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A Dog Named Christmas

dognamedchristmasA dog adoption promotion dreamed up as fiction has become a reality, and on a national scale.

After Greg Kincaid’s novel, “A Dog Named Christmas,” was published last year, a reader named Pam, who worked at a veterinary clinic in Florida, got inspired by what transpires in the book: Hayley, the fictional manager of a fictional animal shelter is so upset at seeing her kennels full that she calls up the news media and makes an offer — anyone who agrees to take a pet home for Christmas can return it afterward.

So Pam gave the same promotion a shot in real life. Her “Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays” program resulted in all 37 dogs at her shelter being dispensed to foster homes within 24 hours of the story appearing on a Pensacola TV station. One hundred more viewers who saw the report asked to be put on a waiting list.

Author/lawyer Kincaid made up the promotion while writing a story for his family a few Christmases ago, according to the Kansas City Star. It evolved into a published novel, and a TV movie that premieres tonight.

“A Dog Named Christmas” — the story of how a dog changed the lives of the family who adopted him — will air at 8 p.m. on CBS. In conjunction with the broadcast, CBS has agreed to sponsor a nationwide “Foster a Lonely Pet” program with Petfinder.com. More than 2,000 shelters and rescues across the country are participating.

Most shelters, despite their urgent need to find homes for dogs, refrain from encouraging holiday adoptions. Dogs adopted on impulse and as Christmas gifts often end up getting returned or, worse yet, abandoned. But placing them in foster care for the holidays relieves the pressure at shelters, ensures they will be returned if unwanted and often leads to full-fledged adoptions.

And it gives a shelter dog a nice break for the holidays.

“We do a lot of nice things at Christmas,” Kincaid said. “I was thinking, ‘Why is it that we have all these shelters with animals in them, and people don’t seem interested in extending the same generosity to them?”

(For more news and reviews of the latest dog books, visit our Good Dog Reads page.)


Comment from feefifoto
Time November 29, 2009 at 11:47 am

Reminds me of the plot of “Annie”.

Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time November 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I dunno. Reminds me of that “rent-a-dog” phase that went around for awhile and is actually still available on-line, popular in big cities, as I understand. Can a dog be extracted from a shelter for a day or two and plopped into a totally different setting, with totally new people (and possible other animals) and actually enjoy itself? Isn’t this more self-indulgent entertainment for the temporary adopters rather than a rescue for the dog? The concept is indeed heart-warming, and yes, I will watch the Hallmark special, but the concept scares me and I’m am certain that it scares the dogs. Seems more beneficial for folks to spend an afternoon volunteering at a shelter, walking and running and playing with a few dogs and slipping a few indulgent “holiday” treats.

Comment from Iris
Time November 29, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Its already 8:20 and the movie is not showing on CBS.

Comment from Demetrio
Time November 29, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Eighteenpaws, Let me guess… you’re a Democrat!

Comment from shirley
Time November 30, 2009 at 2:57 am

i missed the show of dog named christmas, i have a special interst in seeing the show, i have a special needs son whom also beged for me to adopt a dog. we did get a dog. how can i get a copy of this movie. thanks

Comment from Betty
Time November 30, 2009 at 11:01 am

I loved this movie. There was no death, the
people in in were loving and caring, and most
of all, this movie put out a wonderful message
for dogs and animals in general. Animals in
shelters are so forgotten. We as a society can
do better.

Comment from Pat
Time November 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Did not see the beginning of this movie, or I would have taped it for grandkids. Would love to buy movie. Was a very good one. No death. Even made me shed a few tears. Where can I buy.

Comment from joy
Time December 3, 2009 at 11:59 am

i really enjoy the movie, my mother really love movies with animals in it. i would like get it forher. it came on to late so she couldn’t see it. it was 10:30 pm nl.she is 82 years old. iwould love to get it for her.where can i buy it or can i buyit.

Comment from Ruthy Vanderhoof
Time December 7, 2009 at 11:39 pm

What a wonderful movie! This movie is selling on E-bay…

Comment from Suzanne
Time December 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm

I enjoyed so much that movie and I cried a lot.
That story touched me.

Comment from ruwan
Time April 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I enjoyed so much .thank u very much shearing

Comment from nancy Berg
Time November 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm

If you are in the southern New Mexico area, check out our wonderful animals up for adoption. We are a no-kill shelter and adoption center and we exclusively take in dogs and cats whose time has run out at kill facilities and give then the time they need to get adopted. When one animals is adopted, we immediately rescue another. So when you adopt from us you are really saving two lives. We are also on Petfinder for area code 88310, Alamogordo, NM. God Bless everyone who saves an animal from destruction

Comment from nancy Berg
Time November 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm

http://www.animalvillagenm.com. Thanks