When it comes to animals, there’s no denying that cats and dogs are among the most spoiled creatures out there.
From the moment we welcome the pets into our homes and lives they’re often known to be showered with gifts in the form of fancy collars, extravagant beds and an unnecessary amount of toys. Cut to a couple of weeks later when their favourite pastime is curling up on your spot on the sofa with an old sock.
Though some pet owners opt to spread the spoiling of pets fairly evenly throughout the year, others find themselves using Christmas as an excuse to go above and beyond, with a multitude of presents under the tree addressed specifically to the four-legged members of the house.
Maddi Beaulieu, from Ontario, Canada, is someone who has ‘always bought presents’ for her pets, which include three cats named Holly, Willow and Pebbles, who are considered ‘family pets’, and one dog named Frankie who, for Maddi, is like ‘her child’.
Speaking to UNILAD, Maddi explained that pets have ‘always been included in Christmas traditions’ ever since she was young, when she herself would receive Christmas presents cleverly signed by her family’s pets.
When she grew up and began getting pets of her own in 2015, Maddi started off spoiling them with ‘a small gift or two’, but admitted that over the years it’s ‘blown a little out of proportion’, to the point where all three cats and Frankie have ‘stockings and wrapped gifts’ to open on December 25.
Of course, it probably doesn’t help that Maddi works part-time as an associate at Petsmart alongside her studies at university, with each shift bringing the opportunity to buy yet another gift for her beloved furry friends.
Each Christmas Maddi estimates she spends around $50 on between five and eight gifts for her cats, which they share between them, and as of November this year she’d spent ‘nearly a total of $250’ on the lucky pup that is Frankie.
The pooch is often gifted as many as 15 presents at Christmastime, though Maddi stressed this year marks the most she’s ever spent on her dog.
These gifts include treats, toys, new collars/leashes, tags, beds and winter apparel. Things can get quite expensive because I like to buy high quality items and I try my best to purchase from small businesses.
Thankfully Maddi’s spoiling of her pets doesn’t go unnoticed – at least not by Frankie. The dog has been described as getting ‘so excited’ when she gets new toys, with the owner adding that she ‘loves ripping open presents herself’.
The cats, on the other hand, ‘don’t seem to care as much’, though I think we all know that cats tend to be a lot less forthcoming with their affection in comparison to dogs. Still, Maddi likes to think they ‘like the new toys, catnip and especially treats.’
Maddi’s dedication to animals doesn’t stop with her own pets, and she has been previously known to purchase some presents for her friends’ dogs, who she refers to as her ‘nieces and nephews’.
Though some may consider Maddi’s shopping habits excessive, her friends and family ‘know [she’s] absolutely in love with [her] pets’, so have come to ‘expect’ her to go overboard and find ‘humour in the fact that [she] does so much’ for Frankie.
The 22-year-old has acknowledged that ‘many people don’t see animals or pets in the same way’ she does, so she can ‘understand why some may think it’s extreme’. However, with Frankie at the centre of her universe, any judgement she may receive from her efforts to make her dog happy ‘doesn’t bother’ her.
It’s not as if Maddi is the only person in the world to flash the cash when it comes to pets, though, with self-described ‘zoo’ owner Kacy Tiller admitting she, too, ‘spends a lot’ on her multitude of pets, while dog walker Megan Haskey enjoys securing gifts for her dogs, cats, guinea pigs and hamster.
Megan, from Lancashire in the UK, told UNILAD she finds herself spending ‘anywhere between £50-£100 altogether’ on her numerous pets after the tradition started when she was a child, when she and her siblings would sign their names to the presents bought for their many animals.
Similarly, Kacy, from Tennessee, finds herself treating up to 14 pets including cats, dogs, horses and donkeys; animals for which she has bought Christmas presents ever since she was a child.
Not only has Kacy ‘probably spent over $500’ on her dog alone this year, but she also goes to the extent of ‘individually wrapping’ each present, putting each pet’s name on them and hanging up dedicated stockings to put them in.
Check out the setup below – and note that only three of these stockings are for humans:
This Christmas, Kacy’s dog Alfred Pennyworth has been treated to ‘a super soft XL dog bed’, a number of plushy toys, a Harry Potter collar, a Gryffindor hoodie, a rope toy, a pack of squeaky balls and some Christmas-themed pyjamas, all of which were specially wrapped in ‘dog-themed wrapping paper’.
Meanwhile, Megan’s pets are gifted with ‘treats and chew toys’, as well as ‘new beds, cat trees or cages’ for the bigger animals.
Explaining her pricey purchases, 31-year-old Kacy said:
The bed was expensive, but he gets cold. He shivers. He insists on sitting beside me while I work. I got him the bed so he could be beside me and be warm too.
Yes, Christmas isn’t about material things. It’s about love, hope, family and Christmas spirit. I don’t buy things for myself. I buy things for my dog, or I make things. I’ve repaired old toys for him as a Christmas present. He will bring me broken toys or torn toys. I’ll fix them while he watches carefully.
Kacy has assured that Alfred ‘plays with every single one of his toys’ and that he’s ‘grateful’ for all of them, with his excitement at the prospect of having a new toy evident as he, like Frankie, unwraps his own gifts.
Sharing her opinion with both Kacy and Maddi, Megan agreed that her animals ‘appreciate the presents’, adding: ‘I’ve never known any of them to turn their nose up at the treats or new beds!’
Going above and beyond for her pets has prompted many of Kacy’s friends and family to call her a ‘great dog mom’, though she has admitted that some people also ‘laugh’ at the amount she does for her dog.
Megan, on the other hand, has found herself surrounded by like-minded people as she told UNILAD that her ‘family and friends also tend to buy the animals presents, so think it’s cute and it’s a happy little experience for us all.’
Admittedly we may never know for sure whether the animals really appreciate all the things owners do for them, let alone understand the concept of Christmas and presents, but when it comes to a holiday that’s all about sharing the love there’s no reason they shouldn’t be involved.
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