A quick online search of “top 10 New Year’s resolutions” is bound to include variations on these perennial faves: lose weight; get in shape; get a better job; spend more time with family; learn something new; improve financial situation; do something charitable; travel; get organized; and meet someone special. I’ll admit it — a few made my 2014 list. Think about this. If you adopt a dog, you’ll cover about half of these resolutions. You’ll exercise more by adding a brisk daily walk or two to your routine and you’ll also want to come home from work earlier to spend time with your new family member. You may meet that special someone since dogs make us more social (dare I say “chick magnet”), you’ll learn about dog training, health and behavior and you’ll stretch your entertainment budget since your dog will provide endless fun at very little cost to you. And, by adopting, you’re doing your charitable duty. Now, if your home already includes a pet, you might include a few resolutions for him or her. Consider these: a training class, even for the older dog in your life; a trip to the vet (especially for a geriatric pet!); a microchip form of identification; new bedding or new toys; a DNA test to determine your mixed breed’s background; another four-legged playmate for your pet (but make sure you have time for one dog before getting a second!); weight loss for your pet — vets often report that a high percentage of dogs are overweight and this can lead to many things from joint pain to a shorter life span; a professional grooming session (or, a good bath at the very least); nail trimming; a car seat harness if your canine companion is a frequent traveler; (at least) weekly teeth brushing; overdue vaccinations; more time with you! This last one is definitely first on their list and won’t cost a dime.
Scott oversees PHS/SPCA’s Adoption, Behavior and Training, Education, Outreach, Field Services, Cruelty Investigation, Volunteer and Media/PR program areas and staff from the new Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion.