I love Christmas, for me it is all about enjoying having my whole family together, laughing, sharing stories and appreciating each other. I just adore sitting around the table listening to them all, but when I say my family, that includes my dogs, who much to the annoyance of my daughter and son, rate very high in the pecking order of our wonderful family unit.
In 2017 the RSPCA released this advert and although simple in its delivery, it has a very powerful message. A message that unfortunately is a worldwide issue. When will people realise the gift of having a pet and the endless joy that they give means you can’t just throw them away, like a stuffed toy, without deep pain and suffering from the animal itself.
As a parent, I find it so very hard to understand how anyone can just discard a pet because they need to put in a bit of effort and time, or when their children get bored of them. It’s heartbreaking.
Minnie and Laly are our beautiful rescue dogs who came into our lives from a rescue centre in Romania. Abused and confused they had issues, some of which are too deep rooted to ever change, but to us, just added to their lovely personalities. I wouldn’t change a thing about them, and the people who discarded them, threw them out like rubbish, who never loved them, but abused them, never actually deserved them. We didn’t realise the enormous impact they would have on us, but as much as we help them they help us. A little while ago Nat wrote about how cats can improve your health, and it’s the same with dogs.
Since being on our journey of adopting our two pups, I have seen so many “stuffed toys” like the dog from the advert. Some of the images will stay embedded in my memory forever. Some too hurt to ever find a way back, some far, far too abused. But for most, when I see the hope in their eyes, it makes my heart ache. Some of these dogs will never know what it feels like to be safe and loved, but with help and support others will. So please if you ever think about having a pet, don’t think of them as an accessory, a Christmas present with no feelings, that can be left or thrown out when they are no longer the “in” designer breed. Think instead of a companion, a true friend, a stress buster, a confidant, a joy, blessing and a gift in the true sense of the word. Rescue centres are overflowing with many gorgeous animals hoping to find a loving home, and we regularly send a few pennies to support the friends Laly and Minnie left behind.
In contrast to last years advert, it’s wonderful to see this years heartwarming campaign from the RSPCA is about a little kindness.
Adopting a dog is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Happy Christmas.
Words by – Debbie Jahangiry
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