Pets as Gifts
Recently I've come across posts both on the schnauzer rescue board and other forums regarding folks looking for dogs to give as gifts, this has prompted me once again to get on my soap box. Although this is not the prime time of year for giving puppies as gifts, believe it or not all year around people need to be reminded, as I have even seen ads for "Easter pups" (now what relationship could there be between pups and easter, besides a way for a unethical breeder to make a quick buck). So let me proceed with my little speech and hopefully change the minds of some potential pet gift givers.
Getting a puppy or dog as a gift can be the best gift in the world if the situation is right, but if it is done on a whimp without the recipients consent or partipication in selecting the animal it can be a nightmare. Never surprise anyone with giving a pet as a gift. As one should never presumed that they can pick out a pet for someone else. First the recipient must really want a pet and be committed to being responsible for a pet for its entire lifetime. The recipient also needs to be the one to do breed selection and they should have already done their homework on the bred and have an understanding the bred's temperment, potential size and any special care/grooming requirements. Last but not least is the personality of the animal should be matched to the recipient and the recipient's life style. Therefore the recipients needs to be the one to meet and pick it out the dog (in cases where recipients are unable to go to pick out the pet, such as invalids, then the primary care giver of the pet should be involved in the picking out the pet).
Getting a pet is a life long commitment, a dog will normally live 12-14 years and is a major responsiblity that should not be taken lightly. If the pet is joining a family it is important that all members pf the family is receptive to getting a dog. Dogs require care, love, and a certain amount of financial responsibility.
If you are still bent on surprising someone, how about give them a handwritten "gift certificate" that says something like "This entitles you to a dog of your choice". That way if they don't like the idea, nothing lost and you can both take a trip to Macy's and get something they really want. But if they really want a dog and are ready to make the commitment, then fine you both can go pick one out.
Giving a pet without the consent of the recipient or on a holiday gift giving whimp can be devastating for the animal, read the adoption ads in the newspaper sometime in January/Feburary the shelters are full of the aftermath of holiday pet giving. Summing it all up... a pet gift should only be given when the recipient is willing to make the committment, has done their homework on the breed selection and is allowed to pick out the pet themselves. Remember the only acceptable pet to give as a surpise gift is a chocolate bunny!! Thanks, I am stepping off of the soapbox for now.