Pets As Presents?

Christmas is nearing, and people are rushing about searching the internet for present ideas. What present can I get for my sister? My uncle? My son? It’s a steady pace of ‘What if’s” filling every person’s head. Everyone wants to know what the perfect gift is. Then they think; what if they don’t like it? What if someone else already got it for them? What if I embarrass myself?

In some cases, despite all the reminders, people buy puppies as presents for children. But have these parents forgotten the struggle of keeping their child constantly entertained? Children get bored easily, they’ll play with toys for a couple days and then want different ones. They don’t understand the concept of being grateful, of accepting a present at Christmas that they don’t like, without causing havoc by crying. They don’t quite comprehend the effort people put in to get the perfect presents for their family members.

The majority of the population love puppies, kittens and rabbits. Anything small, fluffy and cute seems to appeal to people. I just feel that in the rush of dread that some people feel when it comes to December, they tend to think impulsively. Most children like puppies and kittens, but some people just don’t realise the effort you have to put in, in order to look after these pets.

Those puppies grow up. If they aren’t trained, they bark and growl and rip up your furniture. Some dogs like to jump up on children, some are protective of their food, some will show their teeth and threaten to bite you. I’m not saying that’s the case with all dogs though. Some are sweet and shy.

I remember one night when I sat down with my family to watch this film about dogs. At the end it was revealed that the mean dog had been a Christmas present for a little boy and the boy didn’t want it, so the dog was thrown out onto the cold streets filled with winter snow. That’s how it turned into the evil nemesis of the film. It was heart-breaking.

I just feel that cruelty is a common thing in the lives of pets, specifically with people who don’t know how to look after their pets. When someone doesn’t know how to look after an animal, they tend to mistreat it. It’s not fair on the animals that have to deal with the pain and suffering of neglect. It’s not fair that they have to deal with the cruelty and mistreatment of an uneducated or careless owner. It’s not fair that families could be so irresponsible to an animal just because the child gets bored.

Adopting a dog is like adopting another family member, but people don’t seem to see it that way. Dogs cost money after they are bought. Dog’s cost you time to train them. They cost you your attention. Pets aren’t just a toy you can buy for your child, but a living-breathing animal that needs just as much affection as a child.

The old adage remains true “a pet is for life not just for Christmas” bear this in mind in your letters to Santa.

Ellie