How adorable, a puppy under the Christmas tree with a beautiful red bow tied nicely around his or her neck. It’s the perfect Christmas image. A puppy represents innocence, positive energy, unconditional love and hope for a wonderful future. What could possible be bad about this picture. Nothing, in a fictional sort of way. The “scene” is used for advertisements, on holiday cards, and so many other things that are totally unrelated to the puppy itself and the care of the animal.
What happens is people see these warm fuzzy pictures and think that loving and caring for a puppy is just that easy. If you have ever had more than twenty-four hours with a puppy you know that that scene is the furthest thing from reality that there is. Puppies, and kittens, for that matter are almost as hard as caring for a newborn baby. I’m certainly not against anyone having a puppy or a pet. They are great and I personally happen to have four of them. What I am against it the cruel life that these animals end up living about ninety percent of the time.
The images like the one I described may look irresistibly appealing in pictures, art, advertising or fiction, the future for those real-life puppies who start out under the Christmas tree, in all probability, will turn out to be fairly grim.
For starters the excitement and Christmas morning is petrifying to a puppy. Just like children, puppies go through different stages of development. The period of time when a puppy first become aware of frightful things and situations is when he or she is between seven and twelve weeks of age. Oddly enough that is also the age that a puppy is ready to leave its liter and mommy and begin to bond with what should be its “forever home”. Imagine having to deal with loud noises such as ringing phones, children screaming, televisions and so many strange faces all while doing your best to adjust to being away from the only thing you have ever known as family.
Then it really all begins. The tree is put away, the toys are taken out of the boxes and there sits that not so small puppy in a puddle of urine with a brand new chewed up shoe in its mouth. The picture has faded so what happens to the puppy? Well, on some occasions they are sent to the pound where if they are lucky they will find another home. In other situations, they are simply not cared for the way they should be. They may be banned to a crate twenty or more hours a day. Perhaps given to a neighbor until he or she gets tired of it. In some of the worse situations they are even left on the side of the road.
If your child or other loved one really wants a puppy take a little initiative in helping them out before dropping a load of responsibility in their lap. Buy a puppy training book first. Take a trip to the pound or maybe spend some time caring for a friends dogs first. Get a feel for what it is really all about before you ruin the life of a living creature. Giving a puppy a loving home is one of the best feelings in the world. Giving an adult or unwanted dog at the pound a chance for life is an even better feeling.
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