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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 [email protected].


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Wed. August / 10 / 2022

Pets In Need staff won't face trial in puppy-deaths case - Palo Alto Online
Pets In Need staff won't face trial in puppy-deaths case  Palo Alto Online

Pets available for adoption - week of 08/08/22 - PHOTOS - Capital Gazette
Pets available for adoption - week of 08/08/22 - PHOTOS  Capital Gazette

Nebraska Humane Society issues heat advisory for pets after Bellevue cat suffers heat stroke - KMTV 3 News Now Omaha
Nebraska Humane Society issues heat advisory for pets after Bellevue cat suffers heat stroke  KMTV 3 News Now Omaha

The Best Airlines That Allow You To Fly With Your Pets On Board - Newsweek
The Best Airlines That Allow You To Fly With Your Pets On Board  Newsweek

Free Classroom Pocket Pets - WFLA
Free Classroom Pocket Pets  WFLA

Pets Of The Week: Butterfly And Maverick - Los Alamos Daily Post
Pets Of The Week: Butterfly And Maverick  Los Alamos Daily Post

Cost of living: How you can save money on pet care - BBC
Cost of living: How you can save money on pet care  BBC

Pets can compete to serve as Greensburg's 1st animal ambassador - TribLIVE
Pets can compete to serve as Greensburg's 1st animal ambassador  TribLIVE

The most experienced cat owners are giving their pets unwelcome affection, study suggests - Phys.org
The most experienced cat owners are giving their pets unwelcome affection, study suggests  Phys.org

Looking for a new pet? Adoptions are free at county shelters this month - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Looking for a new pet? Adoptions are free at county shelters this month  The San Diego Union-Tribune

History of White House pets - FOX 5 DC
History of White House pets  FOX 5 DC

Potter: Protect your pets against attack | The Daily Independent at YourValley.net - Daily Independent
Potter: Protect your pets against attack | The Daily Independent at YourValley.net  Daily Independent

Petco Love and BOBS from Skechers Host Mega Adoption Event to Find Homes for 1000+ Pets in Need - PR Newswire
Petco Love and BOBS from Skechers Host Mega Adoption Event to Find Homes for 1000+ Pets in Need  PR Newswire

New animal rescue in Augusta County works to get pets out of shelters and into loving homes - WHSV
New animal rescue in Augusta County works to get pets out of shelters and into loving homes  WHSV

Keep These Things Updated on Your Pet's Microchip (and How to Do It) - Lifehacker
Keep These Things Updated on Your Pet's Microchip (and How to Do It)  Lifehacker

InventHelp Inventor Develops On-The-Go Meal/Treat for Pets (HOF-180) - Yahoo Finance
InventHelp Inventor Develops On-The-Go Meal/Treat for Pets (HOF-180)  Yahoo Finance

Here’s how to keep your pets safe amid hot summer temperatures - KCRA Sacramento
Here’s how to keep your pets safe amid hot summer temperatures  KCRA Sacramento

Higher housing costs force more pet owners to surrender their dogs - CNBC
Higher housing costs force more pet owners to surrender their dogs  CNBC

5 Ways to Include Your Pet in Your Wedding Day - New Orleans Magazine
5 Ways to Include Your Pet in Your Wedding Day  New Orleans Magazine

Meet Cricket, Scooter and Toby, this week’s Pets of the Week in the San Gabriel Valley/Whittier - The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Meet Cricket, Scooter and Toby, this week’s Pets of the Week in the San Gabriel Valley/Whittier  The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

GCAC Pets of the Week | Gordon Life | northwestgeorgianews.com - Northwest Georgia News
GCAC Pets of the Week | Gordon Life | northwestgeorgianews.com  Northwest Georgia News

The DC super-pets that didn’t make it into the movie (but should have) - Polygon
The DC super-pets that didn’t make it into the movie (but should have)  Polygon

Pets on Divorce: My partner is taking the family pet, what are my rights? - Lexology
Pets on Divorce: My partner is taking the family pet, what are my rights?  Lexology

Standard Journal Pets of the Week for the Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022 edition - Northwest Georgia News
Standard Journal Pets of the Week for the Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022 edition  Northwest Georgia News

