had rescue dogs as well. We have one at the moment - Roy, whose photo you can see with my profile - he was badly beaten up and abused by a farmer, who claimed that at 6 months old he would not work????!!! I've never known any kind of Border Collie who didn't want to work, they never stop! But besides that even it is true did it warrant beating him so hard that his ribs cracked!!?? Anyway, Roy and another wee Collie, called Gale, were finally rescued. But they both had been so badly traumatised that the vet did consider putting them to sleep as they had both stopped eating and drinking. They were so frightened of people, that when anyone approached them they would roll onto their backs and pee. Luckily one of the Veterinary nurses knew about Second Chance Kennels and due to the hard work and commitment of the folks there, both Roy and Gale finally began to respond. We got Roy when he was just over a year - it had taken the kennels all that time to try and get the dogs over their ordeal. Roy is fabulous now, although mental scars will always remain, and Gale is with a wonderful family in another village about 3 miles from us. This is handy since Roy and Gale can meet up from time to time.

    Anyway, sorry about the novel, and give your two dogs a big hug from me! Many thanks for the vote, it really does mean a lot!

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Millionaire Tips,

    Many thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    I agree with you that gifts should be chosen with great care, but especially the ones that are live. There is just no thought put into these gifts either for the people or the animals concerned - it leads to so much heartbreak that is avoidable.

    Lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for the vote up!

  • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

    Admiral_Joraxx 6 years ago from Philippines

    Dogs are really great pet, and I definitely agree with this seeker7. they are absolutely pet for life. 1 vote up and beautiful for this.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    We have two rescued dogs. Both had been horribly abused. It's a crime how some peole treat animals. very well wriiten, informative hub. Up and awesome.

  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

    This is great advice, any gift that you give someone should not require long-term care unless you are absolutely sure that the person is willing and actually wants the gift. Pets definitely rank up there in high maintenance.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Rosemay and a very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    Many thanks for the visit and for the very interesting comment. I think what you have said about elderly people in particular is very important - especially the point about an old lady going hungry to feed her dog, it breaks your heart to hear that! And also if they are fit enough to give the dog proper exercises and of course the cost. Also the health issue you raised is another excellent point and one that I hadn't considered at all -many thanks for adding this very important point.

    As usual, lovely to hear from you and many thanks once again. Have a lovely day!

  • Rosemay50 profile image

    Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Thank you Seeker for putting up this very worthwhile hub. You have made some very good and important points here.

    I have known older people that have been given puppies for Christmas. OK it's a nice idea when someone needs companionship. But they haven't thought about the cost, I have known a lady go hungry so that she could afford to feed the dog. Not only this but it also needs to be considered if that older person is ABLE to walk the dog. It is vital for a dog to exercise.

    The other thing to be considered is the family’s health, bringing a dog into a home where a child suffers with asthma or someone has allergies is not good for anyone.

    We see TV ads every year at this time. WHEN will people learn.

    Voted up, an extremely important message.

    BTW Happy Thanksgiving

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi debbie,

    Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    I agree with you entirely. Like yourself, everyone of our pets was planned and prepared for well in advance - whether it was a pup or a rescue dog it didn't matter, we all made sure we had the time, resources and commitment to look after them all properly.

    I wonder as well if giving a pup/kitten or any other animal has a lot to do with these thoughtless dummies giving their egos a huge boost? But maybe not, perhaps they are just as stupid as they act. And if this hub can save one family or animal from distress then this will definitely be a great Christmas present for me.

    Many thanks Debbie, it was lovely to hear from you.

  • debbie roberts profile image

    Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

    Good hub and so relative for this time of year.How people can give an animal as a Christmas present is beyond me. When people take on animals for themselves a lot of thought and long term commitment should go into it. We have had a houseful of pets over the years and each and every one was taken on with us knowingly taking on the responsibility of that animal. To decide to give an animal as a present is just plain irresponsible and actually quite thoughtless. As others before me have said, if your hub goes towards stopping one animal ending up homeless in the New Year then that's a very good thing. Well done.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi thelyricwriter,

    Many thanks for the visit and the comment - it's very mcuh appreciated. I think that's the point that the hub is trying to make to people who are thinking about giving any animal at Christmas - that unlike most other gifts, animals can't be forgotten about a week or so after Christmas. They are for life not just for the holiday season.

    Many thanks again for your support and for the vote up - it's greatly appreciated!

  • thelyricwriter profile image

    Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

    Up, useful, and interesting article Seeker7. I believe there is a lot of people that jump into buying a dog without realizing how much work it truly is and expenses. As far as giving a puppy as a gift, I believe it is a bad choice, unless someone truly wants one and they are capable of taking care of them. It is nearly like a child at times. You have laid out some very important tips in your article. This is an article that someone needs to pay attention to when thinking about a new pet for Christmas and as a gift as well. Well done.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi AliciaC, lovely to hear from you and many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    I really hope - as I was saying to Alastar and as he said also - that if even just one person changes their mind because of this hub, I will be very happy. I think people get so carried away with this holiday season that their common sense flies out the window as well as their ability to rationally think about the severe consequences for people and in particular the animals. Every year the same message goes out from animal charities - why don't these people just stop, listen, think and think again and try to let their head rule their heart and emotions?

