A Holiday Note from Albert


Christmas Dog

Dear Readers,

I hope those of you who are considering giving an animal as a gift this season will give the gift a lot of consideration! All animals have basic needs which are to be free from hunger and thirst, free from pain, injury and disease, free from fear and distress and free to express their normal behaviors. So no matter what animal you are considering please think about where it will live, who will feed and clean up after it, who will be sure it gets medical attention, a quality diet specific to its species and most of all who will love and protect it for the rest of it’s life?

If you are considering getting a puppy or a dog as a gift, please give this a whole lot of thought before making a final decision! Dogs, especially puppies need time and devotion. Puppies need bathroom breaks every 45 minutes, a puppy bladder is the size of a pea and they are not able to control themselves from soiling the crate if they don’t get to go outside for a break. Dogs that are crated too long become emotionally unstable. Puppies need to be well socialized (they need to meet at least 100 people by the time they are 4 months old) they need to meet other puppies and dogs of different colors, sizes and breeds too. Puppies need to be exposed to everything in their environment that they will experience in their life by the time they are 4 months old.

Please be sure you have the time and resources for your puppy so that they don’t end up in a shelter because you have not taken the time to housetrain or socialize them or because the novelty has worn off. All animals are living creatures with special needs just like humans, think hard and have family meetings to decide whether a new pet will fit into your daily living. Maybe put the decision off until spring when the weather is better and it is easier to take your puppy out every hour on the hour for bathroom breaks or take your dog for walks in the cold and windy weather.

Dogs and puppies have feelings so please welcome a pet into your home and life after much consideration because surrendering them to a shelter when they are no longer fun or are too much work will break their hearts.

Wishing you all a loving, safe and joyful holiday!


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Albert, Retired Pet Connections Therapy Dog

Albert, a retired therapy dog, has been an instrumental part of the Pet Connections program at Ontario ARC since its inception in 2011.  Together with his owner, Animal Assisted Activity and Therapy Trainer, Gail Furst, he helped pave the way for the success and expansion of Pet Connections. His intuitive nature has even won him the nickname, “St. Albert.” Now at age 8, Albert is in retirement, but he still offers helpful advice from time to time to those who ask