Tag: holidays (page 1 of 2)

A Season to Give

from Pinterest

from Pinterest

It’s that magical time of the year…the winter holiday season! Yes, we’ve made it through Black Friday & Cyber Monday to now be staring down Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Festivus in the coming weeks. It’s a time for family, food, seasonal music, and more. I don’t know about you, but sometimes that whole gift giving thing really can get in the way of enjoying the season. What do you get that person that has everything or won’t like what you get them anyway?? Are you baffled?

Does this person love animals? If so, you’re in luck! I’ve got a few ideas for you.

  • Get them a gift certificate to spend at their own veterinarian. Help that college student of yours get their pet spayed or neutered.

  • Help support a local animal charity or rescue group that they believe in.

  • Check out my friend Edie’s the Pug’s 2016 holiday gift guide to find something for them or their pets.

Back to that donation idea… How about helping animals get a new start in life? Many people would like to see those less fortunate or animals in need get something than just adding something to their house that might collect dust. Specifically, I’m talking about the Ontario SPCA’s Paws & Give campaign. Many people may see the OSPCA as just having a shelter nearby with animals to adopt but in actuality, there’s so much more. While the shelter and adoption programs are one of the most obvious facets of their operations, there are the details that go into that department. Health care is the obvious component to address pressing medical concerns, vaccinations, and spay/neuter surgeries. While animals are waiting for their fur-ever homes, some of them benefit from environmental enrichment (come on, who doesn’t love toys?) or may need more personal behavioral rehabilitation. And it’s not just cats & dogs….don’t forget the horses, bunnies, pigs, and more!

OSPCA Paws & Give - Rocky

OSPCA Paws & Give – Rocky

Giving a gift on behalf of someone is nice and they get a card or certificate to know of your generosity. But sometimes you also want more, especially for the friends or kids in your life. That’s where the holiday cards (which are really cute!), the Second Chances calendar, or one of the plush toys comes in. Admittedly, the toys are cute and based off of actual animals rescued by the OSPCA. Additionally, you could gift those Handmade Needle Felted Pet by contacting any online sites such as CustomFeltPets who can customize pet toys for you. Think of it as giving two gifts for the price of one!

The holidays are a time to come together. Whether you are near or far from your family, don’t let distance dampen your season of cheer. For those with pets or who love animals, don’t forget a small gift for the furry family members or those looking for homes! I wish you all a happy holiday season!

Disclosure: I was sent a Second Chances calendar (mine was even autographed by a few of the animals!) & an Advent calendar when asked to write a post discussing the OSPCA’s Paws & Give campaign.

Stay tuned for more and check me out on Instagram @drryanllera and as always on Facebook & Twitter!

Wrapping Up 2015

Source: www.decentfilms.com

Source: www.decentfilms.com

How different would your life be if you changed one thing, a seminal moment in your life?  Can you trace your life back to that one moment that forever altered your life?  Imagine yourself in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and you play yourself (unless you really want to be known as George Bailey).  For those who haven’t seen it, the protagonist gets a chance to see what life of those around him would be like if he had never been born (no spoilers here!) thanks to a guardian angel named Clarence.

Take a second now and find that moment.  For me, it was the arrival of my cat Zorro that forever altered my life.  I can’t imagine being anything other than a veterinarian nor would have I been able to touch the lives of so many people & their pets.  In my version of “Wonderful Life,” my guardian angel is my pets and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.  Whether giving a unique perspective to see life through their eyes or just helping unwind at the end of the day with a fun game of fetch or napping on the couch, our family pets are the one thing we can’t live without and are grateful for all they give us through the year. Continue reading

Pet Adoptions and the Holidays

Pet Adoptions & the Holidays

kitten gift The holidays are just around the corner and you know what that means… time with your family, holiday traditions, awesome food, and crazy shopping madness. Still looking for those perfect dog lover gifts? Why not do a good deed and give two gifts?? Pet adoption is a popular idea at this time of year. Not only do you find a gift for that special someone but you’re giving an animal, who would otherwise be cooped up in a shelter, a forever home. Yes, forever…

I’ve got nothing against pet adoption. I’ve done it myself and wish that more people would. The Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) even has a special program called iAdopt to help raise awareness of the plight of animals in shelters and to increase the numbers who get homes. Their website has lots of excellent tips to help you in choosing who to add to your family and how to integrate them into your family. But let us look at “forever”…


Adopting a pet is a commitment that is not to be taken lightly. We see high volumes of animals such as rabbits & ducks around Easter get purchased only to be surrendered, abandoned, or released into the wild. However, around the winter holidays, cats & dogs are often the chosen pets to get adopted. When you get these pets, they often come with the bonus of already being vaccinated and spayed or neutered which is a great thing for them and a savings for you.

Christmas petsYet, you need to be devoted to them as much as they are devoted to you. Realize that though they are almost always healthy when you bring them home, accidents do happen and if you adopt an adult or senior pet (highly encouraged!) some problems may rear their ugly head in the years ahead. It’s this reason that I urge you to consider that into your decision to add a pet to your family. Pets are wonderful but they deserve all the care you can give and this unfortunately comes with a price.

I’ll suggest including an insurance plan or a savings account as part of your gift. Many shelters give you up to 6 weeks ofmoney dog free insurance for you to try and investigate as an option but I don’t find too many people continuing it. Another possibility is that your veterinary clinic may offer gift certificates you can purchase to help defray costs for anything the new pet owner may need; this is especially great for college students.

Speaking of kids…for a lot of people, they are enamored with the idea of getting a puppy or kitten for a child. I would discourage this from happening as small kids often aren’t the ones who end up taking care of the pet. If they are teenagers, their interests may change and the critter in question may be yours and rather than theirs. Shelters may often have other options geckosuch as rabbits, rats, or other pocket pets which still require special care and attention but don’t involve walking & bathing such as dogs but still may be a little less maintenance and easier for kids to manage. It’s still important to know about proper pet care and make sure they have a clean habitat and fresh food.

In short, pet adoption is a wonderful gift for you, the new pet parent, and the animal who gets a home. And there will always be dogs that are looking to move into their forever home. You can even see some of the breeds available on places like AmericanListed if you’re looking to adopt one as soon as possible. But all I ask if that you commit to them by giving them the care and love they deserve. If now is not a good time to get a pet, consider sponsoring one, fostering a rescue, or volunteering at a shelter and in this way you can still give back to them. I hope you all have a happy and wonderful holiday season!

CharlieTaylor Xmas 2010

Disclaimer: All blog posts are personally written and my opinion and do not reflect those of current or former employers.

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