We all have watched the “Hallmark Moment” movies portraying pajama clad children surrounded by mounds of gifts on Christmas morning. They open a box and out pops an adorable puppy adored with a large ribbon. Though it is a touching heartwarming moment on film, it has been discounted by animal groups as an inappropriate time, and many have actually curtailed adoptions completely during the holidays.
For years animal agencies have cautioned against pet adoptions during the holidays because of spontaneous decisions during festive times leading to unwanted pets in unfavorable home settings. Many are now actually rethinking the very premise of these seasonal adoptions, and have begun cautiously embracing them. Some even offer holiday discounts. What does all this mean?
As far as I am concerned there is never a bad time to rescue or adopt a new member of your family! There are so many good agencies equipped to help you with placement and so many wet animal nose kisses to be had. Regardless whether you rescue or purchase a pet for Christmas or anytime, it is important to be ready to welcome your new addition into your home, both for your sake and the sake of the animal. The responsibility of caring for the new addition is also critical that whoever is receiving your furry bundle of love really wants and is ready to receive such a commitment.
Commitment is the key! If you consider taking on a pet rescue or a breeder animal, make the commitment because the animal sure will. Never take an animal just to try it out. Be sure of your decision prior to making it; otherwise it is so unfair to the animal you adopt. We all know that we want to teach our kids responsibility, and we also know we as parents are usually the ones who end up with it! You will be taking on the good, the bad and the silliness of caring for an animal, and should be willing to do just that, but will also reap the benefits of unconditional love given abundantly.
Please also consider the “imperfect” pet in your quest for your family addition. There are always those who are shy, scared, blind, deaf, or any number of other possibly reasons they may not meet and greet well. These animals, though handicapped, should never be considered throw-away animals and can become wonderful additions to a loving family. You may just have to learn to think just a bit differently how to work with them, but what a wonderful family achievement!
For more information please check out my book "A Spot In My Heart: Loving a Special Needs Dog".