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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. July / 12 / 2020

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 11, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 11, 2020  Summit Daily News

Tulsa Animal Welfare pets of the week - KTUL
Tulsa Animal Welfare pets of the week  KTUL

Pet Vet: Hot Weather and Pets - WNDU
Pet Vet: Hot Weather and Pets  WNDU

Tips to keep your pets safe during the dogs days of summer - WVLT
Tips to keep your pets safe during the dogs days of summer  WVLT

Pet Project 2020: Pets available for adoption in Massachusetts on July 10 - masslive.com
Pet Project 2020: Pets available for adoption in Massachusetts on July 10  masslive.com

Nationwide event helps pets in Mid-Michigan pets find their forever homes - WLNS
Nationwide event helps pets in Mid-Michigan pets find their forever homes  WLNS

Transitioning pets to post-quarantine routines – Santa Clarita Valley Signal - Santa Clarita Valley Signal
Transitioning pets to post-quarantine routines – Santa Clarita Valley Signal  Santa Clarita Valley Signal

CAPA Pet of the Week: Buttercup - Lompoc Record
CAPA Pet of the Week: Buttercup  Lompoc Record

Social media a boon for lost Bay County pets - The News Herald
Social media a boon for lost Bay County pets  The News Herald

People share who or what they named their pets after in this feel-good Twitter thread - Hindustan Times
People share who or what they named their pets after in this feel-good Twitter thread  Hindustan Times

Pet Tales: Helping domestic violence centers that shelter pets, too - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet Tales: Helping domestic violence centers that shelter pets, too  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

IndyHumane Wants You To Remember To Vaccinate Your Pets - 93.1 WIBC Indianapolis
IndyHumane Wants You To Remember To Vaccinate Your Pets  93.1 WIBC Indianapolis

Pepin's Pet Projects: Tips on easing pets into the "new" normal as you return to work - WCYB
Pepin's Pet Projects: Tips on easing pets into the "new" normal as you return to work  WCYB

Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County - The Register-Guard
Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County  The Register-Guard

Here’s how to keep your pets cool and safe this summer - WOWK 13 News
Here’s how to keep your pets cool and safe this summer  WOWK 13 News

Mystery illness has Arp pet owners worried - KLTV
Mystery illness has Arp pet owners worried  KLTV

Mobile veterinary services tend to Tenderloin's homeless pet population - SFGate
Mobile veterinary services tend to Tenderloin's homeless pet population  SFGate

Be extra cautious of your pet during the summer heat - Victoria Advocate
Be extra cautious of your pet during the summer heat  Victoria Advocate

Empty the Shelters: Pet adoption fees reduced this weekend - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Empty the Shelters: Pet adoption fees reduced this weekend  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

What you need to know to keep pets safe in the heat - 10TV
What you need to know to keep pets safe in the heat  10TV

This July discount can help Houston’s senior pets find ‘fur’-ever homes, you a new friend - KPRC Click2Houston
This July discount can help Houston’s senior pets find ‘fur’-ever homes, you a new friend  KPRC Click2Houston

Vets offer tips to keep pets safe during summer heat, activities - KHON2
Vets offer tips to keep pets safe during summer heat, activities  KHON2

Keeping pets safe and cool during the summer - WBOY.com
Keeping pets safe and cool during the summer  WBOY.com

A photographer's inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be - Insider - INSIDER
A photographer's inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be - Insider  INSIDER

Seeing Pets as Human - Psychology Today
Seeing Pets as Human  Psychology Today

Covid-19 kept them separated from their pets for months. So they've chartered a plane to bring them home - CNN
Covid-19 kept them separated from their pets for months. So they've chartered a plane to bring them home  CNN

GALLERY: All American Pet Photo Day - WEAR
GALLERY: All American Pet Photo Day  WEAR

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

Preventing pandemic-related pet anxiety now and later - WTOP
Preventing pandemic-related pet anxiety now and later  WTOP

The 10 Weirdest Movie Pets Of All Time (That We Still Love Anyways) - Screen Rant
The 10 Weirdest Movie Pets Of All Time (That We Still Love Anyways)  Screen Rant

Pets of the week: Make room for lap-cat Kayla - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pets of the week: Make room for lap-cat Kayla  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Adoptable pets from humane society visit Discovery Center - TribDem.com
Adoptable pets from humane society visit Discovery Center  TribDem.com

PHOTO GALLERY: It’s National All-American Pet Photo Day! Send us your pics - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland
PHOTO GALLERY: It’s National All-American Pet Photo Day! Send us your pics  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

ARL extreme heat safety tips for pets - Newton Daily News
ARL extreme heat safety tips for pets  Newton Daily News

