It’s a classic storyline: frosty windows, a crackling fireplace, the family gathered around to distribute and open presents, and among the gifts wriggles a puppy with a big, red bow adorning its neck. The puppy leaps into the recipient’s arms, licking his or her face. Everyone laughs. We dissolve to black, the credits roll, and there’s that warm, giddy feeling in your stomach. You depart from the theater with a sense of happiness.
But just like people in real life don’t wak up with immaculate coifs and makeup like folks in the films do, the reality is that a puppy is not a present. When the director yells, “Cut!” the puppy in the scene goes back to its handler, whose life is devoted to its care, and the actors return to their trailers for a makeup touch-up. In real life, when the puppy outgrows its youthful cuteness or needs its first expensive medical care or the kid goes off to college, the dog is left to a less magical fate than the one the pictures would suggest.
Echoing our A Puppy Is Not a Present campaign, the folks at the ASPCA are asking animal lovers to help decrease the troubling population of unwanted dogs by closing their wallets to pet stores that sell animals — thereby hindering the puppy mill industry. The video below is a moving message that reminds us that a dog is a life, not a toy.
Find out what else you can do this holiday season to support this mission by checking out our A Puppy Is Not A Present campaign and the ASPCA’s site. Is there anyone you might send this link to as a little nudge?
Photo: Pomeranian puppy with a red bow by Shutterstock