2nd Chance Pets: Wildflower, Willow & Woody - WNDU
2nd Chance Pets: Wildflower, Willow & Woody  WNDU

Eastern KY flooding: Local organizations stepping up to donate supplies to pets - WKRC TV Cincinnati
Eastern KY flooding: Local organizations stepping up to donate supplies to pets  WKRC TV Cincinnati

Disposed cigarettes start fire; residents, pets escape safely - WHBF - OurQuadCities.com
Disposed cigarettes start fire; residents, pets escape safely  WHBF - OurQuadCities.com

Stretch Your Dollar: Saving money on family pets - WTNH.com
Stretch Your Dollar: Saving money on family pets  WTNH.com

Pets 'dumped' outside MB shelter with note, staff stresses proper way to surrender - wpde.com
Pets 'dumped' outside MB shelter with note, staff stresses proper way to surrender  wpde.com

WRPD says 750 lost pets returned to owners by Animal Control since 2014 - YakTriNews KAPP-KVEW
WRPD says 750 lost pets returned to owners by Animal Control since 2014  YakTriNews KAPP-KVEW

Need cash? There’s an app connecting Atlanta’s home and pet owners - CBS 46 News
Need cash? There’s an app connecting Atlanta’s home and pet owners  CBS 46 News

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Isabella - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Isabella  KCBD

LIVING IN YOUR PET'S WORLD: Another animal rescued - Dayton Daily News
LIVING IN YOUR PET'S WORLD: Another animal rescued  Dayton Daily News

Animal rescues looking for new homes for pets - WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Animal rescues looking for new homes for pets  WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

How to keep your dog and other pets cool in the heat - CNN
How to keep your dog and other pets cool in the heat  CNN

Reptostyle offers unique pets for sale | News - nwestiowa.com
Reptostyle offers unique pets for sale | News  nwestiowa.com

Northport Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Ed & Elton - Patch
Northport Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Ed & Elton  Patch

5 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Pets - Money
5 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Pets  Money

VERIFY: Yes, health officials encourage people with monkeypox to isolate from pets, too - WCNC.com
VERIFY: Yes, health officials encourage people with monkeypox to isolate from pets, too  WCNC.com

Raleigh named among the most pet-friendly cities in US. Here’s why we rank so high - Raleigh News & Observer
Raleigh named among the most pet-friendly cities in US. Here’s why we rank so high  Raleigh News & Observer

'Multiple' pets perish in Glendale house fire | The Daily Independent at YourValley.net - Daily Independent
'Multiple' pets perish in Glendale house fire | The Daily Independent at YourValley.net  Daily Independent

Did you know that pets help with mental health? - Clarksville Online
Did you know that pets help with mental health?  Clarksville Online

Exotic pets available for adoption in Nashville - WKRN News 2
Exotic pets available for adoption in Nashville  WKRN News 2

Henrico to offer $10 rabies vaccinations for pets at August 20th clinic - rvahub.com
Henrico to offer $10 rabies vaccinations for pets at August 20th clinic  rvahub.com

Want a baby or a pet? Here’s what you need to know about that choice in North Carolina - WGHP FOX8 Greensboro
Want a baby or a pet? Here’s what you need to know about that choice in North Carolina  WGHP FOX8 Greensboro

Adoptable Pet of the Week: Pierre - All On Georgia
Adoptable Pet of the Week: Pierre  All On Georgia

Carnivore expands new headquarters and manufacturing facility for pet food brands - DVM 360
Carnivore expands new headquarters and manufacturing facility for pet food brands  DVM 360

How to have a wallet-happy and pet-friendly summer getaway - FOX 11 and FOX 41
How to have a wallet-happy and pet-friendly summer getaway  FOX 11 and FOX 41

MDARD - MDARD State Veterinarian Statement on Pets and Hot Vehicles - Michigan (.gov)
MDARD - MDARD State Veterinarian Statement on Pets and Hot Vehicles  Michigan (.gov)

Prey & 9 Other Movies Where Pets Help People Survive - Screen Rant
Prey & 9 Other Movies Where Pets Help People Survive  Screen Rant

