In the days since republishing the article, I’ve seen several disturbing posts on social media. For example, on pounds and shelters filling with older dogs as people trade in their faithful family pet for new puppies in time for Xmas. It’s as if dogs are “iGadgets” or fashion accessories to be updated regularly!
I know some of the posts may be clickbait, but when I saw one shared by a fellow dog trainer, Dominique Hone of The Dog Brigade, it made me feel sick and moved me to tears. The post Dom shared was originally posted on Facebook by dog rescue organisation, Pound Patrol. Warning: it is confronting!
As Dom commented in her shared post, “If you can’t keep a dog NO matter what, then don’t get one.”
Which echoes what I wrote in my article ten years ago (and republished on Tall And True): “People should not buy a cute puppy or adopt a rescue dog unless they are fully prepared for the ongoing responsibility (and cost) of being a dog owner.”
It’s not a cliche, a dog is not just for Xmas. Dogs are loyal, sentient beings. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have twelve, fourteen or maybe even sixteen years together.
I had twelve Xmases with my dear old Harry and I’m coming up to my fourth with my dear new Labrador, Jet. And I look forward to spending many more years with Jet and being inspired by to write about my interaction with him and my love for dogs.
© 2017 Robert Fairhead
NB. For more writing about Harry, please see my Writing On Dogs. And for an introduction to Jet, who I adopted four years ago, please read A Forever Home on Tall And True. You might also be interested in this blog post featuring my dear old Harry, Can I Pat That Dog? (July 2018).
Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of a middle-aged dad and dog owner. Among other things, Robert is an editor and writer at Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. In 2020, he published his first collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story (available from Amazon).