From my dog to yours - pets can give gifts, too

Think of the list of people you're buying gifts for this season: family, friends, boss and so on. I hope included in that 'so-on' is your pet, because if not, you're overlooking the most deserving of them all.

Your dog won’t ever stand you up or cancel your plans via text message. Your cat will never leave you at the bar to talk to his trick while he hits on someone else or pile more work on your desk 30 minutes before quit time.

That's why I am a freak about my dog Nola pretty much all the time - especially around the holidays. In fact, his year my Puggle (half pug, half beagle) will not only be receiving a paw shaped stocking full of gifts, she will also be giving gifts, too. She’s generous that way.

Just the other day I wrote a list of my friends’ dogs that deserved homemade dog cookies from Nola. I realized that day that I reached a new level of spoiling my dog (and my friends), but I don’t care. I like her better than most humans I know, anyway.

Homemade dog cookies are the best bet because, if you're like me, it’s important to know what you're feeding your dog. Have you ever smelled a bag of store bought, “meaty” treats? Something that smells that way surely gets a resounding "Bah, humbug." Taking the time to create the savory treats is a gift for both you and your pet.

I'm not alone in lavishing the special care onto my pet around this time of year.

I have a friend who takes her dog to be professionally photographed so she can use those pictures as a holiday card for her grandparents since she chooses not to have children. I would be happier to receive a Christmas card with a dog’s photograph over a child’s any day.

When I asked another friend if she bought her pet ferrets any holiday gifts she said she usually did not. Later that night I got an email from her saying that since I had asked her that question she had felt guilty for not buying them anything and this year they would probably each have their own stocking as a result. (Stocking filled with what, I don't know.)

Since pet owners are, for the most part, also animal lovers in general, the idea of a little extra pampering during the time of year that sees richer foods, cozier clothing, more festive social gatherings and overall generosity is not that far of a stretch.

But please keep safety in mind this holiday season. If your puppy or kitty has a wandering eye when it comes to house plants, you should probably stay away from Poinsettias. The same can also be said for garland and tinsel.


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