Gifts for the dog lover in your life

December 17, 2003

It is getting close to the big day when all the gifts have to be delivered. Have you finished your shopping, or are you stuck on what to give your dog-loving friend or relative?

Here are some suggestions. Some of the most appreciated surprises do not involve shopping in crowded stores or waiting in long lines to check out. They consist of gift certificates from: 1) the dog owner's veterinarian for either a certain amount or for certain services like preventative shots. Or, maybe, 2) a certificate from the dog owner's groomer for a certain amount.

Other gift certificates from pet stores or from wherever your friend purchases the dog's food can be helpful as well.

Besides gift certificates, you might want to find a cute scarf for windy days when your friend is showing outdoors. I prefer a medium brimmed hat to shade my eyes, which I also use while driving especially at sundown. Be sure to include a reminder for the handler to practice with a hat or scarf at home so the dog will not be distracted in the show ring.


If your friend likes to read, there are a number of new books available. Three possibilities are: "The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic" by Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury. This is a thoroughly researched book on the legendary trip to Nome, Alaska in 1925 when a relay of dog teams brought diphtheria serum 674 miles in the dead of winter to stop the spread of the disease. Although Balto is the dog honored because he led the last team into Nome, there was another team whose lead dog rescued the rest of the team, the musher and the serum so Balto had it to deliver.

Salisbury tells the story of the other teams and their trials. The current Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race is based on this historic race.

A second book is titled, "Breaking Bad Habits" by Colin Tennant. Surely you know of one dog owner who could benefit from reading this highly regarded book which explains the motivation behind each undesirable canine behavior and what to do about it.

A third possibility is a book called "Perpetual Care" by Lisa Rogak. Dog Fancy magazine lists it as a "worthwhile treat." It covers the need to plan for your pet's future. Rogak covers wills, probate, and pet trusts as well as a lot of smaller problems the owner needs to consider.

There are also mystery stories with dogs involved in solving the crime. Ask the bookstore to recommend the most current.

If you would rather purchase something for the dog, there are lots of toys to select from. Or you could create a basket with chew toys, stuffed squeaky toys and edible treats. You can pick from freeze-dried liver or beef, pig's ears or snouts, lamb's ears, and even low fat pig's ears for the plump pooch.

Balls are always a favorite with dogs especially if the owner plays with the pet.


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