The Phoenix Files: Do Pets Make the Perfect Gift?

The Phoenix Files
Do Pets Make the Perfect Gift?

Just like a mate, choosing a pet is a very personal experience. It too is a lifetime commitment. Some folks like big dogs, others little dogs. Man's best friends come in all shapes, sizes, and, of course, personalities.
Finding the perfect match takes time and careful consideration. And "perfect" is a very personal thing.
I know my human companion would hate it in years past if her mother tried to 'fix her up' with the "perfect man." Believe me, I met some of them and they were far from what my best friend would consider 'perfect.' The same with canines. Just as there is someone for everyone, there's a dog (or cat) for everyone as well. My human companion chose me for my imposing presence and loud bark. (Did I ever mention that I won a contest at the Hagerstown Suns game for having the best bark?) Her sister, on the other hand, prefers the high energy and bouncy personality of Australian Shepherds--her boss favors the company and trainability of Australian Cattle Dogs and her husband still claims that his dearly departed Geronimo who had the long, lithe lines of a Greyhound was simply the best dog ever. I, of course, beg to differ.
Anyway, I bring this up now for a reason and the reason is the season. It's gift giving time and I want to offer a few tips for the animal lover on your list. While I risk being called a "Scrooge," I want to discourage folks from giving pets as gifts. Selecting a pet should not be entered into lightly. There are just so many things to consider...type of dog, size of dog, age of dog, history of a dog breed (or mixed breed), lifestyle, yard size and indeed the list goes on.
So, now that the holidays are approaching, what should you get for the animal lover on your list? Might I recommend a gift certificate. Gift certificates come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can get one from a specific store, a particular catalog...or better yet, from the Humane Society of Washington County. In addition to opening a holiday boutique on the premises, the HSWC will also be making available gift certificates that can be applied to the application process for adopting a cat or dog. Now that is the perfect gift (or purrfect I should say if it's a cat someone is wanting).
Providing someone with the means to getting a best friend for life. A gift certificate (if applied to the fees associated with adoption) gives the recipient the all so important chance to meet and greet a few four-legged friends. That way, one can get to know the animal's personality and to determine if the match is truly a perfect one. There has to be chemistry and chemistry cannot be forced --not in the search for a soulmate and certainly not in the quest for a best friend. It takes much more than a bow around a box to make the perfect gift.
I encourage everyone to experience the joy of animal companionship. There's nothing like it in the world. It can be one of the most rewarding and fabulous relationships of a lifetime. But it's an individual kind of thing. So please let me encourage you to pave the way to make a perfect gift possible. Give the gift of a gift certificate. Besides, it can be way too hot in a matter how many holes you cut in it.

The Humane Society of Washington County exists to improve the quality of life for abused, neglected, and unwanted animals. 13011 Maugansville Road, Hagerstown, MD. 301-733-2060.