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Give a Homeless Cat or Dog a Gift of Good Cheer


The holidays are a wonderful time of year, full of excitement , expectation, and celebration.

But for many it's also a difficult time. This is especially true for anyone not blessed with a close, supportive family, or those physically separated from loved ones.

Consider, among these unlucky souls, the four legged ones who have to spend their holidays--all of their days, in fact--at the local ASPCA or animal shelter. These poor creatures have little to look forward to besides hoping that some nice family will adopt them some day.

Pets need new games, new toys, new smells and experiences, and above all, exercise to be happy. Dogs and cats in shelters can get depressed, lose their appetites, and become more susceptible to illness.

I was pondering this recently, when a light bulb turned on in my head (figuratively, not literally). "Why not get all these lonely and stressed-out souls together?", I thought.

Now, I'm not implying that everyone who's feeling a little despondent or stressed during the holidays should run out and adopt a pet. Bringing home a new dog or cat is a serious commitment and should be done for the right reasons, and with plenty of forethought. But there are other ways to bring the gift of good cheer.

A lifting of the spirits is not only a rewarding gift to give, but is good medicine for animals and people alike. A happier animal is a healthier animal, and probably a more adoptable one. And a happier human is not only healthier, but more apt to enjoy the season of giving.

What could be more uplifting for both dog and human than bringing some inexpensive "kitty or doggie gift baskets" to a local shelter, and watching the residents enjoy them? You -- or the "holiday-challenged" people in your life-- could fill up a basket (or two, or three!) with healthy pet treats, amusing toys, or comfy blankets. You might want to check first to see if the shelter in your area allows this, or if they have a need for particular items.

If cat or dog gift baskets aren't an option, offer to take a canine resident for a walk. I recently learned about a retired couple who does this on a regular basis. They spend their entire day at the local shelter, making sure that every single dog has been walked. The couple does this twice a week, all year round. The dogs love it, and it's wonderful exercise for all concerned.

I know what you're thinking. But you don't have to do anything as time-consuming as all that. Just show up once or twice. A walk and some fresh air is a great way to alleviate holiday stress and you're sure to catch some of the light-hearted spirit that radiates from a happy dog. Tell a friend about it. Maybe they'll give it a try. Some might be inspired enough to become "hometown heros", like the couple mentioned above.

You might know an older retiree who considers dog ownership too much of a burden, but wouldn't mind taking a dog for a walk. If it's a friend or family member who walks but no longer drives, perhaps you could volunteer to drop them off and pick them up.

Giving freely of ourselves is one of best gifts we can give. But if all of this seems too time consuming, then a small financial donation would still go a long way. Lots of shelters have fund raisers this time of year, and odds are you won't have to look far to find one. In the end, caring is what really matters.

© 2004, Carolyn Schweitzer. Lifelong dog-lover, power-shopper, and former family dentist Carolyn Schweitzer is owner and editor of Great-Dog-Gift.com . The site offers a wide range of choices for dog gift shoppers, plus shopping and gift-giving tips. (Also advice on dog care and feeding.) She's always looking for new dog gift ideas and dog stories to share with her readers. You can reach her by email at netbrainer@verizon.net.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. September / 27 / 2020

In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort? - The New York Times
In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort?  The New York Times

Pets linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness during lockdown, new research shows - Science Daily
Pets linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness during lockdown, new research shows  Science Daily

Pets of the week: Trip and Louie - Billings Gazette
Pets of the week: Trip and Louie  Billings Gazette

PETS OF THE WEEK | Lifestyle | djournal.com - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
PETS OF THE WEEK | Lifestyle | djournal.com  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Dr. Maro: Know the signs of pain in pets - The Times
Dr. Maro: Know the signs of pain in pets  The Times

Pets of the week: Dozer and Haley are two happy, energetic dogs in need of new homes - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Dozer and Haley are two happy, energetic dogs in need of new homes  MLive.com

Wally: Pet of the Week 9-27.20 - Tyler Morning Telegraph
Wally: Pet of the Week 9-27.20  Tyler Morning Telegraph

Firefighter suffers minor injuries, pets die in fire - The Suffolk News-Herald - Suffolk News-Herald
Firefighter suffers minor injuries, pets die in fire - The Suffolk News-Herald  Suffolk News-Herald

SPCA continues no lost pets campaign by microchipping animals - WABI
SPCA continues no lost pets campaign by microchipping animals  WABI

