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Examiner
  • Animals Best Friends: Never give a pet as a gift

  • Gifts should be given from the heart whether they are practical or frivolous. A gift can be anything from an object to a deed done in kindness. It always helps to know what someone wants or what their likes are before you give them a gift.

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  • Gifts should be given from the heart whether they are practical or frivolous. A gift can be anything from an object to a deed done in kindness. It always helps to know what someone wants or what their likes are before you give them a gift.
    Pets should not be given as gifts even if you know that someone wants a pet and is capable of caring for it. A pet is a living being with which one has a personal connection. You can’t choose someone’s friends for them and you shouldn’t choose a pet for them either. For the record, the ASPCA doesn’t advocate giving pets as gifts. However, they do suggest going with the recipient and letting them choose a pet for themselves. The element of surprise is gone, but it is better this way because it is unlikely that the pet will end up back at the shelter or tied to a tree in the back yard three months later.
    Animals are much like people. Some are active and playful like Labs, border collies and beagles; others are more laid back like Greyhounds, Basset hounds and bulldogs. A pet should match the personality and lifestyle of the guardian. Where someone lives should also come into consideration. A border collie or Lab might go crazy in a small apartment where a miniature poodle, Chihuahua, or cat would be right at home. A large dog would love a spacious house and fenced in yard in which to lounge and play.
    Children shouldn’t be given a pet unless you are the parent and will see that the animal is taken care of. Families need to consider children when getting a pet. Some dogs will nip toddlers who pull tails and ears. Children should be taught how to behave around a pet and learn to respect that pet’s rights. A neighbor girl told me years ago that they had to put their dog to sleep. When I asked why, she said “It bit me!” I asked what she did to the dog and after some humming and hawing she fessed up that she had put a bucket over the dog’s head. That is not only tragic for the dog, but stupid of the family. My co-worker Angie is a smart human and dog parent. When her daughter Morgan said she was bit by the family dog Angie asked her, “What did you do to him?”
    Getting a pet is a lifelong commitment and should be taken very seriously. If you want to buy someone a gift who is thinking about getting a pet, get them something they can use to help make their decision. There are many books about the different dog and cat breeds and their personalities. There are also many breed specific books that guide the new owner from youth to old age with their pet. There are also many good books on training a pet or learning how to understand them. I would recommend authors Tamar Geller, Victoria Stillwell, and Stanley Coren. Most of these books are priced very reasonable on Amazon.
    Page 2 of 2 - Whatever you decide to buy the special people in your life, please don’t make it a pet. People complain about the adoption process of a pet through rescue groups saying there are too many hoops to jump through. Well, there is a reason for that. Next time you’re out driving around, look in some back yards to see how the family dog is kept, it will break your heart. Think about the welfare of the animal first and buy your loved one something inanimate.
     
     
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