All I want for Christmas….

Yes, it’s that time of the year again and all through the country children and adults alike are preparing lists for Father Christmas. For the umpteenth time, my childrens’ lists are topped with “puppy!” Okay, I exaggerate, my 12 year old’s list is topped with Iphone, Ipad and I-everything else, but these are closely followed by “puppy!” My nine year old’s list consists of only one thing (as it has for I forget how many years now) – “PUPPY!” As in previous years, she will be let down by Father Christmas.

Why? Because Father Christmas knows better than to leave a puppy under the tree in my house! I have explained to my daughters the actual cost of having a puppy. We have added up the cost of purchasing a puppy, doing all the puppy shots, puppy class, spaying or neutering, microchipping, medical insurance, food, treats and toys. I’ve showed them my household budget and explained how the above costs do not fit into it, yet they are still desperate for a puppy. Apparently one ultra cute beagle and one large rambunctious Labrador are not enough.

Were I to cave in and yield to their begging (and believe me, it’s hard not too since I actually also really want a puppy!) it would definitely not be a Christmas puppy. Christmas puppies all to often end up forgotten or thrown outside by Valentines day. That cute fuzzy puppy that you went to great lengths to hide before Christmas chews the very expensive electronic toys, messes on the carpet and generally creates havoc in your lives. You’re on holiday and you don’t have time to worry about house training or socializing your puppy. Or come mid January the kids go back to school, you go back to work and your puppy is no longer the priority it once was. Even worse is when the puppy arrives as a surprise to you – a well meaning friend or relative decides little Johnny needs a puppy! By March the shelters and rescue groups are full of young dogs, Christmas puppies that are no longer wanted.

Yes, dogs are dumped at the SPCA all year round, but typically there is a huge influx just a few months after Christmas. This puts a huge strain on the resources of welfare organizations and rescue groups. Don’t contribute to this state of affairs. Rather educate your children to the plight of these animals and get them involved in making it “uncool” to get a puppy for Christmas. I know for a fact that I would never dump a Christmas puppy, but I am taking a stand against the practice and not allowing Father Christmas to leave one for us. Do the right thing and do the same.

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