As you have probably already figured out, I am a huge advocate for people having pets. I think that pets offer so many wonderful benefits to us two-legged’s, that it is simply hard for me to understand it when people want no pets. I mean, who doesn’t want to be taken for walks, taught how to throw a ball, frisbee, or stick, correctly, taken for a swim in a local lake or ocean, given bathes, awakened at the crack of dawn to go outside, and what unconditional love really looks like (just to name a few). The things that four-leggeds teach two-leggeds are responsibility, friendship, love, companionship, zero-judgement, patience, and how to laugh-out-loud. Not to mention the realm of service, therapy, and companion dogs. Honestly, the list is endless.

With all of that being said, I also feel that there are people who should not own pets because pets are a lot of responsibility. For example, it is very hard for a full-time college student to commit time to a dog, school work, classes, and socialization. This could be a set-up for disaster and I have seen it happen…a lot.

Over the years, I have heard of many people getting various animals for gifts, either at Christmas or for birthdays. It’s usually puppies or kittens but can be pigs, horses, birds, etc.. This can be an extremely risky gift unless you know, for absolute certain, that the person that is receiving the gifted pet is one-hundred percent capable of taking care of such a gift. This isn’t something that can sit in a box, for a month or two, and then be taken out occasionally, to see if the batteries work. There have been many a broken heart that could have been completely avoided.

I don’t often receive animals as gifts because I spend so much of my time fostering, re-homing, and saving animals that I am never really in-the-market for pets. However, for two years now, I have had an Aussiedoodle on my dream board. This Christmas, my husband got me an eight week old Aussiedoodle puppy, and I adore him. However, it has reminded me of how much work it is to raise a puppy. If people are not ready for 2 AM trips outside, 7 AM feedings, and keeping everything off the floor that they don’t want puppy teeth marks in, this could be a very frustrating and exhausting experience. While I love to share the love and joy of dogs, I don’t think the right way to do it is with a box and a bow…unless, of course, they already know about it and are prepared. In my case, this was something that my husband and I have been contemplating for several months now and we were prepared. While it is still work, it makes it so much better than being taken completely by surprise. (Although I am a girl who loves surprises.)

Please, if you are considering gifting a living thing to another living thing, take all things into consideration and talk to the person about it. I mean, really talk to them. Look up local laws, if you are looking at a more exotic pet, like a pig or a horse. More of these animals end up in shelters because there are city ordinances against exotic or farm animals within city limits. Instead of putting yourself, or the animal, through the stress of needing to re-home, having to fight a community board, or ending up in court, take a little time to find out the laws.

Gift giving should always be thoughtful and positive, for both parties. Let’s be sure to keep it that way by thinking through gifting pets.

Many blessings to you and your four-legged-loves ~ Tammy

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