Saturday, September 27, 2008

"I Want a Puppy for Christmas!" And other Dumb Holiday Ideas

Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife

“I Want a Puppy for Christmas!”
And Other Dumb, Holiday Ideas.
By Carole Raphaelle Davis

Someone you know wants to buy a puppy for Christmas and I am here to talk them out of it because the truth must be told. It’s a typically dumb holiday impulse. Yes it’s true, puppies are adorable but one should think before one hands over their credit card.

I don’t mean to be all bah humbuggish about it but puppies become dogs in a few months. If you have room in your heart for a new four-legged friend this holiday season, wouldn’t it be the ethical choice to refrain from buying a puppy and consider adopting an adult dog instead? Isn’t that really more in line with the holiday spirit? After all, while families are decorating their trees, dogs are being euthanized by the thousands at the pound.

Why are adorable, pure-bred puppies brought to the pound after the newness wears off? Because puppies are a lot of work! Puppies are infant dogs and need constant care. They pee, they poop, they chew, break things, throw up and cry, just like babies do. They have tiny bladders and bottomless tummies and don’t sleep through the night. Unless you’re rich and have full-time help, you’re in for a tremendous amount of sleeplessness and work.

I want you to count to ten and consider this before buying a puppy: Did you choose all your good friends when they were drooling, pooping-in-their-pants infants? Or did you pick your friends because you like them and feel good about them? Aren’t most of the friends you’ve made adults? Does the fact that you didn’t know your friends when they weren’t even able to hold up their own head impede your friendship in any way? Really, did you meet your good friend and say, “ooh! How cute that drooling toothless little girl is! Wow, that baby with the poop-filled diapers is going to help me move. I can’t wait ‘til we can hang out together and I can tell her all about my problems with my job and my marriage!”

For every puppy bought at the store, there is another one just like him at the pound, just months older, getting ready to say goodbye to the world. Why? The answer is simple and sad. The person paying $1500 at a pet shop for a puppy mill Yorkie won’t go to the pound and rescue one.

If someone you know is thinking of buying a pooping, whining, peeing, chewing, destroying-everything-in-the-house, little furry creature this holiday season, please consider adopting an adult pet.

You want a designer dog? No problem. The shelters and rescue organizations are full of them. PETFINDER.COM can help you find even the rarest of breeds. You can probably find a Brussels Griffin or a Briard within your zip code. Every single breed of dog is a click away. On PETFINDER.COM, you get individual stories about the pets, like where they came from and why they ended up in foster homes or at a shelter. Foster care-givers know the personality of the animal and how he interacts with others, including children. You can even go and meet the animal with your other pets or your children to see how they all get along.

The fact is you simply know more about an animal when you meet him as an adult. You actually don’t know what you’re getting in a puppy. All you know at eight weeks old is what it might look like. And looks shouldn’t be a criterion for picking a best friend anyway. We don’t pick our friends for their looks do we? Well, maybe in Hollywood…

Be logical. You can interview an adult person to judge if he’s intelligent, well adjusted, mentally normal and friendly. You can get a feeling if he is a thief or a liar or a murderer. You can’t interview a ten-week old baby. You have no idea if that baby will grow up to rob you and burn your house down. Using the same logic, you can interview an adult dog. You can get a sense of his personality, if he seems well adjusted, mentally normal, intelligent, open or friendly. You know he won’t rob you and burn your house down. You can’t interview a puppy. Every puppy has only two wriggling motivations—worming its squirmy little cuteness to the food and then emptying it out at the other end.

Training an adult dog is much easier than training a puppy. Believe me, a rescued dog wants to learn how get along in your house. All he needs is some exercise, patience, understanding and a little time. Even an older dog will be so grateful you took him in, as long as you show him the ropes, with kindness and understanding, he will gladly learn what he needs to in order to fit in. The job of helping an adult dog or cat to assimilate is far easier than the job of training a puppy.
So this holiday season, don’t go to the pet shop. Adopt an adult dog. You’ll save a lot of money. You’ll be able to think more highly of yourself. Now that’s a gift! Real status is not about what rare breed you bought, but about what kind of person you are. By giving money to the puppy mill industry, you are putting money directly into the hands of a business that perpetuates misery for profit. They deserve to be put out of business.

The real joy of Christmas is in giving— and what better gift to yourself than giving a home to a lonely dog. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, with gratitude, loyalty and love. Participate in the solution. Let’s spread the Christmas spirit and help empty out some of those cages.
Save a life. Adopt.

Carole Raphaelle Davis is an actress, aniaml welfare advocate and author of “The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife,” by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
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Public Discussion (5)
Carole is the best! My furfriend, Eddie, won't start his day until he has checked to see if Jinky has a new post. We need to spread the word and save the pups.

Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife
Ever wonder where your pet shop puppy or kitten comes from? Look at:


Blogger rita said...

This should be posted on every pet shop door. I sincerely hope that this message is heard loud and clear. I adore puppies, but give me a rescued adult dog any time.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Ann said...

Hi Caroline - I couldn't agree with you more. I attended a Petfinder workshop this passed weekend and learned something interesting. Studies show that people are more likely keep a dog if it was given to them as a gift. People also see more value in the dog if they spend $100 or more. I was kinda surprised, but that's the truth. Adoption fee for rescue is usually between $ 100-250. If people want to buy a dog for Christmas, hopefully they will consider doing that through a rescue group and not a pet shop.

1:13 AM  

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