Should You Get a Puppy for Christmas?
Puppy for Christmas?
Undoubtedly, there is nothing quite as cute as the idea of a little puppy as a gift for someone you love for Christmas. Especially a furry little ball of love that tugs at your heartstrings. Your spontaneous, creative side convinces you that a puppy will make the best Christmas gift for your loved one - the perfect companion for them.
Wait a minute! This little puppy is going to be one huge serious responsibility from the moment you place him or her (not really an 'it') in their soft basket by the stove - until the day they leave this world, about ten years from this Christmas. My article hopes to outline what getting this puppy will actually mean to you, to the puppy, to the person you love (and to society) in order to help you decide (with this rational side of your brain) if you should get a puppy for Christmas.
Please, consider the following really carefully:
- A puppy is fundamentally, an individual (a friend)
- Is dependent on you
- Will be faithful for life, unconditionally
- The owner is always responsible for the puppy/dog
- The owner will have an intense relationship with this pet
If you can see through to accepting all these responsibilities, as you would in any loving relationship, actually if you can see that the person you are getting the puppy for accepting all these responsibilities and developing that loving relationship - then, well, you could consider getting them a puppy, even for Christmas.
What Does Owning a Pet Mean?
When and if a person gets their loyal friend puppy they are obliged to enter into a loving relationship with that puppy. It is no one-sided flippant deal, so it's imperative to get it as right as can be. There are lots of questions to be asked and answered with certainty before you think further about getting that little darling:
- Can my loved-one really enter into this relationship?
Are they realistically able to? Are they old enough? Have they got the time? Have they got the mobility? Can they walk the dog safely and alone in the street or in the park? Can they afford a pet? Do you think they really want a pet? Do you imagine that they'll go walking the dog daily, take them to the vet every year, keep them clean?
Will their lives improve with a pet puppy?
- Will they want this relationship after Christmas?
You wouldn't give the gift of a sweetheart, or a sibling to another person for Christmas would you, (even if you could)? So why would you make a gift of a puppy - which asks the same of a relationship?
Did You Know?
Bewtween 5 million and 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters in the USA every year.
60% of those dogs are euthanized.
About 20% of people who leave dogs in a shelters, adopted them from a shelter.
In the UK about 105,000 stray dogs are abandoned every year with about 300 being picked up every day by the 'pounds' (animal shelters)
My Mother and her Dog at the Beach
Why Give a Puppy Dog for Christmas?
It doesn't make particular sense to give a puppy to anyone for Christmas because this little friend is for life and can be given anytime you find the right one. But once you know that someone you love wants a puppy dog, or would be happier because of owning a little puppy dog, then Christmas can be as good a time as ever, if you know A FEW important things about this new relationship:
- You know the future owner so well that you know which puppy dog is just the right one for them.
- You know that they wanted a puppy.
So you consider these factors next:
- height and weight - (how easy or difficult to handle)
- how much they'll eat - (how much money to spend on food and maintenance)
- maybe a small pet (puppy) is better than a big one - (because our loved-one wants to hold them a lot)
- or a puppy that your loved one can hold in their arms all the time, or not at all
- that's going to be good for them because it's an active dog (walking would be good for the owner too)
My brother gave my mother a little Westie (West Highland White Terrier) when she was about 80. They knew she would make her very happy and this little puppy has become my mother's shadow and constant companion. They adore each other and are good for each other (See the photo at the beach!) This was the best and most considerate gift they could have given to our mother.
Alternatively, you could tell your loved-one that you want to get them a puppy for Christmas and ask them to look for the one they really want - and you can get it for them any time in the year.
This is really all about love. Yours is love - for your loved-one. Theirs is going to be about love - for their new puppy (and dog, for life), and of course, we all know who the puppy is going to love, forever more! So there's no rush to get it done for Christmas is there?
What if I can't Take Care of the Puppy?
If any of the above questions or considerations raise doubts, then the very best action is no action at all. Please look at the facts in the box on your right, above.
Surely there are many other super thoughtful gifts that you could give for Christmas, that will show your love, (down payment on a car, new clothes, a holiday, a dinner in a nice restaurant, musical instrumant), so best turn the page on a puppy for Christmas. Some new, potentially less harmful idea for a gift will surely come your way. No damage will be done.
Slip it under the Christmas tree.
If some other time of the year, when the Christmas stress of decision making is off, and that idea to have a puppy seems like a really good idea after all, you could go to your closest animal shelter together and chose the perfect puppy. You could always decide this is your puppy for Christmas, then!
© 2012 Penelope Hart