Erie County offers free rabies vaccinations for pets - WGRZ.com
Erie County offers free rabies vaccinations for pets  WGRZ.com

Clean carpets possess a deeper meaning than just an inviting home - The Daily Nonpareil
Clean carpets possess a deeper meaning than just an inviting home  The Daily Nonpareil

FOTAS: County shelter pets find fantastic forever homes - Charleston Post Courier
FOTAS: County shelter pets find fantastic forever homes  Charleston Post Courier

Adoptable pets in Tucson - Arizona Daily Star
Adoptable pets in Tucson  Arizona Daily Star

Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Jordan - nwitimes.com
Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Jordan  nwitimes.com

30 adoptable pets get ‘courtside’ seats at NBA playoff game - Today.com
30 adoptable pets get ‘courtside’ seats at NBA playoff game  Today.com

Points for Pets: Dental disease is most common disease among older cats, dogs - WV News
Points for Pets: Dental disease is most common disease among older cats, dogs  WV News

Cabot animal shelter using facial recognition to help find lost pets - WATN - Local 24
Cabot animal shelter using facial recognition to help find lost pets  WATN - Local 24

Buy these stocks to ride the pandemic 'pet boom,' according to Bank of America - CNBC
Buy these stocks to ride the pandemic 'pet boom,' according to Bank of America  CNBC

OPINION: Best way to care for pets from smoke after recent fires - Montrose Daily Press
OPINION: Best way to care for pets from smoke after recent fires  Montrose Daily Press

PUPS Act introduced to keep pets, owners together after travel - The Franklin Sun
PUPS Act introduced to keep pets, owners together after travel  The Franklin Sun

SMVHS Pet of the Week: Duke - Lompoc Record
SMVHS Pet of the Week: Duke  Lompoc Record

Ammon reptile owners talk about surrendered pets - Local News 8 - LocalNews8.com
Ammon reptile owners talk about surrendered pets - Local News 8  LocalNews8.com

Annual pet blessing held as a drive-thru event due to ongoing pandemic - WLOS
Annual pet blessing held as a drive-thru event due to ongoing pandemic  WLOS

Pet owners felt less lonely and stressed during COVID-19 lockdown - Earth.com
Pet owners felt less lonely and stressed during COVID-19 lockdown  Earth.com

Annual pet costume contest goes virtual to raise money for animal groups - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Annual pet costume contest goes virtual to raise money for animal groups  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Check out these solutions for your pets! - yurview.com
Check out these solutions for your pets!  yurview.com

PET TALK: Chickens can be pets, but they also have other benefits - Chron.com
PET TALK: Chickens can be pets, but they also have other benefits  Chron.com

Big Flats house fire takes the life of one man and family pets - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
Big Flats house fire takes the life of one man and family pets  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

Pets with Potential: Meet Duchess - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Duchess  WCAX

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Pets and People: Putting two feet first - Frederick News Post
Pets and People: Putting two feet first  Frederick News Post

Pandemic Pets - The Herald
Pandemic Pets  The Herald

Meet our pets of the week: Two Lab mixes and a rooster - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: Two Lab mixes and a rooster  STLtoday.com

Stanton Foundation grant to help pets, families - University of Georgia
Stanton Foundation grant to help pets, families  University of Georgia

Majority of Pet Owners Admit to Canceling Plans to Hang with Dog Instead, Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Majority of Pet Owners Admit to Canceling Plans to Hang with Dog Instead, Survey Finds  PEOPLE

Pet owners cancel plans to spend time with dogs, cats instead, Pet Census finds - Fox News
Pet owners cancel plans to spend time with dogs, cats instead, Pet Census finds  Fox News

Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

You All Need To Pet The Dog In Hades More - Kotaku
You All Need To Pet The Dog In Hades More  Kotaku

Photos: Hoosiers fall in love with new pets this autumn at free adoption event - The Indianapolis Star
Photos: Hoosiers fall in love with new pets this autumn at free adoption event  The Indianapolis Star

Sponsor spotlight: Pet safety during a home remodel - My Edmonds News
Sponsor spotlight: Pet safety during a home remodel  My Edmonds News

Local sisters make ‘furrtastic’ accessories for pets - myfox8.com
Local sisters make ‘furrtastic’ accessories for pets  myfox8.com

How to get a pet in Among Us: Step by step guide - Sportskeeda
How to get a pet in Among Us: Step by step guide  Sportskeeda

