Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 34° Cloudy
Marketing >  Advertorial

All I want for Christmas is … a puppy!

Sam Mazzotta King Features Syndicate

Q: My nephew Stephen has been begging for a puppy for several months now, and his parents and I are considering buying him one for Christmas. I have my reservations because Stephen has never kept a pet before, not even a fish. Do you think it’s a good idea to give a 7-year-old a dog? — Auntie in Birmingham, Ala.

A: Ultimately, Stephen’s parents must decide whether giving him a dog is a good idea. However, bringing a puppy into the family during one of the busiest (and most stressful) times of the year is not always the best idea for anyone.

The puppy will be stressed-out, feeling displaced and homesick; Stephen will be busy playing with all his other presents; and the adults will be running around in the kitchen and dining room, preparing dinner or talking to relatives. So both family and puppy may not have the chance to just spend time together and get to know each other — and start important things like housebreaking and obedience training.

Instead, why not prepare Stephen for the arrival of a new puppy by giving him books or interactive materials on different dog breeds, care and training?

Or, if his parents have already decided to get a dog, talk to them about giving Stephen the accessories first (collar, leash, food bowl, etc.) and choosing a puppy after Christmas when the hustle and bustle has died down. That way, the family can give its undivided attention to its newest member at a crucial period in its development.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.