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A gal on another forum wrote this timely article several years ago.

Christmas Maltese?

By Carina J. Rock

Do you remember that first scene from the classic movie Lady and the Tramp? It is Christmas morning and Jim Dear has one special package to surprise his Darling with. She thinks she is about to unwrap a beautiful hat trimmed with ribbons. Instead she finds a little puppy. It all works out beautifully (except when the baby arrives and the aunt sends Lady off to the pound). All too often Christmas puppies don’t end up as lucky as Lady. Often the busiest month at the pound is January. This is because the pound for many people is the canine version of the retail “returns and exchange” counter.

The adorable image of a puppy trimmed in bows seems very much a part of our traditional Christmas. The holiday season is supposed to be a time to come together and share with our loved ones. A family pet should be part of the Christmas experience. However, there are a number of reasons why a pet should not be another gift under the tree.

Even as a child, I felt sorry for Lady. I could not help but think of how this poor little puppy was stuck waiting alone inside a box to be unwrapped. A dog is not an object or a fun toy. They are living creatures. They are a member of the family. Few people would consider wrapping up a child in a box and sticking them under the tree. If you have a dog in your life, he or she should be there to find her own stocking hanging on the mantel or his own packages under the tree, not being one of them.

Imagine how frightened a little puppy or a rescue dog would be when they come to a new home. No matter what day they arrive, they are often anxious and in need of lots of attention and reassurance. Now imagine how frenzied and hectic the typical Christmas holidays are. Families are busy. Often too busy to spend all the necessary time focused on a new family member. Adjusting to a new home takes time. There are new rules to learn, perhaps some potty habits to acquire. Patience is required on the part of every family member. If you want your new pet to settle in comfortably, then they should come home when you have the most time to devote to this adjustment period.

Parents often say they want to teach their children to be responsible by getting them a pet to care for. First of all, if a child is not yet responsible, they should not be caring for a needy little creature. Second, consider how children treat their Christmas toys. Consider how rarely those toys get any attention once the holiday spirit fades. Teaching children about responsible pet ownership means that parents ought to model that behavior by demonstrating the depth of the commitment that is necessary to an animal.

Caring for an animal requires a solid commitment. Caring for an animal requires that every member of the family be actively involved. This involvement begins at the very start of the process. Getting a pet for someone as a surprise does not allow him or her a choice in making that commitment. Responsible breeders or rescue groups will want to interview everyone who will be part of the adoptive family. Therefore acquiring a pet as a surprise should be impossible.

I will be waking up on Christmas morning with my Maltese dogs. I will watch them romp around in bows and search boxes for their favorite bones. If you have a fantasy about sharing your holidays and your life with a Maltese, then do consider adopting one, but please remember they are for life, not just for Christmas.
 

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Originally posted by LadysMom@Dec 8 2004, 11:24 AM
A gal on another forum wrote this timely article several years ago.

Christmas Maltese? 

By Carina J. Rock

Do you remember that first scene from the classic movie Lady and the Tramp? It is Christmas morning and Jim Dear has one special package to surprise his Darling with. She thinks she is about to unwrap a beautiful hat trimmed with ribbons. Instead she finds a little puppy. It all works out beautifully (except when the baby arrives and the aunt sends Lady off to the pound). All too often Christmas puppies don’t end up as lucky as Lady. Often the busiest month at the pound is January. This is because the pound for many people is the canine version of the retail “returns and exchange” counter.

          The adorable image of a puppy trimmed in bows seems very much a part of our traditional Christmas. The holiday season is supposed to be a time to come together and share with our loved ones. A family pet should be part of the Christmas experience. However, there are a number of reasons why a pet should not be another gift under the tree.

          Even as a child, I felt sorry for Lady. I could not help but think of how this poor little puppy was stuck waiting alone inside a box to be unwrapped. A dog is not an object or a fun toy. They are living creatures.  They are a member of the family.  Few people would consider wrapping up a child in a box and sticking them under the tree.  If you have a dog in your life, he or she should be there to find her own stocking hanging on the mantel or his own packages under the tree, not being one of them.

          Imagine how frightened a little puppy or a rescue dog would be when they come to a new home. No matter what day they arrive, they are often anxious and in need of lots of attention and reassurance.  Now imagine how frenzied and hectic the typical Christmas holidays are. Families are busy. Often too busy to spend all the necessary time focused on a new family member.  Adjusting to a new home takes time. There are new rules to learn, perhaps some potty habits to acquire. Patience is required on the part of every family member. If you want your new pet to settle in comfortably, then they should come home when you have the most time to devote to this adjustment period. 

          Parents often say they want to teach their children to be responsible by getting them a pet to care for. First of all, if a child is not yet responsible, they should not be caring for a needy little creature. Second, consider how children treat their Christmas toys. Consider how rarely those toys get any attention once the holiday spirit fades. Teaching children about responsible pet ownership means that parents ought to model that behavior by demonstrating the depth of the commitment that is necessary to an animal.

          Caring for an animal requires a solid commitment. Caring for an animal requires that every member of the family be actively involved. This involvement begins at the very start of the process. Getting a pet for someone as a surprise does not allow him or her a choice in making that commitment.  Responsible breeders or rescue groups will want to interview everyone who will be part of the adoptive family.  Therefore acquiring a pet as a surprise should be impossible. 

          I will be waking up on Christmas morning with my Maltese dogs. I will watch them romp around in bows and search boxes for their favorite bones. If you have a fantasy about sharing your holidays and your life with a Maltese, then do consider adopting one, but please remember they are for life, not just for Christmas.

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I can not imagine anyone not wanting their maltese for life!
 

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I can not imagine anyone not wanting their maltese for life!

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Unfortunately, Maltese aren't any different than any other dog in that respect. Many end up in shelters or rescue every year. At any given time, http://www.petfinder.org/ usually has over 100 available for adoption. And those are the lucky ones, the ones whose owners cared enough to donate them to rescue.

I see ads in the local paper all the time for young adult Maltese, 1 to 1&1/2 years old. I'm sure their owners were just as excited as everyone else to get them when they were puppies, but when they grew up and still weren't housebroken, their owners decided they didn't have the time or inclination anymore.

A lot of people don't see beyond the cute puppy thing and realize they are supposed to be making a commitment for the life of the dog. They give them up for all sorts of reasons, allergies, a new baby, marking issues, moving/change of circumstance, health reasons. My Lady was abandoned when she started having seizures. A wonderful little dog recetly went into rescue because he needed surgery on both knees and his owner had several other Maltese and couldn't afford extraordinary vet bills with so many. (I believe she went out and got another one after that.....)
 

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I never watched the movie. I don't think putting/leaving a puppy in a Christmas box and under a tree is realistic. Maybe if it was for 5 minutes or something. Definitely, NEVER EVER EVER get a puppy without consulting the family! hehe. We were hoping that when my sister has Phoenix, her maltese, that her son would be more responsible....didn't happen! He would play with him for 5 mins and then push him away. He didn't care to take him outside to potty. Just in case, Phoenix isn't going anywhere just because my nephew isn't responsible! Had to make that clear.
 
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