This is a special edition of Dear Annie. Letters from my fellow canines regarding owner and behavioural problems are put on hold for this important message on behalf of all pets everywhere:
No matter how cute you think that doggy, cat, chinchilla, hedgehog, hamster, rabbit or any other living thing in a pet store window is, please remember that pets are not presents. Pets are a personal choice and your idea of a wonderful pet may not be the receiver's idea of a wonderful pet.
A pet is a companion that becomes the responsibility of the owner. Included in that responsiblitity is feeding, exercise, veterinary care and finding babysitters. The ongoing care of a pet does cost money and these costs will far exceed the purchase price of a pet.
One gift suggestion that the pets of the world would like to make: Buy a book about pets or a specific pet that the receiver may be interested in and let them read up and decide for themselves if they are ready for the responsibility.