Shelter dogs experience the pure joy of selecting their own Christmas gifts

The holiday season is a magical time, filled with joy, love, and the warmth of togetherness. It’s a time when we exchange gifts with our loved ones and show them how much we care. But what about those who don’t have a family to celebrate with? What about the shelter dogs, who long for love and affection? The staff at Dogs Trust Ireland made sure that the holidays were just as special for their furry residents by giving them a heartwarming Christmas treat.

Instead of picking out gifts for each pup and risking disappointment, they filled a room with a plethora of wonderful toys and let each dog choose its own present! The result was a room filled with ecstatic dogs, unable to believe their eyes as they entered the toy-filled wonderland. The sniffing and slobbering commenced as the dogs ran around, playing with whatever appealed to them the most, and then running off with their favorite toy.

The shelter even recorded 35 dogs picking out their toys and spent many hours editing the video to show the best reactions. Some dogs, like Happy, found their toy immediately but still skidded around the room with it in their mouth, both to play and to get a look at the other possibilities.

Others, like Buddy, took their time to sniff out a variety of toys before trotting off with the one they liked best. Big toys, small toys, squeaky toys, soft toys – they were all on offer, and the dogs, including Porkie, Esme, Kenneth, Max, Tiny, Sidney, and three unnamed puppies, ran through the wonderland with glee.

This beautiful tradition started in 2017 with a Secret Santa Paws event, where staff members bought a present specifically for a long-term dog, and recorded their reaction. In 2018, they decided to let the dogs pick their own toys, combining supporter donations with staff toy donations, and it was a hit. Watching the pups dash around the room, exploring the possibilities, and choosing their favorite toy is a gift in itself, especially considering that they don’t have loving homes for the holidays.

The room was also equipped with a big, red couch, and dogs like Esme took the chance to get comfy with their toys before leaving the room (and by “comfy,” we mean shaking it as hard as they could to make sure it was sturdy). Every year, the internet eagerly awaits to see what toy each good boy and girl picks out, and this video is no exception – it is utterly adorable to watch.

Remember, the holiday season is a time for giving and sharing love. If you can, consider adopting a shelter animal and giving them the gift of a forever home. Adopt, don’t shop.

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Shelter dogs experience the pure joy of selecting their own Christmas gifts