It's that time of year again. All over the world people will be celebrating Christmas and they'll be buying presents for their loved ones. Sadly many of them will buy puppies as Christmas presents, without giving a thought to all the hard work involved in training a puppy.
The sad fact is that many of these puppies will be dumped or abandoned almost as quickly as the Christmas decorations come down. Please think long and hard before even considering giving a puppy or dog as a pet.
Here in Turkey the same problem exists, but not so much over Christmas. People move here to live, or maybe only stay for a summer season, and they adopt a puppy or dog from the streets. Very commendable of course, and we all know how many desperately hungry dogs there are out there and we want to help them.
BUT the most heartbreaking thing about winter arriving here, is the increasing number of dogs dumped or abandoned on the streets. Many of them wearing collars, which indicates that they were once owned.
I'll never understand how anyone who has owned a dog, even for a short period of time, can actually just dump it on the streets. Worse still are the numbers of people who take on a dog, then decide to relocate to their home country but won't pay to take their dog with them. Yes, it's expensive, but surely you'd find the money rather than leave your dog to starve, while you board the plane?
Even if you can't take a dog with you, at least make sure that you find it a good, caring home, well in advance of your leaving date, to make sure your dog is settled with it's new owners. Don't just hand it over with a sack of dog food to someone who has said they will feed it...maybe until you return. How do you know this will happen? It very often does not.,
But the solution to this problem is easy...think before you adopt...if there is the remotest chance that you may leave the country and not be able to take your dog with you, then don't adopt in the first place. There are many things you can do to help the dogs and cats here. You can go out and regularly feed a few animals, particularly in winter when food is hard to come by. Or you can find out where your local shelter is, and join the many volunteers who give up their time to make the animals' lives a little more comfortable.
A dog is a huge commitment. Make sure you are ready for it.