Pets have Christmas lists, too
By Denise Baran-Unland Correspondent December 17, 2012 11:42AM
Therapy Golden Retrievers Sky, 3 (left) and Tessa, 4, (right) welcome thir new baby "sister" Maddie (8 weeks, center) to their family. Sky and Tessa had been mourning the loss of their baby "brother" Quinn, so Santa healed their broken hearts by sending another sibling. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
At A Glance
What if it’s your child who wants a pet for Christmas? Petco has a readiness list you should check before deciding.
Make sure your child understands the care involved with a pet.
Take your child to an adoption weekend or animal shelter to confirm the breed or type of pet he wants.
Thoroughly research the animal’s care, maintenance, grooming and training requirements.
Identify a good veterinarian and determine if you need a permit or license.
If adding a puppy to the family, check out training classes or workshops.
Purchase all supplies the pet will need, such as cage, food, leash, shampoo, treats and toys.
Instead of tying a red bow around the new family member, wrap the cage and accessories with a photo of the animal for presentation and wait for the holidays to settle down before bringing the pet home.
For more information on how to prepare for a new pet, visit http://www.petco.com/holiday.
Updated: January 19, 2013 6:10AM
The five rescue/adopted cats belonging to Coleen Davis of Gardner have caved to pop culture. For Christmas, they all asked Santa Claus to bring “Angry Birds” catnip toys.
Quite possibly Davis (aka “Santa”), who owns Frisky, 9, Spooky, 9, Midnight, 8, Allouette, 7, and Dancer, 7, influenced their tastes. Davis adores “Angry Birds,” as well as Brent Michaels, which also has the cats frisking.
“Brent Michaels has a line of cat toys they will be getting, too,” Davis said.
However, Lillie, the greyhound belonging to Joan and Frank Krumpoch of Joliet, is pining for something more extravagant: a racetrack of her own. This is despite the fact that Lillie lives in a home with a fenced yard with patient owners who take her on two walks a day and push aside furniture so this retired racing dog can zoom around. Dog parks, however, are out.
“Greyhounds can run up to 40 miles an hour, so we always have her on a leash,” Joan said. “At a dog park, if she saw a small dog, she might chase it like it was a rabbit. If she grabbed it, Lillie would be in a lot of trouble. That’s why she’d like her own race track.”
More likely, Lillie will receive more squeak toys (Her favorite one is a stuffed tiger, which she carries everywhere.) and treats especially formulated for dogs. Lillie likes two kinds, energy and peanut butter flavor.
Lillie might also get to sample her favorite “people” foods: oatmeal (without milk), banana slices and chicken. At this point, Lillie has no plans to reciprocate her owners’ generosity. In short, Lillie has not gone Christmas shopping.
“If she behaves, that’s present enough for us,” Joan said. “She makes us laugh and she makes us smile. We’re happy with that.”
Recently, after losing their newest “brother” Quinn at 12 weeks, golden retriever therapy dogs Tessa, 4, and Sky, 3, welcomed Maddie, 8 weeks. Their owner, Ede Jankowski of Channahon, said this new baby sister was the only Christmas present Tessa and Skye wanted.
“Tessa and Sky had welcomed Quinn, slept with him, and shared toys and food. Maybe they knew in their own way that Quinn was special,” Jankowski said. “When Quinn passed, they were as heartbroken as our family was. Tessa was stressed and Sky carried Quinny’s blanket around in his mouth and even slept with it.”
Raising dogs able to cheer to patients and staff at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center, Sunny Hill Nursing Home and Presence Villa Franciscan nursing home—all in Joliet—as well as Morris Hospital, had not been Jankowski’s original goal when she enrolled Tessa in a Good Citizen Dogs class at Joliet Junior College.
However, Tessa’s instructor was so affirming of Tessa’s potential, Jankowski decided to advance Tessa’s training. When Sky joined the families, he completed the programs, too. Jankowski is certain Maddie will also be a successful therapy dog.
“Golden retrievers are so calm and quiet and my dogs really enjoy visiting the residents, doctors, nurses and visitors,” Jankowski said.
Spotticus, 2, and Luna, 7 months, the Colorado bulldogs belonging to Nola Sawyer of Rockdale, simply want Sawyer to take a day off work and play outside with them.
“It gets boring at home by themselves. There are only so many toys to shred,” Sawyer said. “They enjoy a good game of chase with each other outside, hunting for treats, and Spotticus is learning to pull a sled.”