All those Christmas puppies… Every year, despite our best warnings against impulse purchases, or against buying litter mates, or against buying from pet stores or the Internet, there is still a flood of Christmas puppies that someone thought would create a joyous holiday and then become the Lassie of their dreams. And most families do actually survive the first nights at home with a whiny pup, the house training foibles, and the teething stage that puppies all go through. But, too often, the good idea from December turns into the “I just don’t have the time for this puppy” of January. This time of year is so sad at animal shelters in much of the country. While many of the puppies often do find a new home with better prepared families, the unspoken horror is that many older dogs meet their doom because adopters take home those ever so cute puppies and leave the older dogs behind.
In areas where there are low spay/neuter rates, puppies are sometimes euthanized too. It’s one of the saddest things in the world to think about those innocent little beings having no where to go. And, even if they are adopted, shelter workers scramble to find the poor mom a home when all her puppies are finally taken. Often, she has only days to live when the last one finds a home if she is not taken in by a family or a rescue group.
If you purchased or adopted a puppy for Christmas, and are having second thoughts, before you put that ad in the paper, before you consider giving him away, before you drop him off at the shelter, please consider calling a trainer instead! Most puppy problems are easily solved, and you might be surprised at how young you can start training that little ball of fluff and just how smart he is.
One year out of your life, coping with your responsibility to the dog you promised a “forever home” to, can give you 15+ years of amazing pleasure. (After all, the children who take care of you in your old age are hardly the same people as when they were teenagers, literally driving you crazy.) A bit of inconvenience now can show your children that pets aren’t disposable and that they must live up to their promises. A few accidents on the rug now are worth the tail wags of an ancient, loving, faithful dog later. I promise. And, I hope you honor yours.