Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Parents: Please DO NOT get your kid a dog for Christmas

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That's right. Please DO NOT go and get your cute little kid a cute little dog and put a bright shiny bow around the pups oh-so-adorable neck. Cuz you know what? Little Tobi or Fluffy or whatever is decidedly LESS CUTE WHEN THEY ARE CRAPPING ON YOUR CARPET.

Top 5 reasons why you should NOT wrap a puppy up and put him under the tree for your bambinos:

#5 As mentioned, dogs crap on stuff. ALL THE TIME. Once my dog managed to crap ON MY WALL. I wish I was kidding. Sure, you'll meet people who say, "Oh, we've had little Toto now for ONE WHOLE WEEK and he is COMPLETELY HOUSE TRAINED." Let me assure you, Toto is not house trained. Toto is lulling you into a false sense of security so you think it's okay to invite people over for dinner again so he can crap on your guests' shoes, tap dance in it and then jump into your lap and decorate your brand new pants.

#4 Rain. Quick show of hands: Would you rather be wrapped up in a nice warm blanket, cup of hot cocoa warming your hands.... or trudging around outside, drenched in the pouring rain, hail AND snow while your inquisitive dog refuses to pee and your hands freeze because you can't wear gloves and maneuver a doggy-doo bag at the same time? Hmmm. Keep in mind that you have to walk your dog EVERY day, at least TWICE A DAY for around an hour EACH TIME because that’s what most dogs need to work right. And you don't get to balk on that because that would make you lame.

#3 Dogs totally mess up your social life. Do you like to go out for dinner? NOT ANYMORE. Has your darling, wonderful puppy dog been home alone all day? Yes? Just TRY to go out for a nice, leisurely dinner. You will feel SO GUILTY and miss your dog SO MUCH you'll race through your spicy tortellini, skip dessert and high tail it out of the restaurant to the confusion of your non-doggie dinner companions, speeding all the way home and practically knocking down your front door. Probably to find something important chewed into a trillion pieces.

#2 Dogs chew stuff into a trillion pieces. Sometimes they find cushions. Sometimes they find shoes. GOD HELP THEM IF THEY FIND MY COWBOY BOOTS. What makes this even more fun, is your only recourse to dealing with your pooches maddening indiscretions is to get better at puppy-proofing every nook and cranny of your entire beloved house because, wait for it... you can only scold them if you catch them IN THE ACT of defacing the quilt your grandmother made you when you were 6 years old. Yeah. Because if you try to educate them even one second after they finish you are merely the idiot barking really loud FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON.

#1 ... I can't think of another one.

Okay, you got me. Truth be told, I think dogs are WICKED FUN and the only reason I am trying to dissuade you is because, if after reading all of that you STILL want to get your crazy kidlets a doe-eyed pup (or an older dog) then I say, GO FOR IT. You are going to make a wonderful WONDERFUL dog parent and your kid(s) are going to have a WILDLY FUN CHILDHOOD being able to traipse around on endless terrific adventures with Fido by their side. You'll be a good dog parent because:

1. You understand that when you invite a dog into your loving home it's for keeps and that NO MATTER WHAT you will take care of her and love her and do everything you can to make sure she has a great forever home. You will never give her up to a shelter/abandon her;

2. You'll exercise the heck out of him, make sure he's trained, and you'll pick up after him EVERY SINGLE TIME because dog poop is the worst. Especially when it's from someone else's dog;

3. You'll give her shmoopy, lovey pet names that are ridiculous and embarrassing and you'll talk in that weird baby voice EVEN IN FRONT OF COMPANY because YOU JUST CAN'T HELP IT she is THAT DANG CUTE.

So, Happy Holidays! Go to Petfinder.com right now and find the WORLD'S BEST PET to add to your family. You're kids will be so excited!

Between you and me: You may want to include a few bottles of extra strength carpet cleaner with your fuzzy, floppy gift... but, oh it’ll be worth it!

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  1. But have you ever had to wait 6 months for replacement chair cushions to come from Norway after your rescue shredded the ones you'd had for 20 years? All I could think was, well, I've been wanting to redecorate anyway.

    Great post!

  2. @Deb- Ha! They destroyed a BEAUTIFUL pair of boots that I had just bought. Hadn't even worn them. I can't even say I was properly mad, they were so happy to see me, tails wagging like crazy... but those boots were soooo lovely...

  3. Tis the season for giving. Nice post. Twice a day? For an hour? Every day? Damn, I want your dogs, they're so easy!! Ginger & Mya, currently with me for a foster visit, at 8 weeks old now, go out to potty, rain, sleet, (no snow here yet), cold of night, and cold of day, a minimum of 12 times every day for a minimum of 15 minutes while they find exactly the right spot.

    Speaking from the vantage point of golden retriever rescue, I can honestly tell you that our rescue organization gets a big jump in dog surrenders in February and March because that cute little golden retriever puppy at Xmas isn't so cute in February for all the reasons that you listed, and then some!

    Good news for those "My dog tears stuff up" sufferers: For most breeds, the easy solution to them tearing stuff up, is to give them more exercise. Typically, dogs that tear stuff up, don't have enough to do. Keep them tired and you will save your baseboards, your sofa, your pillow shams and sheets and bedding, and much much more. A tired dog is a contented dog. For the rest, I suggest bitter apple, and/or a crate when they cannot be supervised.

  4. I think ppl shud gets a foster pet foar Christmas.

    Then they can tries one out and learn furst. Maybe kids has allergies, oar they should gets a breed that's less prestigious and moar smart, oar older and already calmed down and trained. Almost efurry shelter has a foster program foar puppies and kittens that lets the wee ones live out of a cage and lets families learn what it really takes to care foar a pet.

    <3 Loki

  5. awesome post!
    so many people want that cute puppy for x-mas and then realize that it's actually *work* to keep a dog.
    i got a puppy in the winter once & housetraining was a nightmare!

  6. I think Hollywood needs to get on board with this; there is way too much "cute puppy in a box without responsibility" propaganda. That and the Kay's Jewelers ads.

  7. @Schwang- YES! Hollywood, hellooooooooooooo! Give us a ring! All kinds of ideas, right over here! :)

  8. Very good advice. Thanks for sharing it at the party :)