The Holidays are upon us again, and I can’t help but think of all the well-meaning parents who would like to surprise their children with some type of pet as a gift. As much as the reactions of the children are awesome, it comes down to just not being a great idea.
First, a gift is generally viewed as an object to be used for awhile and then pushed aside once the newness and the thrill is gone. Second, gifts usually come with the option of being returnable. It might have a flaw, not a favorite color, or just plain not in the mood for such an item. An animal that is brought into one’s home is going to have flaws, require daily care and attention, maybe not a perfect specimen of its breed, or might even be a breed or type of animal that does not fit into the family’s lifestyle.
Any animal should be brought into our homes as a family decision where each member has met and interacted with him or her, and all involved are thinking of the addition as a permanent member of the family. Animals of all kinds bond very deeply with their human family, and most learn to adapt to our ways of living and learn to enjoy it. They just can’t understand why their people would neglect their needs, not love them any longer, or even send them away to be put in a cage somewhere.
No, they should never be brought into a household as a gift or reward for something. They’re all far too special and devoted to subject them to the heartache of later giving them up. Head to an animal shelter other than during Holiday times, as a family, and adopt a much wanted animal. Show your children the meaning andvalue of unconditional love and loyalty that animals freely offer to us.