Dear Ms. Claus,
I’m Dexter and I’m a one-year-old terrier mix.
I’m also a foster-dog.
I’m writing to you because I know the Old Guy is working on toys and stuff for human-type children. I’m pretty sure he leaves the requests from dogs to you. After all, if you’re like most women who don’t have kids of their own, you treat your pets like members of the family, and don’t mind a few stray hairs on your clothes. (I’ve heard you even have special treats for Blitzen, and know just how Donder likes to have the bases of his antlers rubbed.)
So here’s the thing. I came from a kill-shelter in rural Texas. I know what you’re thinking Ms. Claus – or, may I call you Ms. Santa? Great! – Anyway, I know you’re thinking, “Kill shelters are awful. Dogs would be better left to survive on the streets.” But the thing is, most kill-shelters would give ANYTHING to NOT be kill-shelters. The folks that work in them do it because they hope to save cats and dogs like me, who don’t have homes of our own anymore, if we ever did. Also? When a dog or cat goes to a shelter, especially a shelter like the ones in Glen Rose or Joshua, Texas, like I did, it means they have a chance to be noticed by a rescue organization.
That’s what happened to me, Ms. Santa. A group called the Shelter To Rescue Coalition saw me at the shelter, and asked one of their foster families to take me in and help me learn house manners, and find a forever home. My foster family is pretty cool, Ms. Santa. They pet me and feed me and play with me, and I have three other dogs to pal around with, and when I have an accident in the house because I’m having so much fun playing I forget to go outside, they don’t even yell at me. They just tell me they’re disappointed and ask me to do better next time.
But I’d really like a home of my very own, Ms. Santa. One where I’m allowed to sleep on the bed (the girl-dog here doesn’t like me enough to allow that), and maybe have a kid to play with, because even though I’m small, I’m pretty active, and love to run and play.
That’s my biggest Christmas wish for me. A home of my own. But I have other Christmas wishes, too:
- I wish every human would love and care for their pets, and get them spayed or neutered, so unwanted puppies and kittens don’t end up in shelters.
- I wish people who love animals would consider fostering a shelter pet, even if they can’t adopt, so that shelters have more room, and the fostered pets get seen.
- I wish the only time a shelter had to euthanize a dog or cat was when it was so sick or old that doing so was the kindest choice, and not just a matter of space.
- I wish no dog or cat was ever cold, hungry, scared, or homeless, because all we know how do to is love our humans, and we don’t understand when they stop loving us.
- I wish no one would give pets as Christmas presents, because while it’s great to adopt a foster pet for you, adopting one for someone else is usually a Really Bad Idea.
I know that’s a lot to ask for Ms. Santa, but that’s why I’m writing to you. I’m sure you speak Dog and Cat with equal fluency, and can use a shake or two of the Jolly One’s magic to help shelter pets get homes for the holidays, and every day.
As for me? My foster-mom says to tell people that I’m about 16 pounds, neutered, up to date on shots, and available for adoption through Shelter to Rescue. She also says, “Please adopt Dexter because we’re falling in love with him.” Don’t let her know this, but I kind of love her and her human mate, too.
Merry Christmas from DEXTER.