Here come the holidays and every December at Dog Patch we reminisce about our long history of helping people keep their heads over giving adorable animals as gifts.

Surprising someone with a pet is almost never a good idea.

Now if mom and dad are feeling it’s time for the family to have a pet for Christmas, that’s a different story and something we can get behind.

But we have seen many things that give us great pause. For instance, when kids arrive with enthusiasm and their decision that their mom should have a puppy. Then there are boyfriends or girlfriends who want to give a gift of a pet to a sweetheart. Even siblings shop for siblings. Most of these situations will raise a red flag.

Our go-to gift suggestion always has been “Gift cards, not gift pets!” Honestly, if a person is not involved in the pet decision, there is likely not a bond with that animal. It is that special bond that makes the relationship work. It’s important for us to help avoid pet returns after the holidays are over. This is a delicate balance for us. We will always put the animal first!

Our wild bird seed is in great supply for all backyard feeders.

The Grinch is loose at Dog Patch! Stop in and try to find him. He’s in about 49 other independent businesses in Naperville, too. Simply stop by 12 of any of the participating stores, get a stamp from each store on your “passport” and you could enter to win great prizes at the Grinch Wrap Up party at Anderson’s Bookshop at 11AM on Sat., Dec. 29. Ask us for details or visit Indieboundnaperville.com.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Dog Patch!

Editor’s Note / As pictured above, Maki found the Grinch! Can you find the Grinch at Dog Patch? Just stop by Naperville’s oldest pet store for details about finding the Grinch 12 times using the “playing card” available at Anderson’s Bookstore in downtown Naperville. The wrap up party begins at 11AM Sat., Dec. 29, at Anderson’s.