I came across this blog post, "Wanna Puppy, Little Girl?" and it reminded me of how many calls I will get regarding my Puppy Kindergarten class starting in January. After the puppy and his new family complete the six-week session, they might go on to my Beginner Obedience class. The lucky pups will continue to go to classes and have fun and learn for the rest of their lives. Sadly, there are a few people who will think they took one obedience class and training is now "done." The kids, to whom the puppy was given, should now "know" how to feed, shelter, play with and otherwise take care of him. These are the exasperated people I hear from when the puppy is 8 months to a year old, demanding I help them find a home for him immediately "or else." They repeatedly point out that the dog is a purebred and they "paid good money" for him. So please, if you or someone you know is thinking about buying a puppy for the kids as a Christmas present, please wait until the new year. Better yet, only get a dog if it's for you because it's unfair to the kids and to the puppy to expect them to take care of each other.
Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’sNew Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.