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 recently on Tall And True.
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!
The Dog Brigade
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 shared post was originally posted on Facebook by a dog rescue organisation, Pound Patrol. Warning: it is confronting!
As Dom commented in her post, “If you can’t keep a dog NO matter what, then don’t get one.”
Dom’s comment 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 dog, Jet. And I look forward to spending many more years with Jet and being inspired to write about my interaction with him and my love for dogs.
© 2017 Robert Fairhead
Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of a middle-aged dad and dog owner. Robert Fairhead is writer and editor at Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. His book reviews and other writing have appeared in various print and online media. And he has published two collections of short stories, Both Sides of the Story (2020) and Twelve Furious Months (2021).