I work in a rescue, and we have had alot of people coming in to get pups and kitties as presents. While I am not against pets as presents simply on principle, I do think that alot of people do not go in thinkin of it as a long term commitment. One of our fosters sent this poem to us that I think is a great example of what can happen.
Marley, my helper at work, agrees!
Forgotten Dog's Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
With no thought of the dog filling their head.
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap
Knew he was cold but didn't care about that.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter!
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Santa Claus - with eyes full of tears
He un-chained the dog, once so lively and quick.
Last year's Christmas present, now painfully thin and sick.
More rapid than eagles he called the dog's name
And the dog ran to him, despite all his pain.
"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Let's find this dog a home where he'll be loved by all.
I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year
For Santa Claus had made one thing quite clear.
The gift of a dog is not just for one season.
We had gotten the pup for all the wrong reasons.
In our haste to think of the kids a gift
There was one important thing that we missed.
A dog should be family, and cared for the same
You don't give a gift, then put it on a chain.
And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight
"You weren't given a gift! You were given a LIFE!"