N.J. pets in need: Aug. 8, 2022 - nj.com - NJ.com
N.J. pets in need: Aug. 8, 2022 - nj.com  NJ.com

Dwayne Johnson says he wants to be Megan Thee Stallion's pet in interview for 'DC League of Super-Pets' - Chron
Dwayne Johnson says he wants to be Megan Thee Stallion's pet in interview for 'DC League of Super-Pets'  Chron

PHOTOS: Pets of the Week | Local News | mooresvilletribune.com - Mooresville Tribune
PHOTOS: Pets of the Week | Local News | mooresvilletribune.com  Mooresville Tribune

Blue-green algae is harmful to humans and pets - WSAW
Blue-green algae is harmful to humans and pets  WSAW

Delta Animal Shelter’s August Pets of the Month - WJMN - UPMatters.com
Delta Animal Shelter’s August Pets of the Month  WJMN - UPMatters.com

22 pets adopted from Animal Care Sanctuary during ‘Empty the Shelters’ event - WIVT - NewsChannel 34
22 pets adopted from Animal Care Sanctuary during ‘Empty the Shelters’ event  WIVT - NewsChannel 34

Clear The Shelters 2022 in Northern California: How to adopt a pet or donate this August - KCRA Sacramento
Clear The Shelters 2022 in Northern California: How to adopt a pet or donate this August  KCRA Sacramento

Heavy Rain Floods DC Dog Day Care With Pets Inside - NBC4 Washington
Heavy Rain Floods DC Dog Day Care With Pets Inside  NBC4 Washington

Roblox: How To Get The Best Pets In Adopt Me! - TheGamer
Roblox: How To Get The Best Pets In Adopt Me!  TheGamer

Best Pet Insurance in Alabama (2022 Guide) - MarketWatch
Best Pet Insurance in Alabama (2022 Guide)  MarketWatch

NAK4 Orthodontics & Almost Home Foundation Host a Day of Super Pets & Super Patients - Daily Herald
NAK4 Orthodontics & Almost Home Foundation Host a Day of Super Pets & Super Patients  Daily Herald

Colgate-Palmolive Buys 3 Pet Food Plants for $700 Million - ThomasNet News
Colgate-Palmolive Buys 3 Pet Food Plants for $700 Million  ThomasNet News

Jacksonville Humane Society’s cutest pet contest 2023 - ActionNewsJax.com
Jacksonville Humane Society’s cutest pet contest 2023  ActionNewsJax.com

FDA alerts public after pet food tests positive for Salmonella - Food Safety News
FDA alerts public after pet food tests positive for Salmonella  Food Safety News

Best Pets in Video Games - GameRant
Best Pets in Video Games  GameRant

🌱 Sachem Daily: Local Job Openings + Pets Available For Adoption - Patch
🌱 Sachem Daily: Local Job Openings + Pets Available For Adoption  Patch

‘Way Too Hot,' People, Pets Trying to Escape the Heat, Humidity - NBC 10 Philadelphia
‘Way Too Hot,' People, Pets Trying to Escape the Heat, Humidity  NBC 10 Philadelphia

Which Essential Oils Are Toxic For Pets? - The List
Which Essential Oils Are Toxic For Pets?  The List

The Pokémon Abilities We Wish Our Pets Knew In Real Life - Screen Rant
The Pokémon Abilities We Wish Our Pets Knew In Real Life  Screen Rant

Box Office: 'DC Super Pets' Plunges 64% As 'Top Gun: Maverick' Passes 'Titanic' - Forbes
Box Office: 'DC Super Pets' Plunges 64% As 'Top Gun: Maverick' Passes 'Titanic'  Forbes

Increase in Pet-Related Citations at Local Beaches - Westside Today
Increase in Pet-Related Citations at Local Beaches  Westside Today

3 people displaced, 2 pets die in Chesapeake apartment fire - WAVY.com
3 people displaced, 2 pets die in Chesapeake apartment fire  WAVY.com

Hill's Pet Nutrition serves as national sponsor of Clear The Shelters campaign for fifth consecutive year - DVM 360
Hill's Pet Nutrition serves as national sponsor of Clear The Shelters campaign for fifth consecutive year  DVM 360