Pets of the week: Chihuahuas looking for a home together - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the week: Chihuahuas looking for a home together  Duluth News Tribune

Local animal shelter provides tips to keep pets safe this summer - WVNS-TV
Local animal shelter provides tips to keep pets safe this summer  WVNS-TV

Pets and People: Buyer beware | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Pets and People: Buyer beware | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

Pets of the Week - Elko Daily Free Press
Pets of the Week  Elko Daily Free Press

CDC gives recommendations on keeping pets safe from COVID-19 - KYTV
CDC gives recommendations on keeping pets safe from COVID-19  KYTV

Anti-Tick Tricks To Keep Your Pets Safe - NBC New York
Anti-Tick Tricks To Keep Your Pets Safe  NBC New York

Pet Owners Struggling To Reunite With Their Furry Family Members Amid The Pandemic - NPR
Pet Owners Struggling To Reunite With Their Furry Family Members Amid The Pandemic  NPR

Pets and fireworks: how to keep your animals calm and safe on July 4 - CNN
Pets and fireworks: how to keep your animals calm and safe on July 4  CNN

Featured pets — July 11 | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Featured pets — July 11 | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

As temperatures rise, so should you pet safety awareness - WSMV Nashville
As temperatures rise, so should you pet safety awareness  WSMV Nashville

1/3 of pet owners pets gained pandemic weight | WWL - WWL News, Talk, Sports Radio Station
1/3 of pet owners pets gained pandemic weight | WWL  WWL News, Talk, Sports Radio Station

SAFD: Homeowner, six pets rescued from house fire on Northeast Side - KSAT San Antonio
SAFD: Homeowner, six pets rescued from house fire on Northeast Side  KSAT San Antonio

Think through the details before bringing home a new pet - The Keene Sentinel
Think through the details before bringing home a new pet  The Keene Sentinel

How To Ease Separation Anxiety For Pets Being Left Alone For First Time In Months - Block Club Chicago
How To Ease Separation Anxiety For Pets Being Left Alone For First Time In Months  Block Club Chicago

What you need to do before bringing home a new pet - The Washington Post
What you need to do before bringing home a new pet  The Washington Post

Bella Is Basking Ridges Pet Of The Week - Patch.com
Bella Is Basking Ridges Pet Of The Week  Patch.com

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

Angie's List Report: Pet-friendly flooring - 41 NBC News
Angie's List Report: Pet-friendly flooring  41 NBC News

How to help your pet deal with fireworks anxiety - KYW Newsradio 1060
How to help your pet deal with fireworks anxiety  KYW Newsradio 1060

Five tips for bringing a new pet home - huntingdondailynews.com
Five tips for bringing a new pet home  huntingdondailynews.com

Public Health Column: To help prevent rabies, love your pets but leave wildlife and feral cats alone - The Batavian
Public Health Column: To help prevent rabies, love your pets but leave wildlife and feral cats alone  The Batavian

Great Lakes Mall hosts Shop With Your Pet Fundraiser - News-Herald.com
Great Lakes Mall hosts Shop With Your Pet Fundraiser  News-Herald.com

Tips on how to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke - WENY-TV
Tips on how to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke  WENY-TV

For Pet's Sake | Should you feed your pet human food? - fox56.com
For Pet's Sake | Should you feed your pet human food?  fox56.com

Update: COVID-19, dengue, mosquitoes and pets – Keys News - KeysNews.com
Update: COVID-19, dengue, mosquitoes and pets – Keys News  KeysNews.com

Pet Adoption Fees Reduced Through Sunday At SPCA, LA City Shelters - CBS Los Angeles
Pet Adoption Fees Reduced Through Sunday At SPCA, LA City Shelters  CBS Los Angeles

Pet Cremation Owner Shares How It's More Than Just Business To Her - WGLT News
Pet Cremation Owner Shares How It's More Than Just Business To Her  WGLT News

Pet Supplies Plus opens new FM 1488 location north of The Woodlands - Community Impact Newspaper
Pet Supplies Plus opens new FM 1488 location north of The Woodlands  Community Impact Newspaper

Houston area volunteer discusses pandemic’s impact on pet therapy - Chron
Houston area volunteer discusses pandemic’s impact on pet therapy  Chron

This Guy Found Caterpillars In His Grocery Store Broccoli And Kept Them As Pets Until They Were Butterflies - Delish
This Guy Found Caterpillars In His Grocery Store Broccoli And Kept Them As Pets Until They Were Butterflies  Delish

Argument over pets led to shooting | Alert - Seguin Gazette-Enterprise
Argument over pets led to shooting | Alert  Seguin Gazette-Enterprise

Project Blu Turns Fishing Net Into Eco-Chic Pet Products - Forbes
Project Blu Turns Fishing Net Into Eco-Chic Pet Products  Forbes

