JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Best Idea!

If you are really thinking of surprising someone with an animal for Christmas, make sure it’s made of fake fur and stuffed.  If you really want to get someone a pet for Christmas, give them a gift certificate or and IOU and then take them to find a pet, if they want one, of their choosing.

Nothing says “I’m clueless” like giving an animal at Christmas to someone who was neither wanting nor expecting that gift.

After the oohing and ahhing at the precious animal, the reality of what you’ve done sets in.

You have just given someone a 10- to 15-year commitment that can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars for care.

If you give a puppy, then you have further obligated them to be home every two or three hours to take the pup outside to use the bathroom.

They will spend the next year teaching their pup to be a good dog and not tear things up, don’t jump up, stop barking, house training and all the work that goes with helping the pet become a decent part of the family.

Cats are easier because you don’t have to go stand outside with them in 30-degree temperature on a freezing rainy day and beg them to use the bathroom.

But you are still obligating your beloved to the care of a pet. Also, why would you assume to know what personality of a pet suits what person? That’s a personal thing.

Pets are a very personal choice and the right fit is best for both the pet and their new parent.  I’ve always adopted my pets based on their personality fit into my home. These are not plug-and-play toys. Some people prefer affectionate cats, while others don’t mind the aloof ones.  Some like long-hair, some like short-hair.

You’re giving the gift of obligation that never stops costing or needing. I wouldn’t be happy to receive your gift. In fact, I would resent you and insist you take it back.

So, if you want to adopt an animal for your family and you want your children to have a pet, then buy a stuffed animal with a note attached that you will go as a family and adopt a pet this spring.

Why spring?

People have more time off. They don’t mind being outside so much in the better weather. And your family can decide what pet fits.

Spend this time researching various breeds, figuring out which ones, like Dalmatians, are athletic and require a lot of exercise and attention and which ones, like Rottweilers, are couch potatoes.

You’ll learn that Jack Russell Terriers aren’t as sedate as the character Eddie on the television show “Frasier” and all puppies aren’t as bad as Marley.

But the biggest lesson you will learn is that pet ownership is not something you decide like choosing a lamp. It’s a long-term commitment of money, time and love. The reward is immeasurable, but it’s not something you give someone else. They need to find it for themselves.

To see animals available locally, go to petfinder.com. On the left side, scroll to “Find local animal welfare groups” and follow instructions. On Petfinder’s home page you’ll also find a “pet promise certificate” you can download and give to someone.

By: Cindy Wolff – Commercial Appeal

Posted:  Just One More Pet

December 3, 2009 Posted by | animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | 16 Comments