Traveling with pets for the first time? Here's what you need to know. - USA TODAY
Traveling with pets for the first time? Here's what you need to know.  USA TODAY

This Year's Funniest-Looking Pets Are Here - Gizmodo
This Year's Funniest-Looking Pets Are Here  Gizmodo

15 of the Best Good Doggies, Kitties, and Pets in General in Comics - Cracked.com
15 of the Best Good Doggies, Kitties, and Pets in General in Comics  Cracked.com

Pets For Patients | VA Cincinnati Health Care - Veterans Affairs
Pets For Patients | VA Cincinnati Health Care  Veterans Affairs

Here’s What To Know About Monkeypox Risk For Dogs (Or Cats) - BuzzFeed News
Here’s What To Know About Monkeypox Risk For Dogs (Or Cats)  BuzzFeed News

Pets of the Week - Meet Neeson & Carl - City of Arlington
Pets of the Week - Meet Neeson & Carl  City of Arlington

How people, pets and infrastructure can respond to extreme heat - NPR
How people, pets and infrastructure can respond to extreme heat  NPR

How Robotic Pets Can Help With Memory Care - University of Utah Health Care
How Robotic Pets Can Help With Memory Care  University of Utah Health Care

PHOTOS: Here Are 4 Pets You Can Adopt Today For NBC 7/T20's ‘Clear the Shelters' - NBC San Diego
PHOTOS: Here Are 4 Pets You Can Adopt Today For NBC 7/T20's ‘Clear the Shelters'  NBC San Diego

Robotic Pets, Real Comfort? What the Research Says - PsychCentral.com
Robotic Pets, Real Comfort? What the Research Says  PsychCentral.com

DC League of Super-Pets movie review (2022) - Roger Ebert
DC League of Super-Pets movie review (2022)  Roger Ebert

How to travel with pets - The Washington Post
How to travel with pets  The Washington Post

How to keep your pets safe in a heatwave - The Conversation
How to keep your pets safe in a heatwave  The Conversation

Science Says: This Is How Pets Help Your Mental Health - Greatist
Science Says: This Is How Pets Help Your Mental Health  Greatist

Charlotte Fire Dogs Sound the Alarm for Pet Safety - charlottenc.gov
Charlotte Fire Dogs Sound the Alarm for Pet Safety  charlottenc.gov

Pets are freaking out over their owners playing Stray - Polygon
Pets are freaking out over their owners playing Stray  Polygon

Can Pets Inherit? | Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP - JDSupra - JD Supra
Can Pets Inherit? | Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP - JDSupra  JD Supra

Helping pets find and stay in their forever home - WGN TV Chicago
Helping pets find and stay in their forever home  WGN TV Chicago

Families are returning their pets to animal shelters due to inflation and rising rents: 'So sad' - Fox News
Families are returning their pets to animal shelters due to inflation and rising rents: 'So sad'  Fox News

Pet surrenders increase as inflation ups the price of ownership - NPR
Pet surrenders increase as inflation ups the price of ownership  NPR

2022 Best of the East Bay: Pets | People + Style | diablomag.com - Diablo Magazine
2022 Best of the East Bay: Pets | People + Style | diablomag.com  Diablo Magazine

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane, Maricopa County and Arizona Small Dog Rescue (8/3/22) - ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane, Maricopa County and Arizona Small Dog Rescue (8/3/22)  ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix

People are giving up family dogs they adopted long before the pandemic, mostly due to inflation, shelters say - MarketWatch
People are giving up family dogs they adopted long before the pandemic, mostly due to inflation, shelters say  MarketWatch

5 Ways to Save on Your Pet's Healthcare - Nasdaq
5 Ways to Save on Your Pet's Healthcare  Nasdaq

Monroe County Animal Control's Pets of the Week - Monroe Evening News
Monroe County Animal Control's Pets of the Week  Monroe Evening News

Stormberg Foods LLC Recalls Chicken Strips and Chicken Crisps Products for Dogs Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination - FDA.gov
Stormberg Foods LLC Recalls Chicken Strips and Chicken Crisps Products for Dogs Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination  FDA.gov

Pets can boost your brain power, study says - CNN
Pets can boost your brain power, study says  CNN

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