How Much is that Doggy in the Window?
I have seen a lot of posts on Craigslist and social media of people rehoming pets. Specifically 3-month-old puppies that were Christmas gifts and now the family realizes they do not have time for said puppy.
People, SERIOUSLY! A puppy is not a toy. It is a living, breathing, caring creature. It only knows it was separated from it's birth mother and only family it's ever known to go live with some strangers with lots of bright flashy lights and rambunctious kids. Now their whole world is being turned upside down again because you realized they need more care?! NO SHIT SHERLOCK! A pet, any pet, but especially a dog requires time, care, and attention.
Getting a new pet is not something you do on the spur of the moment. It is not something you decide to get for a Christmas/Birthday present only to be forgot and discarded a few weeks later. Getting a puppy is a serious decision, and one that should not be taken lightly.
If you lead a busy lifestyle or have kids that are begging for a dog, try fostering one for a few weeks from a rescue to see if the attention and care a pet needs fits with your lifestyle. That you or your kids do not lose interest a few weeks later after the excitement of the newness wears off. Rescues are almost always in need of foster homes for their pets. Foster homes care for the pet through the week and take them to the fostering events on the weekends for possible adoption.
Remember, owning a pet is a responsibility that spans years. Some dog breeds can live to be around 20 years old. Along with all the time needed to invest in their care, love, training, and attention, there are expenses you need to consider. Just to name a few:
Flea and heartworm medications.
Doggie bags for picking up poop.
The expense of boarding your dog if you travel or go on vacation.
Pets require lots of time and money. They are like little kids and dependent on you for everything. But most importantly they are dependent on you for LOVE.
If you do not have the time or inclination to love your dog, then do not get one. Do not get one and ignore it. Do not get one only to leave it out in the yard with no human interaction, no training, no tenderness. If you cannot pet your dog, hug your dog, love on them, play with them, walk them, bathe them, feed them, fill their water bowl, snuggle them, pamper them EVERY SINGLE DAY, then do not get one.
Can you imagine how confusing and heartbroken these little Christmas gifts feel now? They are being ripped away from yet another family. Their whole world turned upside down and no way to explain it to them. They have to go live with and get familiar with yet another family, and that is the best scenario. Often times they are abandoned at shelters and the pound. Here it is cold and noisy. They are locked in "sterile" (as in lacking any warmth of home) cages. There are noisy dogs barking in fear and anger all the time. They are alone with little to no human interaction. And the cloying smell of death and fear permiates everything. How do you expect them to ever develop any type of trust when their world keeps changing?
Stop being ignorant, careless, and selfish. Tell your kidsNO if you suspect they will lose interested. Trust me, you are not being a bad parent. Saying no is a good thing sometimes. Very few kids are ever responsible enough for the daily care of a pet until they (the kid) get much older.
If you work 10-12+ hours a day, if you have long commutes, if you like to travel and vacation frequently, perhaps a pet is not right for you at this point in your life.
Stop and think before asking "how much is that doggy in the window?"
Make a list. Put down in black and white the pros and cons of owning a dog. List the things you like about that potential puppy and then list the things you do no like or might be a problem for you daily or even occasionally.
Research the breed or breeds you are interested in. Find out what is the average life span of that particular breed. Are they a working class? Hunting? Cold-weather dogs? How much do they shed? What illnesses are common with that specific breed? You research what car, house, toy, food, clothing, and electronics you are going to buy. Shouldn't a living, breathing, LOVING creature warrant just as much consideration as an inanimate object?
Please, PLEASE stop making dogs Christmas presents only to get rid of them when the reality of house breaking, cleaning up pee, picking up dog poop, teaching them manners and socialization all becomes too much for you. You wouldn't want someone to treat you so carelessly. Do not do this to these innocent creatures who live only to please you and love you.
-- Pictures chosen because I love my little man and couldn't imagine life without him. No he wasn't a Christmas present, he was helping me wrap presents. We had our rescue border collie, Missy for 15 years. We spent a year deciding whether to get another dog and finally decided on Kane 3 years ago.!