By: Joel Allen
“It’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you,” as the song goes. Christmas is here! The trees are up! The lights are hung with care! People are visiting each other and spending time with their loved ones. But there is a place with many lonely souls that would love to be part of your Christmas. Your local animal shelter or rescue.
Think about that for a minute. Some people think that buying a puppy for Christmas is a great idea. These shelters have puppies and some are big and small, young and old. Many have been abandoned, even downright left with their bag of toys and blankets, watching their human turn away from them because their family, for whatever reason, could not keep them. Go to these places and listen to the howls, look at their faces and see the sadness and how they look in your direction, and even notice that when your face is not the face they are looking for, watch how some will look past your legs to see if their family has come back for them. Some of these dogs just give up and lay down. The shelter workers try and work with them, but heartbreak is hard to get over. The older ones are often not even noticed. Most of them just want a nice, loving place to call their own. I have witnessed dogs who get adopted brighten up when they realize they have a home.
Why am I talking about this so passionately? Because history is repeating itself right now. The animal shelters/rescues are full; and people are dumping their dogs so they can make room for that new puppy they might get for Christmas. Puppies grow up too! I am not claiming that everyone is like this, but we all know someone who is. If someone is reading this and get angry with my position, then they should really look at themselves because the callousness of their heart is not unknown to the Heavenly Father. I speak to your anger (person who reads this and feels angry with me), and I boldly say that that angry feeling is your own guilt. Let that marinate on your soul for a bit, and I hope that it will not remain for long. I used to have a Bible verse on here that I have memorized or seared into my memory:
Proverbs 12:10 – “A righteous man regardeth the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
So, think about what your Christmas plans will be this year. If a puppy is what you want, try going to the shelters/rescues first. I challenge everyone to also look at the older dogs because they are already past the point of puppyhood. Puppies are just like children, they will go through stages of growth and messes. They are also going to try your patience, if allowed. So, if patience is not your thing, get an older dog. If a pureblood is what is sought, then go to a reputable breeder. Pray on these things first, and then go seek what is in your heart.
We each live as we are called. I feel called to be here for dogs. Some don’t like my stance on dogs because if the building is on fire, I will get the dog out first before the human. That is just the way it is.
Now for the last word on the subject, puppies and dogs are a lifelong commitment. They come into our homes with love and loyalty. They deserve the same in return. Each breed of dog is different; so know what you’re getting before falling for the adorable look. If your idea of a dog is to put a chain on its neck and leave it outside with no attention at all, then don’t get a dog! They have feelings too and deserve better. I have said this before and I will say it a thousand times more before I am through with this life, a dog promises to give love, loyalty, and even their life to us.
One more thing I want to add is this — years ago I was told about a legend of the dog. It is said that when God cast man out of the Garden of Eden, the dog followed man so as to be a companion to him. I don’t know how true that is but actions speak louder than words; and the dogs in our lives seem to choose us. Many of us, however, don’t deserve what they offer. Merry Christmas to all!
By: Joel Allen