‘Tis The Season To Be…

December 19, 2011 § 21 Comments

As the festive season approaches and the last-minute Christmas shopping rush begins, let us be reminded that pets may not necessarily make the best gift ideas. Our blogging buddy, Barb from Passionate About Pets, wrote a convincing post listing 5 good reasons not to buy a pet at this time of the year. It’s easy to understand how children (and adults alike) can be easily captivated by the cuteness and innocence of a puppy—I should know, I used to long for a puppy during my childhood years and hoped that Santa would bring me a furball on Christmas day. Fortunately, my parents knew better because my motivation to get a puppy eventually waned as I grew older and my interests moved on to more important things… like sleepover parties, make-up, and boys!   

And, so, it wasn’t until adulthood that MM and I agreed to add a little companion to our nest of two. As the story goes, one year ago, Lil’ Miss Maple was formerly known as Lola and lived in a nice comfortable home with her previous family. But, because her former momsy and popsy were so busy taking care of their own little ones—two young toddlers—they hardly had time for Lola. As a result, Lola developed some behavioural issues that made life a bit more complicated for her family. So, Lola was put up for adoption. As luck would have it, Lola (Maple) found a new home in ours.

The moral of the story is: pets are a huge commitment. Some children may be too young to understand, or be willing to accept, such a responsibility. Parents, as busy as they already are, have to be positively certain that the needs of a pet can be accommodated and fulfilled despite the family’s hectic schedule. With so much to consider, the holiday season may not be the best time to contemplate adding a pet to the family—especially when consecutive days of feasting on good food and wine may cloud our judgment 😉  

But, what can you do when you have a dog-loving child who is persistent about being close to the four-leggers? MM and I have a niece who falls into this category. This year, we thought we would introduce the concept of adoption to our niece by giving her a homemade Christmas gift voucher that would entitle her to sponsor a shelter dog for a year. Here is a sneak peek of the voucher—ssshhh… it’s a secret!

Gentle Paws is one of many local dog shelters in Singapore—their Sponsor-A-Dog program allows members of the public to sponsor a dog on a monthly basis. The donor can visit his/her sponsored dog any time at the shelter, as well as receive updates on the dog’s well-being and adoption status. We hope exposing our niece to this meaningful cause will not only feed her appetite to be close to dogs, but also foster a sense of compassion and awareness for rescue dogs.

Last, but certainly not least, we were pleased to receive a blog post request from The Shelter Pet Project (TSPP) campaign—a collaborative partnership between The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie’s Fund, and The Ad Council—that connects potential adopters with shelter dogs across the US. If you wish to learn more about TSPP or help promote greater awareness about pet adoption, you can connect with TSPP via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Here is a delightful and funny public service ad campaign for TSPP. Do check it out and share with all your friends!

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§ 21 Responses to ‘Tis The Season To Be…

  • This is a great post! I love the message — and the (secret) gift idea for your niece is really a smart thing to do. I loved the video — very cute. It’s great to celebrate the occasion of you and Maple uniting, too.

  • raisingdaisy says:

    I LOVE the idea of pet sponsorship for your niece! What a great idea in so many ways.

    That is one great commercial!! Whoever came up with that idea should get an award! 😀

    • The commercial is cute, eh? For some reason it reminds me of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail”… you know, the last scene of them in New York’s Central Park with Brinkley. Love that movie!

  • Bassas Blog says:

    Great post! I am sure your niece will like the wonderful gift.

  • rumpydog says:

    Hi! I really like that idea of a sponsorship voucher! A great idea for any child who wants a pet for the holidays- they can learn about the responsibilities of ownership before owning a pup.

  • barb19 says:

    What a brilliant idea for your niece to sponsor a pet! It has so man benefits not just for your niece, but for the animal and for the shelter.
    I loved the video, it cracked me up!
    Thanks for the shout out by the way, much appreciated.

  • totomameee says:

    I agree, people just shouldn’t adopt or buy a dog without doing all the necessary research and understanding what a dog REALLY need or jus because it is a HOLIDAY!

    Just recently I asked a friend what kinda of dogs she would love to have and she answered happily, Labrador or golden retriever. I say ‘Woah huge dogs, you must at least walk them twice daily maybe for 30minutes each then!’ Her reaction was ‘JAW drop’! I was a tad surprised she didn’t realise that the bigger your dogs the more you have to walked them. She didn’t like the idea of walking dogs but she still insist she wanted such huge dogs.

    Sponsoring a dog is really a good idea, I should introduce the program to her before she commit to getting a dog!

    • Homework, homework, homework! I couldn’t agree with you more that potential pet owners really should do their homework/research prior to getting a furry companion. Yes, please, do introduce the sponsorship program to your friend. There are also many other great ways to get involved with dogs—Gentle Paws has a walking program that might give your friend an idea of how much time would be required to take care of the bigger dogs!

  • i love that word “mindful”. it’s one of the most important in the dictionary, i think, and not just regarding giving animals as presents. [which i believe is a bad idea at any time of the year unless the recipient has shown proper responsible behaviour and commitment to other ‘projects’].

    that “sponsor a dog for the month” programme is such an excellent idea! a win-win situation for both parties. kudos to you for choosing this programme to introduce the wonderful world of pet ownership to your niece 🙂

    happy holidays to you all! xox

    • Mindful. Yes, it is such a great word, isn’t it? I love the way it sounds and the meaning it embodies when it is said aloud. I’m really excited about the sponsorship program… probably more excited than my niece would be (lol)!

  • Jean B says:

    The SPCA in British Columbia is currently running a “home for the holidays” campaign to encourage adoptions for Christmas. This makes me really sad, as it just doesn’t seem like a bright idea. They claim people are home more (time off work, school holidays etc), but from my point of view, the chaos, the visitors, doors opening and closing, the excess food and things lying about, are a recipe for disaster.

    One question about the sponsorship program – what happens if the dog the child is sponsoring gets adopted out (not to the child’s family) during the time it is being sponsored?

    • I agree, adoption requires as much consideration as other means of pet acquisition and the holidays may not be the best time to make such an important decision. Interesting to hear of the various campaigns from different animal welfare organizations.

      We definitely have to prepare our niece emotionally in the event that her sponsored dog gets adopted by another family. It’s never easy letting go of a dog whom you’ve grown an attachment for—I think fosters face that challenge even more strongly. With some explanation and lots of console, I hope our niece will better understand the concept of adoption and appreciate its complexities. As for our remaining sponsorship funds, I think they could then be redirected to another needy shelter dog. Thanks for your very thoughtful question!

  • The sponsor thing is a really neat idea. I do worry about pets during the Christmas season – so many of them end up in Shelters after the holidays. It also puts a huge burden on already strained rescue organizations.

  • Kas says:

    Oh my goodness I LOVED this post!! Made me smile from ear to ear. What a great post and message 🙂

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