ANTRIM Town Councillor and dog lover Neil Kelly has urged local people to think carefully before buying a pup for Christmas.
The Alliance rep is seldom seen without his four-legged friend by his side, but he has reminded would-be owners that they are taking on a commitment for life.
“Everyone loves the cuddly ball of fur that is an eight-week-old pup,” said Neil.
“I remember my own dog Murphy at that age and he was a small, cute bundle of fun and mischief.
“Murphy is nearly two years old and in now a huge, inexhaustible force of energy!
“He went from a couple of kilograms to over thirty kilograms in a short period of time.
“He needs lots of walks and attention and eats like a horse as he burns it all up while out for a skip.
“I love Murphy to bits but I want to make people aware that a cute wee pup turns into a large mature dog that needs plenty of care and attention.
“Once the pup arrives you have the toilet training which can get a bit messy at times and along with the dog hair can make the house quite a different place.
“Along with all of this a dog does add to the expenditure as you need all the bedding, kennel, toys, food, pet insurance and vet fees which does add to the family outgoings.
“Don’t get me wrong the last thing I want to do is put people off but you really do need to go into this with your eyes open and give it a lot of thought as too many pups end up unwanted after they go through the puppy phase and become adult dogs.
“As I say it is hard work having a dog but it is all worth while and they more than make up for it with the love and devotion they give back.
“Please do give it some thought and never get a pup on impulse.”