NYC woman sues pet shop for not letting her take pricey poodle home - New York Post
NYC woman sues pet shop for not letting her take pricey poodle home  New York Post

CAPA Pet of the Week: Canelo - Santa Maria Times
CAPA Pet of the Week: Canelo  Santa Maria Times

Is your pet's food making you sick? Study finds many don't know the risk - Agri News
Is your pet's food making you sick? Study finds many don't know the risk  Agri News

Pet of the Week: Billie Jean - South Bend Tribune
Pet of the Week: Billie Jean  South Bend Tribune

Pet Talk | Features | mtexpress.com - Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Pet Talk | Features | mtexpress.com  Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

Blue green algae poses danger to swimmers and pets - 1430wcmy.com
Blue green algae poses danger to swimmers and pets  1430wcmy.com

Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe Dog Food in 4 lb Bags Because of a Possible Salmonella Health Risk (USA) - FDA.gov
Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe Dog Food in 4 lb Bags Because of a Possible Salmonella Health Risk (USA)  FDA.gov

United Pet Fund in Blue Ash collecting donations Sunday - WKRC TV Cincinnati
United Pet Fund in Blue Ash collecting donations Sunday  WKRC TV Cincinnati

Pets of the week: Darling London has a friendly personality, loves to play fetch - Victoria Advocate
Pets of the week: Darling London has a friendly personality, loves to play fetch  Victoria Advocate

El Paso Animal Services helps feed needy pets with a food bank - KVIA El Paso
El Paso Animal Services helps feed needy pets with a food bank  KVIA El Paso

Sick 9/11 Hero's Dog Among Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island - Long Island Press
Sick 9/11 Hero's Dog Among Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island  Long Island Press

COVID-19 roundup: Strong immune response from J&J vaccine as antibodies found in pets | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah
COVID-19 roundup: Strong immune response from J&J vaccine as antibodies found in pets | Daily Sabah  Daily Sabah

Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes  Tampa Bay Times

Pet Toys Market : development, key opportunity, and forecast to 2026 | Kong, chuck it, Jolly pets, Nylabone, Petmate - The Daily Chronicle
Pet Toys Market : development, key opportunity, and forecast to 2026 | Kong, chuck it, Jolly pets, Nylabone, Petmate  The Daily Chronicle

Three rabies cases confirmed in Roanoke City and County; experts remind pet owners to vaccinate their pets - WFXRtv.com
Three rabies cases confirmed in Roanoke City and County; experts remind pet owners to vaccinate their pets  WFXRtv.com

How to get pets - Among Us - Shacknews
How to get pets - Among Us  Shacknews

Peter Fischetti: Losing a pet: Her heart failed, and ours broke - The News Herald
Peter Fischetti: Losing a pet: Her heart failed, and ours broke  The News Herald

CBS3 Pet Project: Is Commanding Or Cueing Better For Pet Training? - CBS Philly
CBS3 Pet Project: Is Commanding Or Cueing Better For Pet Training?  CBS Philly

Pets of the week: Barney is the perfect family dog. Zelda is just plain adorable - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Barney is the perfect family dog. Zelda is just plain adorable  MLive.com

Cuddle with a new friend this fall — adopt a pet: Sept. 26-27 - SILive.com
Cuddle with a new friend this fall — adopt a pet: Sept. 26-27  SILive.com

Here are some of the companies that could benefit from COVID's ‘pet boom’ - MarketWatch
Here are some of the companies that could benefit from COVID's ‘pet boom’  MarketWatch

Jobs, jobs, jobs at Pet Supplies Plus in West Bend - washingtoncountyinsider.com
Jobs, jobs, jobs at Pet Supplies Plus in West Bend  washingtoncountyinsider.com

NJ: Send us your cutest pet picture — Win $500 in prizes - New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio
NJ: Send us your cutest pet picture — Win $500 in prizes  New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio

Dead, Malnourished Pets Found In Camden County; Charges Pending - Lake Expo
Dead, Malnourished Pets Found In Camden County; Charges Pending  Lake Expo

All About Pets: Emergency preparations for your pets - Prescott Daily Courier
All About Pets: Emergency preparations for your pets  Prescott Daily Courier

These household items can be poisonous to your pets - KSAT San Antonio
These household items can be poisonous to your pets  KSAT San Antonio

