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PuppyGirl Kate Whitney with Zoey and Honey
PuppyGirl Kate Whitney with Zoey and Honey


By:  PuppyGirl Kate Whitney – January, 2010


Happy New Year everyone!

I hope your 2009 was a year to remember and 2010 will be just as memorable! I have a few things that I wanted to discuss this month. One has to do with buying dogs as gifts and the other is a plea for your help regarding my rescue.

I know I’ve written about the topic of buying dogs as gifts before, but it’s something that really bugs me, so I wanted to touch base on it again.

Under NO circumstances, should you ever get a dog as a gift for someone.

PuppyGirl Kate Whitney with Zoey
PuppyGirl Kate Whitney with Zoey

Getting a dog is a very personal and important decision that should only be made by the party who will be caring for the dog. To surprise someone with a new puppy, although a cute idea, is the worst gift you could give.
There are many different types of dogs (my favorite of course are mutts from shelters) each with their own characteristics; ranging from activity level, to size, to disposition.

Getting a dog is a very big step, and should only be made after many months of searching and preparation. People think that giving a puppy as a gift is a cute idea; and it is.

Except when the novelty wears off and the person is left with vet bills, boarding bills, food bills, doggie daycare/dog walker bills, etc.

Getting a dog is a great thing, only if you are ready. People need to be aware of the expenses that come along with properly owning a dog. Taking your dog to the vet is not cheap; nor is the monthly dosage for flea/tick preventative and heartworm pills. A good brand of dog food comes along with a pretty high price tag. Having a dog is like having a child. They need to be seen regularly by a doctor and you only want to feed them healthy food. This type of responsible ownership isn’t cheap. Make sure you are getting a dog for the right reasons. A dog is a commitment that could last over 15 years.

Make sure that you are prepared for this. A dog isn’t something that you get and then a few months or years later, dispose of it when something better comes around.

I write this from the deepest part of my heart. I don’t mean to offend anyone who has given a dog as a gift before or who has given up a dog. But working in dog rescue, I see so many dogs dumped in shelters just because they became an “inconvenience” to their families. People surrender their dogs for many different reasons, but there are a few that are very common.

If you have to move, try a little harder to find a pet friendly place, they are out there. If you have a baby, do your best to incorporate your new addition into your pet friendly home. Your dog was there first, and it’s unfair to kick your dog to the curb just because a baby is in the house. You might need to hire a trainer to help teach your dogs some manners. It’s important to start working with your dog early on so they aren’t totally shocked when the little one comes home. If you think it’s impossible to have both, think again. Plenty of people have babies and dogs; it just takes a little extra time to adjust.

With all that said, please think twice about surprising someone with a cute little puppy for their birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or whatever special day you celebrate. Hopefully now you realize how the decision to get a dog is very personal and shouldn’t be sprung upon an unsuspecting person.

Now on another note….the rescue that I volunteer for, One Tail at a Time Rescue, out of Haverhill, MA, needs your help. We have incurred a numerous amount of vet bills over the past year and we are asking for help to get some of them paid off. If anyone would like to donate to a great cause, please consider making a donation to this rescue. I can assure you that your donations will go directly towards saving dogs; not towards someone’s salary or a utilities bill. We are an all volunteer rescue that relies on foster homes for our dogs.

Even if you can just donate $1, please don’t think it won’t help. Any amount will be greatly accepted, and I thank you in advance. Please make checks out to One Tail at a Time Rescue and mail them to PO Box 155 Boxford, MA. 01921. If you have any questions about the rescue, please email me at

I wish all of you and your furry friends a very happy, safe, and prosperous 2010!