First, every holiday/winter season, I can’t help but ask that parents think twice about giving a puppy to their children for Christmas. It’s every child’s dream, I know, but the reality of daily responsibility to a living being can sometime overwhelm even the most diligent among us. So, I guess my biggest request is to just be prepared and know what’s expected before the furry bundle makes its arrival.
And if you do decide that a puppy would be an excellent addition to your family, remember that there are thousands of dogs and cats, puppies and kittens in rescues and shelters across the country. Surely, that special family pet is among them.
As a side note, I want to mention how interesting and enlightening it has been to move to an area where the family dog is also a working dog. I actually love the concept and understand its importance in day to day life in rural areas. This is how the domestication of canines began and is a natural part of life in the Midwest. The dogs seem to love it, the hunting and sled-pulling fulfilling a part of them that needs a job. It’s fun to watch and, as mentioned, interesting to learn about. I feel very ‘citified’ when I observe a different lifestyle than I’m used to and am more than happy to be schooled by my neighbors and local residents, of whom we are starting to feel more and more a part. Thank you to everyone who has welcomed us so warmly.
As a Great Dane person, I’m used to our dogs being ‘inside’ dogs, and whose purpose is really just to enjoy the life we can give them, provide love and companionship and frequently, a good laugh. They love romping and playing in the snow for up to an hour, if they’re really wound up. But in the end, they know they belong inside, as most dogs from the metropolitan areas do. However, on the farms and ranches, and even the small towns, I’ve met dogs who I think would be miserable if kept inside most of the time. And we are more than happy to offer those dogs a place to sleep, eat, play and be inside or outside, as they wish, while their people travel for the holidays. We listen to the dogs, or try to. It’s always been our primary goal.