The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on November 29, 1981 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, November 29, 1981
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Page 7
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Page 8 The Salina Journal — Sunday, November 29,1961 Is a pet the right gift? By CAROL J. BRANDERT Saline County Humane Association Shopping crowds throng the mall in the after Thanksgiving rush to Christmas. You find yourself standing in the pet shop, just looking, of course, along with dozens of others who are cooing over the fluffy balls of life that sleep or pace or wrestle playfully in their all- too-small cages. The tiny dachshund appears to look at you, the wistful eyes pleading for a home away from the lights, the noise, the noses pressed against the glass. And suddenly you've decided. "The kids need a pet. Pets are fun; they're affectionate. Besides, they teach a child responsibility. What a great Christmas gift for the whole family!" You may be right. Your inspiration may indeed bring long-lasting happiness to your family through the gift of love that a pet can provide. There is, however, another side. Consider the animal among the Christmas toys — the beeping video games, mechanically laughing baby dolls, stalking robots, shoot-em-up rifles. Consider the pet underfoot as relatives and friends bustle in throughout the holiday period. Is Christmas really the time to bring in this new family member — for its sake and yours? Even more important, you must ask yourself if you and your family members are truly ready for the responsibility of a pet. That darling puppy must be housebroken, and winter months are hardly enjoyable time to be taking the doggie outside. It must be fed regularly, have proper bedding and warmth, be groomed and cleaned up after. Responsibility may soon become drudgery. Are you ready for the cost of a pet? A minimum of 50 cents a day for food totals over $150 a year. Then add necessary shots at about $20 a year, plus the additional one-time cost of spaying or neutering. For the first year, that amounts to over $200. Of course, this sum doesn't count the veterinary bills for special illnesses, the necessary flea collars, leashes, bedding, dog house, treats, toys, kitty litter, boarding during vacations, licenses and assorted other incidentals. And in three to six months, as the adorable creature goes through its ungainly adolescence, having chewed its way through all your good socks and blankets or scratched the arms of your best chair, will it still be irresistible? Or, will you be looking for "a good farm home"? "The saddest Christmas gift is the one nobody wants after the tree is taken down and the wrapping paper is thrown away." Think of the overcrowded shelters throughout the country from which only a small percentage of animals are ever adopted. Most are euthanized. Think of worse alternatives — abandoning the animal until it dies of starvation, exposure, injury in traffic or at the hands of a cruel person. Check its health You've thought of all these things and you still want the animal? Good! But bring it into your home shortly after the Christmas bustle is over and be sure to have its health checked by a veterinarian. That precaution may save some bitter moments later. Remember, the decision to own a pet is a commitment to provide the best care possible for the lifetime of the animal. You'll be repaid immeasurably with love. And isn't that what Christmas is all about? Rock star up a tree UNIFORMS Clearance Sale! Up To 50 % OFF All Merchandise In Stock - Sale Starts Dec. 1st New Chrlftmat Hour*: Mon. & Thurs. 9:30-8:30 Tuet., Wed., Frl. & Sat. 9:30-5:30 Sun. 1-5 IvITO C- 1 r 827-7787 147 S. Santa Fe 827-7638 PROFESSIONAL UNIFORMS BORA BORA (UPI) - Kevin Cronin, lead singer for REO Speedwa- gon, has learned that rock stars seeking anonymity shouldn't climb coconut trees. Cronin traveled incognito to Bora Bora, Tahiti, an island guaranteed to be out of the rock 'n' roll mainstream. A friendly islander offered to show him how to wear the local sarong-style garb. 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