Hit the Paws Button: Vote for your favorite pet! - Waterbury Republican American
Hit the Paws Button: Vote for your favorite pet!  Waterbury Republican American

Pet Health: Smoky air especially harmful to pets - KOIN.com
Pet Health: Smoky air especially harmful to pets  KOIN.com

Keeping pets at a healthy weight - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Keeping pets at a healthy weight  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Real Pet Food Company recalls dog food due to possible salmonella contamination - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Real Pet Food Company recalls dog food due to possible salmonella contamination  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

How Pets May Improve Our Immunity - Psychology Today
How Pets May Improve Our Immunity  Psychology Today

6 Things to Know About Insuring Your Pets - MSN Money
6 Things to Know About Insuring Your Pets  MSN Money

Friendswood Animal Control pet of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News - Galveston County Daily News
Friendswood Animal Control pet of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News  Galveston County Daily News

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Roxy - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Roxy - 47abc  WMDT

Nominate Your Pet For Clark-Garwoods Pet Of The Week - Clark, NJ Patch
Nominate Your Pet For Clark-Garwoods Pet Of The Week  Clark, NJ Patch

28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love - CNN
28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love  CNN

MRI and PET Reveal Parkinson's Is Two Diseases - Diagnostic Imaging
MRI and PET Reveal Parkinson's Is Two Diseases  Diagnostic Imaging

Get cozy with one of these 20 adoptable pets: Sept. 19-20 - SILive.com
Get cozy with one of these 20 adoptable pets: Sept. 19-20  SILive.com

Salem animal hospital offers free treatment for pets hurt in area wildfires - KPTV.com
Salem animal hospital offers free treatment for pets hurt in area wildfires  KPTV.com

Pet of the week: A senior Lab looking for a good rope toy, and a petite, quiet tabby - Duluth News Tribune
Pet of the week: A senior Lab looking for a good rope toy, and a petite, quiet tabby  Duluth News Tribune

Woman starts community pet food pantry to help owners during the pandemic - Yahoo News
Woman starts community pet food pantry to help owners during the pandemic  Yahoo News

Young-Williams Animal Center Pet of the Week: Dr. Yap - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Animal Center Pet of the Week: Dr. Yap  WATE 6 On Your Side

Pet of the Week: Daffy - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Pet of the Week: Daffy  NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The global pandemic's newest luxury traveler? Your pet - CNBC
The global pandemic's newest luxury traveler? Your pet  CNBC

Pet of the Week: Oliver - County 17
Pet of the Week: Oliver  County 17

PET OF THE WEEK - Sky Hi News
PET OF THE WEEK  Sky Hi News

Pet tortoises are being eaten ALIVE by hungry rats deprived of kitchen scraps during lockdown - Daily Mail
Pet tortoises are being eaten ALIVE by hungry rats deprived of kitchen scraps during lockdown  Daily Mail

Pets of Detroit: The Official Power Rankings - prideofdetroit.com
Pets of Detroit: The Official Power Rankings  prideofdetroit.com

Siouxland Humane Society hosts 18th annual 'Pets on Parade' - KTIV
Siouxland Humane Society hosts 18th annual 'Pets on Parade'  KTIV

Free pet adoptions this weekend at animal shelters - KLAS - 8 News Now
Free pet adoptions this weekend at animal shelters  KLAS - 8 News Now

Help Pets in Need Find a Forever Family During PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Days - PRNewswire
Help Pets in Need Find a Forever Family During PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Days  PRNewswire

Austin Humane Society distributes thousands of pounds of pet food - FOX 7 Austin
Austin Humane Society distributes thousands of pounds of pet food  FOX 7 Austin

Pets with Potential: Sky - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Sky  WCAX

Is Your Pet Spoiled? Just A Little Bit! - newstalkkit.com
Is Your Pet Spoiled? Just A Little Bit!  newstalkkit.com

Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Yogi - KBTX
Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Yogi  KBTX

Advice on raising pets makes most owners have a cow, survey finds - Israel Hayom
Advice on raising pets makes most owners have a cow, survey finds  Israel Hayom

Pet stores at Arizona malls accused of selling 'puppy mill' dogs - The Arizona Republic
Pet stores at Arizona malls accused of selling 'puppy mill' dogs  The Arizona Republic

Local shelter reduces adoption fees during BISSELL Pet Foundation's Empty the Shelters event - WILX
Local shelter reduces adoption fees during BISSELL Pet Foundation's Empty the Shelters event  WILX

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