There are sure to be at least a few dozen letters to Santa being crafted even as I type this. And more than a few of the missives for the big guy will include a plea for a puppy.
“I’ll be good, I promise,” some will say. “I’ll feed him, and I’ll walk him, and he’ll be my best friend.”
And everywhere shelter managers are girding their loins, preparing to explain to parents why adopting a puppy for Christmas is almost as bad as buying your child a baby chick for Easter. Forever pets don’t make good gifts.
When you think about that $100 gotta have it toy that hasn’t been played with since December 27th, you can understand their reasoning.
But what about the big guy in the North Pole and the pleading child before you?
Because my kid is the sort who starts writing her Christmas list around New Year’s (what? I already know she wants a Boston cream pie birthday cake … next June), we’ve known for awhile that she wanted to add to our menagerie. And we finally bit the bullet. We finally added to our family, a stray who’d been brought into a local shelter, a 45-pound lap dog who delights in nothing more than chewing stuffed creatures to bits and sleeping on our couch.
We did it the right way (yes, there is a right way to adopt a pet). We let her choose her new potential friend first. Then we went back with our older dog so the two could meet. And we did it all in November.
That’s nearly two months before the holiday.
It’s an early, early, early Christmas present.
But this isn’t a present I’ll be slipping into the box for goodwill come February. Nine years younger than our aging older doggie, he’s already become a new backyard buddy, up for running, running, always running around and around and around the swingset. And aw, gee, can’t we go run some more?
He’s training her to guide him home from the bus stop every evening.
He’s gotten her to clean her playroom so no more toys fall prey to his chewing. Her bedroom too (here’s hoping he can’t paw the closet open though).
He’s been christened as new victim, er, dress-up subject.
He’s become sharer of morning breakfast waffles and willing pillow for nighttime TV watching.
He may have come early, but I say the timing’s perfect.
Besides, there’s genius in adopting a shelter dog before Christmas. From here until the 24th, every single “but I wanna …” can be cut short with a simple, “didn’t you just get a dog?”
Would you get a kid a dog for the holidays?
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