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OUR ANIMALS, OURSELVES: Pets as Christmas gifts are still a good idea

December 22, 2016
By ANNOEL KRIDER , Lake Placid News

My husband often tells me the story about the best Christmas morning he ever had.

He was an only child and even though he had a myriad of cousins who lived right down the road, his most loved and trusted companion was his dog Lucky.

Lucky would go everywhere with him, including the Saturday morning movies where he would wait patiently outside the front entrance until Peter came strolling out a couple hours later. He would fall into Peter's side and they would walk home together. Boy and his dog.

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Peter's next-door neighbor was the town's veterinarian who often took Peter with him on one of his runs to a local farm where a cow or horse was in labor and ready to deliver. Peter would also spend time at the small animal hospital in the backyard, cleaning the kennels or watching the doctor spay and neuter the dogs. When one of the doctor's patients would die, Peter would help bury it in the small animal cemetery. He knew at an early age the meaning of life and death yet he wasn't prepared when his own dog Lucky died unexpectedly.

His frequent interaction with the animals next door couldn't make up for the fact that his own dog was gone and the next hole he would be digging was for Lucky.

The following Christmas, Peter came running down the stairs without his dog at his side but still anticipating the gifts left under the Christmas tree. He was enjoying his presents as his parents curiously disappeared out the back door. When they returned moments later, they had a little Collie puppy squirming in their arms which they joyfully handed over to Peter.

Merry Christmas!!! Nothing could have prepared him for what he says was the best gift he ever received. His heart was bursting with joy as he held his puppy, who he called Laddie, in his arms. The best Christmas ever!!

There is a myth out there that giving pets as gifts is not a good idea. Yes!!!! Give pets as gifts!!

Research done by the ASPCA and other animal organizations has shown that people who receive pets as gifts love them just as much and aren't any more likely to return them than someone who willingly goes out and adopts a pet on their own.

I might add that it is important to know if the recipient of the pet actually wants a dog or cat and that they are able to provide for the pet.

Of course, considering the type of pet for the person is important. Adopting a Australian Shepherd for a senior citizen who doesn't walk much is probably not a good idea.

And what better gift could you give the shelter animal than a home?

There are a number of animal shelters in the North Country filled with animals all waiting for a loving home. If you can't find what you want at one of them, visit another. If you're not sure where to look, click Shelters and Rescues on to get the list.

Meanwhile, the North Country SPCA in Elizabethtown is having free adoptions for all adult dogs and cats until Jan. 1. There could be a dog or cat right now just waiting for you.

Give someone, if not yourself, the best Christmas they'll ever have and give a dog or cat a home for the holidays and forever.

For more information, call the NCSPCA at 518-873-5000 or visit online at



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