As weather grows hotter, pets could be at risk - Carolinacoastonline
As weather grows hotter, pets could be at risk  Carolinacoastonline

Report: Rockford No. 1 in US for hookworm in dogs, cats - WIFR
Report: Rockford No. 1 in US for hookworm in dogs, cats  WIFR

Shelby Is Manvilles Pet Of The Week - Patch.com
Shelby Is Manvilles Pet Of The Week  Patch.com

Easily clean pets outside with this clever water hose attachment - AOL
Easily clean pets outside with this clever water hose attachment  AOL

Fargo volunteers launch pet pantry to help local dogs, cats | INFORUM - INFORUM
Fargo volunteers launch pet pantry to help local dogs, cats | INFORUM  INFORUM

Pet of the Weekend: Baker - FOX 7 Austin
Pet of the Weekend: Baker  FOX 7 Austin

Pets: Rx for a happier life - The County
Pets: Rx for a happier life  The County

Take the BC SPCA’s No Hot Pets pledge to keep pets safe this summer - Barriere Star Journal
Take the BC SPCA’s No Hot Pets pledge to keep pets safe this summer  Barriere Star Journal

Pet Lodge USA accepting donations to help humane society that took in hundreds of animals - WKBN.com
Pet Lodge USA accepting donations to help humane society that took in hundreds of animals  WKBN.com

The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19 - The New York Times
The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19  The New York Times

4's Pet Project - WJXT News4JAX
4's Pet Project  WJXT News4JAX

TAHC: North Texas family's pet dog tests positive for virus that causes COVID-19 - CBS19.tv KYTX
TAHC: North Texas family's pet dog tests positive for virus that causes COVID-19  CBS19.tv KYTX

It’s All-American Pet Photo Day: Show us your furry friend - KSAT San Antonio
It’s All-American Pet Photo Day: Show us your furry friend  KSAT San Antonio

N.J. pets in need: July 6, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: July 6, 2020  nj.com

Everything You Need to Know About Buying Pet Insurance - New York Magazine
Everything You Need to Know About Buying Pet Insurance  New York Magazine

Larry Is Bridgewaters Pet Of The Week - Bridgewater, NJ Patch
Larry Is Bridgewaters Pet Of The Week  Bridgewater, NJ Patch

ChIA-PIPE: A fully automated pipeline for comprehensive ChIA-PET data analysis and visualization - Science Advances
ChIA-PIPE: A fully automated pipeline for comprehensive ChIA-PET data analysis and visualization  Science Advances

These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28 - SILive.com
These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28  SILive.com

Pet of the Week - Mia - Santa Monica Daily Press
Pet of the Week - Mia  Santa Monica Daily Press

Pet owner frustrated with the Riverfront Animal Hospital - WILX
Pet owner frustrated with the Riverfront Animal Hospital  WILX

Letter: Pet crematorium service at Pettigrass long overdue - Auburn Citizen
Letter: Pet crematorium service at Pettigrass long overdue  Auburn Citizen

Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips - Clarksville Now
Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips  Clarksville Now

Pet of the Week | Chevy - WHP Harrisburg
Pet of the Week | Chevy  WHP Harrisburg

Pet of the week - The Robesonian
Pet of the week  The Robesonian

Felix Is Hillsboroughs Pet Of The Week - Hillsborough, NJ Patch
Felix Is Hillsboroughs Pet Of The Week  Hillsborough, NJ Patch

Fonzie Is Scotch Plains-Fanwoods Pet Of The Week - Scotch Plains, NJ Patch
Fonzie Is Scotch Plains-Fanwoods Pet Of The Week  Scotch Plains, NJ Patch

'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19 - AZCentral
'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19  AZCentral

Runaway pets wind up in SoCal shelters in the aftermath of Fourth of July fireworks - KABC-TV
Runaway pets wind up in SoCal shelters in the aftermath of Fourth of July fireworks  KABC-TV

Petco Shares Tips for COVID-19 Safe Summer Fun with Pets - WFMZ Allentown
Petco Shares Tips for COVID-19 Safe Summer Fun with Pets  WFMZ Allentown

Palomino Valley Pet Rescue saves dog's life - KOLO
Palomino Valley Pet Rescue saves dog's life  KOLO

Adopt a Pet | Marmee - Napa Valley Register
Adopt a Pet | Marmee  Napa Valley Register

Make a Difference in a Adoptive Pet's Life - NBC 10 Philadelphia
Make a Difference in a Adoptive Pet's Life  NBC 10 Philadelphia

Dan's Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Creates Podcast - Port Washington News
Dan's Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Creates Podcast  Port Washington News

4 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet - PRNewswire
4 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet  PRNewswire

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