Sunday, December 04, 2005

Thinking of getting a puppy for Christmas?

A new puppy for the kids on Christmas morning! How adorable! What a great idea...IF you are ready to make a commitment of at least 10 or 15 years to take care of it and give it a good home.

I'm sorry if I seem to be getting on another soapbox, but the decision to adopt a new pet into your family at any time, most especially during the holidays, should very carefully considered. Puppies and kittens grow up to be dogs and cats, and if they are not properly trained and cared for from the moment they join your household, they can be destructive, stress-inducing, and bring with them the potential to make everyone, including themselves, very unhappy.

If you and the other member of your family are up to the task, then anytime is a good time to adopt a new pet. I know that the best behaved puppy I ever had came home with me two days before Christmas. That was Indy, my first golden retriever. He was a very special dog, and I miss him still, more than 10 years after he has gone to wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge. But the most crucial part of this equation was that I was READY for him.

PLEASE do everyone a favor and bring a pet into your home only when you know you can devote the proper time to training, housebreaking, and exercise so you and your new pet can forge a lifelong relationship that you both will find rewarding.

Some great books to help you prepare for your new pet are Good Owners, Great Dogs by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson and The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete.

These two books are invaluable resources for anyone thinking about bringing home a puppy.

And, if you decide you are ready...make sure the camera is ready, too, because there will be plenty of photo opportunities! Or, call a local professional photographer for a pet portrait session. In the Long Island area, Vivid Visions Photo offers pet portrait sessions at reasonable rates with quick turn around.

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