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The Sarah Diaries: Christmas Pet

I can’t imagine my life with out a pet in it. They make my life so much better. We’ve had service dogs for my brother, standard Heinz 57 mixes for the rest of us kids, and let’s not forget the cats. There’s something comforting about walking in the house and being greeted by a 4 legged family member.
As I’ve grown up, they’ve become my kids, and I’ve developed a special place in my heart for shelter animals. They might be a mutt or mix, and occasionally they are pure-bred, but through no fault of their own, they’re now up for adoption. Christmas is one of many opportunities for these animals to find their “fur-ever home.”
Unfortunately, this is also how some animals end up in the shelter. The beginning of the following year hits, the novelty of a pet as a gift wears off, they do something “bad”, and suddenly they are cast as being a burden.
True story, I didn’t get my dog Duke during Christmas, but in the spring, weeks after watching my other dog Callie (Calla Lilly) get hit by a car. I was devastated, but I wanted another dog SO bad. Months before, she picked me as her person and I wanted to feel the love of my own dog again. I made the drive and ended up with this adorable black lab/husky mix, that after a few days I couldn’t stand. I wanted to return him, even considered dropping him off at the Humane Society. But I didn’t. Instead we enrolled in obedience classes, because I needed to learn how to handle him as much as he needed to learn the basic commands. Eventually he grew out of his puppy stage (which, by the way, 13 years later I’m thankful my now old man still has some puppy left in him!), and I can’t picture the last 13 years with any other dog.
Same goes for my feline kids… though occasionally Cosita drives me crazy (and drove Zack crazy when he had custody), she’s never leaving my house.
If you’re considering giving a pet as a gift this year, make sure you’re ready for the commitment, and I mean REALLY ready! You’re in it for the long haul! And keep in mind the local shelters and adoption agencies – like the ones Jonny and Meagan feature Friday mornings with Furry Friends Friday. Shelter animals have so much love to give to the right family.
Keep in mind these groups of animals too the below list all have a harder time getting adopted in general, but they love, cuddle, protect, and can become part of the family just the same:
1) Cats older than 9 months – kittens grow up in to these cats, but for some reason they struggle getting adopted.
2) Senior pets – All they want is love for their last years. Senior pets can be the perfect addition to a family, plus is gives them the love, attention, and knowledge that someone cares as they live out the final days.
3) Special needs/medical needs dogs and cats – These can be anything from missing legs, special diets, or medicine requirements. They can be more of a financial commitment, but just like people, these animals didn’t ask to be placed on this list. If you have the means, they’ll show you just as much, if not more love than others.
4) Bonded pets – Sometimes, 2 is better than 1. If you have the room, and you notice there are 2 dogs or cats that have a bond already, they will thrive so much more being adopted together.
5) Shy pets – being  in a shelter is scary enough for a human walking in, let alone an animal that’s living there! They will likely come out of their shell after you get them home, and are occasionally overlooked for the more active/sassy ones.
6) The LT Pets – Otherwise known as the pets who have been waiting at the shelter for a long amount of time. There’s nothing wrong with them, but occasionally YEARS can go by without their “person” coming in.
Click Here for the Furry Friends Friday page with a list of adoptable pets, and to see all the different organizations that you can find your next addition.
Merry Christmas!!
-Sarah
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