It was refreshing to miss a certain type of post on my social media accounts over Christmas this year. Finally, people seemed to realise that Christmas was not the correct way to bring a puppy into the family.

I’ve always thought that the end of December is the worst time of the year to adopt a dog. Everyone is running around picking up the last-minute things that they’ve almost forgotten about and stuff ends up strewn all around the house. It’s the one day of the year where it is essential that dinner goes well and it isn’t until late into the evening when things start quietening down a little.

It’s not a bad scenario for the most part. It’s just not exactly the best first impression of how things should be in the household. Yet for so long, some have decided that the best gift they can give a person is a new four-legged friend.

It’s so common a situation, that The Dog’s Trust run their own series of adverts during the festive season and make their point clear: A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. In the 1970’s and 80’s, animal rescue centres found that the number of adoptions would skyrocket in the month of December and then activity would peak again between January and March as a similar number of dogs were surrendered or simply abandoned. To try and avoid this, the majority of rehoming centres, licenced breeders and pet shops all put a complete ban on the adoption or sales of dogs in December.

It’s enough to break anyone’s heart, even if you’re more of a cat person.

Let’s get one thing straight here: I’m very much a fan of dogs. We have two Jack Russell’s making up our household and I couldn’t really imagine things without them. I’ll be honest, more often than not, they do my head in. One is getting on in years and so thinks any flat surface is specially designed for him to sleep on, regardless of the fact that by napping in the doorway he’s dangerously in the way. Our other one is a little younger, but still just as bad. She seems to think that Murphy has the right idea so can often be found sprawled around a corner somewhere.

We have some basic rules where the dogs are concerned. They aren’t allowed on beds, nor are they allowed to go up the stairs. Most of the time, that isn’t a problem and they’re very good about toeing the line, but when they want to misbehave, they can do so spectacularly. One very memorable occasion came when the battery in the smoke alarm began to beep in the middle of the night. I think I’d heard it but decided getting back over to sleep was more important.

It would seem that our dogs have more concern for safety than that. Just as I was easing back into the land of nod, I had two great furry lumps land atop my head. Every time they began to settle, a chirp would be heard and pandemonium would break loose once again.

The only solution I could come to was to relocate the lot of us into the living room where I set up camp on the sofa. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought there was no way the two dogs would fit on it alongside me and was quite smug at the thought of getting back over to sleep. Alas, it was not the case and they just used me as a bed instead.

Sometimes I try to imagine what it would be like to have a life where there aren’t dogs getting underfoot, looking sadly at the dinner table or hovering when I’m making a snack in the hope that something drops and they can grab it. They seem to have a sixth sense to know when someone is within range and primed for a few slobbery kisses. If a person, car or leaf passes by the window, they’re the first to bark and let us know that our safety may be at risk.

That’s the thing with dogs. They’re so loyal that no matter what happens, they’ll always stick by you even if their actions are a little misplaced. Don’t get me wrong, a cuddle is always welcome, but if I’m wearing all black, it’s not exactly the best time.

I don’t think we give dogs enough credit sometimes. Some 7,000 disabled people are able to carry on day to day thanks to their trained assistance dog that helps them to do what may otherwise be a real struggle. Guide dogs are trained to ensure that neither they or their owner will bump into things, hearing dogs can understand people shouting their owner’s name and medical detection dogs are able to sniff out the smallest changes in odour and can then alert their owner to take preventative action of some kind.

Dogs really are so amazing and that’s why when they’re bring introduced into a house for the first time, we owe it to them to make that transition as easy as possible. It can take up to three months for a dog to feel comfortable in their new home so you want that transition period to be as calm as possible. Otherwise, with the likes of festive upheaval going on, the poor wee mite will end up completely overwhelmed and could start exhibiting bad behaviours like snapping at fingers or endlessly barking.

It’s the first few months that determine now a new dog will settle into the family and if you’re serious about adopting, then you’ll want to start engraining good habits as soon as possible. Getting a new pet should not be a snap decision so what’s hard about waiting until one of the other eleven months of the year? A dog is not for the short term, the wow-factor or. ‘likes’ on social media A dog is man’s best friend.