    Many thanks again for your support, I really appreciate it.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hello Cat R - many thanks for your visit and for leaving a very interesting comment.

    I agree 100% with your point about 'education'. I think what angers me the most is that when a child or person gets seriously injured by a dog - large or small - not only is it terrifying and devastating for that child or person, but obviously the consequences for the dog are heartbreaking - the majority of these cases, at least the ones I know about, are not because of anything wrong with the dog - these animals simply had bad owners who hadn't a clue/didn't care about, training them or more importantly having themselves trained and educated.

    Luckily our animal shelters/rescue centres about here are meticulous about who the animals go to - but I agree not every rescue center does. As to 'sellers' you have some who are champion and obviously love their animals. Sorry to say, yes you do have others who are only in it for the money!

    Many thanks again for your comment and your visit - much appreciated.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Thank you for a great hub that is very important at this time of year, Seeker7. You've created a very thorough list of expenses and situations that a new puppy owner will face. Owning and caring for a dog is a huge - but very rewarding - undertaking. Unless people are prepared for the commitment and responsibility, they should get a cute stuffed dog instead, as you say!

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    Cat R 6 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

    So sad and so true!

    I haven't bean bitten in years and have mostly large and extra large dogs, including Pitbulls.

    I think education could salvage many 'relationships' formed by adoptions or buying a dog!

    But not every 'seller' or rescue takes the time to do that!

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Alastar - it's wonderful to hear from you and to have your support - a huge thank you!

    If this hub can make one person change their minds about buying a surprise puppy, this will be the best Christmas present I could ever have - and as your rightly say, and more importantly, the best gift the puppy could have.

    I usually steer away from very sad/bad stories about animals as I'm an absolute wimp and really get very stressed out about it. If anything comes on the news about cruelty etc., I usually close my eyes as I honestly can't stand to watch. However, with Second Chance Kennels and the SSPCA etc., putting out their fervant pleas - again - pleading with people not to buy puppies as Christmas presents, I felt I needed to put my wimp hat away and do something constructive. Why people are so dumb about this is a mystery to me. I think there must be a total disregard for the animal and they allow their egos to rule their common sense. Here's hoping that things will change - one day!

    Alastar thank you so much for your support of this hub - you really have made my day and my Christmas! Thank you!

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    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Gypsy - as always it's a delight to hear from you!

    I agree with you entirely both about surprise puppies and the planned for ones - the 'huge dog' surprise comes because people don't research the breed enough. But also they buy the dog for the 'look at me with the big dog' feeling! And then, as you say it's all downhill from there. Our local rescue centre - Second Chance - has had a lot of very large dogs in that people could not cope with. Time and time again the rescue centre was told, by the very immature and silly owners, that they had no idea how big the dog was going to get!! It really beggars belief at times how dumb people can be when a little research and forethought could have saved the dog, them and the centre so much stress. Luckily at Second Chance Kennels and in the UK in general we don't have a policy of destroying dogs, they are all kept until they are re-homed. Thankfully there are many wonderful animal lovers that come forward and give these beautiful animals the loving homes that they deserve - but the scars remain with most of the dogs for life.

    Many thanks again Gypsy for your input and support!

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

    Seeker7 I want to thank you a million times for writing this. Even if your excellent article stops only one person from giving a surprise puppy for Christmas, it'll be a real present for all concerned including the pup more than likely.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Great advice. In fåct you could say that if you have previously discussed with a friend or family member that you wish to gift them with a puppy then expecting the gift they will prepare for the little visitor which is great. Also dogs are quite different from cats and I can imagine the look on anyone's face if they agreed to a puppy but no one checked the growth of the breed and they wind up with a giant they can ill afford. I've known people in these situations and it's all downhill from there.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Movie Master,

    Many thanks for the vote up and for the support of the hub - I really appreciate it, thank you!!

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Victoria, lovely to hear from you and many thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

    A fabulous comment that highlights even better than my hub about the plight of these animals! The waste of beautiful creation and life is absolutely disgusting! All it takes - as you rightly say - is to think and think again and I would only add - ASK the people who you intend to give the puppy/kitten or any other animal to.

    Many thanks again Victoria.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Frank, no need to apologise at all - I welcome your comment. It is a sad fact of life that many people are callous and cruel in their treatment of animals. Further more, many who are like that with animals, also tend to treat their fellow human beings with the same contempt.

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi seeker7, what sound advice, people tend to forget about the long term commitment in buying a puppy.

    Excellent hub and voting up.

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

    Good share.. it's sad the way a lot of humans treat pets/ dogs.. I know Im running the gun here but I was In Bayamon Puerto Rico this past summer and there were littery hundreds of strays and someone there told me they were gifts... gifts that they get tired of then they open the doors and poof strays.. ..anyhow sorry for going off.. great Hub