Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Pets--Caution

I see them everywhere, pets being offered a Christmas gifts.

Giving a pet for Christmas is dangerous because unlike other gifts, pets require constant work. Yes, they provide companionship--and I admit, having been the recipient of a Christmas puppy three years ago, they can be among the best gifts given and received during the holidays.

But the downside is that they reqquire constant work and attention. In the case of puppies, there is requisite training and multiple times per day walks to allow the pupppy to take care of business.

I remember when Makayla was still being trained, I drove home at lunch every day to let her out and give her some mid-day companionship. I was lucky to live close enough to where I work to be able to do that.

Even now that she is a wonderfully trained dog, Chris and I still consider Makayla's needs at the end of the day before heading off to shop or play racquetball. I stop by the house most evenings to let her out and spend a few minutes with her before rushing off to play racquetball. And when we are out on successive evenings, I feel very guilty about leaving her alone for so many hours.

And so, my caution is this--consider the entire situation when considering a pet as a Christmas gift. Pets are a longterm investment, and while the return can be worth much more than the effort, for some people there just is not enough time in life for a pet.

Cuddly and small on Christmas morning grows quickly into a demanding task--and if not done properly, the pet will be the ultimate loser.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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