With 2019 now on us, I’d like to share with you some wishes I have for the New Year that relate to our furry friends.
•I’ve always had a problem with people giving puppies as Christmas presents without thinking through the consequences to the donee. Traditionally animal rescues fill up in January and February when reality kicks in and the once cute little puppy starts to be viewed as an issue, be it financial, irritating, difficult to deal with, etc. So, for 2019, I wish for people to not consider the animal rescue as the first option but to make the effort to grow with the puppy and include them as part of the family unit, warts and all.
•Part of the reason so many dogs need to be rescued is over breeding so my next wish for 2019 is that people who are undecided about whether to spay or neuter their dogs seek advice and, assuming there are no medical reasons to prevent it, get the job done.
•My third wish for 2019 is for people to invest time with their dogs. This can either be by taking your dog to obedience classes, specialized classes for such activities as rally, nose work or agility or just playing and being with your dog more. Dogs are pack animals and they love the company of humans, particularly those that understand them.
•In my opinion, dogs don’t live long enough and the circle of life suggests that a number of our furry friends will pass in 2019. Dogs want to be loved by their owners up to the very end of their life so my next wish is that you be with your dog at the point of them passing, so the last memory they have of you is of a loving human who cared for them.
•My next wish is very close to my heart. Community Therapy Dogs has been blessed to have some great volunteers in the five years since we started our program. I wish in 2019 that we continue to attract great volunteers so we can broaden our reach into the community and bring the benefit of therapy dogs to more people. If the idea of having your own dog become a therapy dog with CTDS resonates with you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
•My final wish is that people who either work or volunteer in dog-related environments have the resources they need and the positive outlook they look for to succeed. Working or volunteering in animal shelters or veterinary practices can be very fulfilling but there are also those days when tough decisions have to be made that directly affect both the dog and dog owners. May there be more sunny days and more empathy on those darker days for the people affected.
2019 promises to be a busy year for many of you so don’t forget you are the centre of your dog’s universe. He/she gives us unconditional love. Let’s reciprocate in 2019.