The Perfect Holiday Gift: A Pawfect Pup

The past month my boyfriend has asked me the most popular question this season, “What would you like for Christmas?” Instantly, my mind shouted, “A puppy!”

On February 6, 2016, I came home to an open gate with my dog, Lily, missing. I frantically drove through neighborhoods until 3 a.m. without any luck of finding her. I posted hundreds of lost dog flyers and visited the pet shelter weekly. Unfortunately, I never found Lily, my heart was shattered. I had Lily for over 10 years and although I will never be able to replace her presence the idea of a new puppy in the family sounds like the beginning of a new chapter.


My lost dog, Lily, maltese/ poodle mix, still missing. Photo Taken by Me.

So, should I ask for a puppy for Christmas? I am still unsure of whether to confirm my Christmas wish list, however I would say a puppy would be a wonderful holiday gift. If you are planning to get someone a puppy remember to ask if they are willing to bring in a new member into the family. I would suggest that if you do want to give a puppy as a gift, check out your local animal shelter for adoption. During this holiday season, local animal shelters offer great specials and affordable prices and each animal available for adoption is spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and evaluated by a veterinarian. If you are still looking into what to get your loved one for the holidays starting looking for the “pawfect” pup now! Your special loved one or your family member would love and cherish it.


Adopt Don’t Shop

Just last weekend, on Saturday, October 22, 2016, the Best Friends Animal Society hosted a charity walk named “Strut Your Mutt”, in the city of Los Angeles at Exposition Park. The dog walking event is not your average walk around the park; this fundraising festival is about saving animal lives. The festival included upbeat music, fun games, pet portraits, doggie yoga, and other activities for both pets and owners. Hundreds of people gathered together to promote awareness for homeless pets in the United States. Those participates helped raise money towards pets stuck in animal shelters and many pet-friendly organizations also partnered up with Best Friends Animal Society in order to raise awareness about the importance of adopting animals.


Participants of Strut Your Mutt event in Los Angeles -Taken by Bestfriendsanimalsociety via Instagram

The Humane Society of the United States promotes that when finding a new addition to your family, it is important to adopt your new best friend from a local animal shelter instead of buying them from a pet store. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “It’s not just the right thing to do; adoption is a reward”. Three top reasons to adopt and not shop, is because you will be saving a life, it will cost you less, and it is one way to stand up against puppy mills.

Over 2 million dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States annually, due to the low amount of individuals who support adoption when seeking a pet. As more and more animals are brought into the shelters, there is less room available for them and have no choice but to be euthanized. Adopting from local animal shelters will open up availability to another pet in need. Adopting a pet will also cost less, since animals in shelters are already spayed or neutered, contain their primary vaccinations, and are micro chipped in case your pet gets lost. The Humane Society of the United States also endorses the fight against puppy mills, which are breeding facilities that house animals in poor conditions and improper medical care. Female animals usually have the worst treatment as they are forced to breed repeatedly for years; and when they are no longer producing they are abandoned or killed. By adopting from shelters, you are not supporting puppy mills and you are saving a life.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), is one of the largest humane societies in the United States that work to end animal abuse and contribute to the rescue of animals. If you still want to help even more, donations are always encouraged and greatly appreciated. Help promote the importance of the “adopt don’t shop” movement to your relatives and friends. As the holidays are approaching remember that pets are a long-lasting and life-fulfilling gift if you are still thinking of what to get for your loved ones.

Here Comes Howl-O-Ween

Just ten more days until one of the best holidays of the year, Halloween! I am almost certain you have your props, makeup, and costume ready to go for the night, but do not forget about your best friends. Your furry companions can also have the chance to celebrate by dressing up to go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Some local stores have adorable, yet affordable, pet costumes ranging from only $5 to $20.


Star Wars Duo – Photo Taken By Chris Pirillo via Flickr

These mind blowing “Spooky Good Deals” can be found in Target’s pet section. You can totally be a cheerleader or sport team player for the night and have your pup dressed up as a “Rufferee”? Too cute, I know. Be the dynamic duo everyone wants to be.


Target Pet Aisle-Photo Taken By Me

Besides Target, make sure to check out other pet stores such as Petco and PetSmart for a larger variety of pet costumes. Your pets can be anything from a dinosaur to Frankenstein. With so many charming costumes to choose from it is “impawsible” not to dress them up. So what are you waiting for? It’s almost Howl-O-Ween!

Unusual Fur-iends

Who says cats and dogs cannot be friends? Besides watching the famous animated duo, Tom and Jerry, since the 1940’s, run after each other for endless episodes, we are accustomed to the idea that the dog chases the cat, the cat chases the mouse, and that’s pretty much the basis. Well in reality folks, the companionship between a feline and a canine can turn into reality with time and patience.

 In late April 2016, I had the pleasure in adopting my first kitten from the Inland Valley Humane Society, a non-profit animal shelter, and never did I expect this bundle of fur to bring me so much joy, I named her Luna. Two months later, a close friend found a puppy in the streets and asked if I wanted take in the homeless pup. Sure, why not? What could possibly go wrong with a mischievous kitten and bashful puppy in the same household?


Reminder, time and patience are the key trying to make these two creatures to become bff’s. Initially, I began with placing my cat in the kennel, while I let my pup, Lola, roam around the cage. This way both animals can interact while having a barrier in between them, in order to avoid any future scratches or bite marks. After letting the pup roam around the cage, I switched out the animals and placed the pup inside the cage and let the cat strut around the area. Any forms of crate, kennel, or pet carrier, are helpful containers in taming the two animals when meeting for the first time. If any of the two appear anxious or frightened, try this strategy at a later time.


When you feel the two animals are slightly more relaxed with one another, get a leash for the dog, since dogs have a natural instinct to run around and chase after anything that moves. When I held my dog by its leash, she was eager to play around with the cat and excited to interact with her. Although the dog may appear ready to play with the cat, the cat may not be ready to play with the energetic pup just yet. Once again, if the animals seem scared just try again another time and try this periodically until they are comfortable.

Lola and Luna hanging by the garden. Photo taken by me.

Finally, the moment of truth, supervise the cat and dog in a closed space to let them intermingle one on one. Make sure there is an area where the cat can run off to or jump onto avoid the dog if it is not prepared to interact. After trying these methods for a few days, in less than two weeks, my dog and cat were able to confidently walk around each other, without any growling or hissing occurring. After successful training, I love to watch Luna and Lola run around after each other knowing that they can actually bond despite their species.


If you plan on bringing another pet into your household, do it. Within time and after several trial and errors, your two pets should get along. Like I stated before, who said cats and dogs couldn’t be friends?