“I want a dog soooo bad!”
“I want this dog. Maybe my boyfriend will give me a dog for Christmas.”
“I don’t care what my parents give me – all I want is a dog.”
College students are voicing these sentiments. Sure, they love dogs and would be enthusiastic, energetic, exuberant owners (or co-owners, most likely). And they make these proclamations because they know my involvement with rescue groups and think I will endorse their love for animals as a way to ease shelter overpopulation and crowding.
But I don’t.
These wonderful students should be applauded for their idealism, but their transient situation is life means they might not be the best adoptive parents.
The first student above might not recall – but I do – a story she told me about someone breaking into her rental house earlier this fall. The guy, rendered a little less threatening because of his high blood alcohol less, entered the house looking for a prior tenant (his ex-girlfriend) and once convinced she no longer lived there, eventually left. But still, finding a man in your living room at 3 a.m. is not good.
So, perhaps a dog would be a good addition to the home, but perhaps not. Doesn’t sound like a great environment, esp since this student prefers Chihuahuas and maltese breeds.
And there’s the wisdom of giving animals as gifts.
There isn’t any. It’s just not wise! Whether a parent is giving chicks or bunnies at Eastertime or it’s a puppy for Christmas or a kitty for a birthday, it’s just not a good idea. A living creature requires commitment and such a commitment requires a family decision. Everyone should be involved in not only the timing, but selecting the new family member. Bonding is key.
The ASPCA recently conducted a survey into this matter, questioning what happens?
The organization confirmed that if the recipient had voiced “a sustained interest in owning [a pet]” then the adoption likely was irrelevant as to whether it was a surprise or planned. Survey participants also indicated the “gift” part didn’t really affect how much said pet was loved.
The take-away here remains: it's a family decision that requires planning. Surprise is great until the first poop scoop or litter box cleaning.
So instead of making a poor gift decision based upon someone’s want, how about making a gift decision based upon need? Merchants this year were clever in developing gimmicks to get us to shop beyond Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday: we had Green Thursday and Super Saturday. And each one of those bargain shopping days offered an opportunity to think beyond “want” and look at “need.”
It’s still possible to do that. There’s plenty of “need” to go around. How about supporting an artisan as you continue down your list of naughty and nice? How about filling bowls with food with your purchase?
Greater Good Network offers jewelry, homewares, holiday tidings, clothing and accessories, auto accessories – you name it! And each purchase fills bowls of food for people, for animals, supports veteran services, boosts diabetes awareness, purchases books for child literacy campaigns – take your pick.
And these sites have bargains right now, too! There’s a jewelry blowout. Thurday’s deals featured either a free Angel ornament with purchase or a “the world is my oyster” necklace free with purchase.
And the very best?
For those people who have everything, shoppers have an option to purchase “Gifts That Give More.” Follow a link and find the following options:
- Care and Feeding of Rescued Animals
- Helping Veterans
- Helping People with Autism
- Children’s Health & Wellbeing
- Literacy & Children’s Education
- Protecting & Restoring the Environment
- Hunger & Poverty
- Breast Cancer & Women’s Health
- Goods that Give More
Each link leads to several levels of giving, ranging from $1 to $100, letting shoppers choose from providing bowls of food to shoes for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan and more.
There’s a lot of need in the world. Everyone does their share – even our corporate partners, such as Macy’s in San Francisco featuring our shelter pups in their windows. But nonprofit organizations that offer a marketplace dedicated to funneling the proceeds to helping deserve our support. Each purchase on the theanimalrescuesite.com purchases 14 bowls of food for a shelter animal.