A Dog is not just for Xmas

I wrote a piece about dogs and Xmas, featuring my dear old Labrador, Harry, for a local newspaper in December 2007. With Xmas 2017 and the tenth anniversary of the article’s publication looming, I shared it again on Tall And Truetallandtrue xmas dog

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 PatrolWarning: 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. If you’re lucky, you’ll have twelve, fourteen or maybe even sixteen Xmases 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 Xmases with Jet and being inspired by to write about my interaction with him and my love for dogs.

© 2017 Robert Fairhead 

PS. 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.