When I first started writing for Autostraddle, I had a minute where I wondered: Was I gonna become that writer? The person who’s clearly obsessed with their dog — and pretty much with every pet that comes their way, no matter what shape or size or temperament?
Then I realized: It wasn’t a choice at all. I’m that person! I know every one of Milo’s friends by name, and I usually say “good-bye! I love you!” when each dog leaves the park, even if we’ve only just met five minutes before. One of the ways to my heart is truly through my dog, and I bet you have someone in your life who’s the exact same way. Why not get them something for their furry friends this season?
When my sweet dog Cyrus was 12 years old, a cousin of mine commissioned his portrait for Christmas. It was truly the best gift I ever got, made all the more precious when Cyrus passed away a year and a half later. Now it hangs on the wall with his collar and his tag, and I tap it like Ted Lasso’s BELIEVE sign whenever I walk by.
Our pets are full-fledged family members, but the time they spend with us, no matter how long, passes by far too quickly. However old your loved one’s loved one is, a custom portrait’s one of the most special gifts you can give. And if portraits are out of your budget, other types of pet-inspired art are amazing too! We love our animals! You can’t go wrong!
Toys, Puzzles, and Fun
Milo is a curious one year-old pup who wants to wake up at 6 a.m. and do EVERYTHING, including pull books off the shelf to wake me up. He’s definitely getting a puzzle or a snuffle mat for Christmas! Maybe it will buy me an extra 15 minutes in the morning. Meanwhile, some of my friends with cats swear by the catnip toys they’ve been getting lately. Cat grass is great too, especially for indoor cats! Dog Trainer TikTok just loves to talk about “enrichment,” and you know what? I’m there.
Having a dog or cat is 100% worth it, but there are a LOT of practicalities that go into it. From cat harnesses and metal litter scoopers (my cat-owning friends were very specific about the metal) to lint rollers and waterproof blankets that can come in handy for a variety of activities around the house, here are a few ways you can help make everyone’s lives easier!
Clothes for Pets (and their People, Too!)
Listen: Sometimes you just have to be extra, because extra is who you are! If that sounds like somebody you know, their dog just might need the cutest canine rainbow puffer vest around, some bandanas to jazz things up (Milo’s modeling his here!), or a hoodie or flannel with a human-sized version to match. We are who we are! And it’s great!