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Pets for ChristmasPosted Tuesday, November 27, 2012, at 4:12 PM
Salsa all decked out in her holiday reindeer ears. Salsa will spend her first Christmas at her forever home this year.
We love to be able to give our children all that they want for Christmas, but is Christmas really a good time to take on that responsibility? I remember when my kids were little, by the time they unwrapped the last gift, they couldn't even tell you what the first three were.
Bringing a living thing into your home means you will need the time and patience to care for it. As your child plays with his new video game, do you think he will even know there is a puppy sitting by the door waiting to go outside? Not all children behave the same, so there may be some out there that would put everything else aside and tend to their new pet, but for how long? Will the new kitten be fun for the first day, week, or month? What happens when the newness wears off? Are you going to return the pet? What about when your child doesn't remember to let Fido outside and he has accidents in the house? Will you threaten to return the dog? Returning an animal to a shelter is confusing and devastating to an animal. They wonder, what did I do wrong?
Christmas is probably not the best time to bring a new animal into your home. Everyone in the family needs to be in agreement with making an addition to the family, not surprised by the gift. Make it a special time with your children. One where the focus can be on the pet to help him adjust to his new surroundings. Pets are a wonderful way to teach your children about responsibility, compassion, and empathy. Wait for the right time, go together and find your pet and welcome it home forever.
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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer
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