Growing up, I always loved St. Valentine's Day. While many criticize it for being an over-commercialized holiday, somehow the idealistic part of me has always been able to remain aware that at its core it is a holiday that celebrates love -- and how could I criticize that? Add to that the fact that it is a day when chocolate is available everywhere you turn and I'm sold.
The only thing needed to make this celebratory day picture perfect is the love of a companion animal! While it is never a good idea to give a pet as a gift, if your beloved is prepared for and seeking a furry little love, than adopting one from the shelter is the ultimate act of love! And if you love chocolate, why not help a critter whose coat color reminds you of this favored indulgence?
While many pet stores rely on the impulse buy of a cute little puppy this time of year, the sad reality is that the vast majority of puppies sold in pet stores are bred illegally in horrible conditions and sold unaltered, which ultimately contributes to the pet overpopulation problem. Opting to adopt an equally wonderful pup (or other animal) awaiting a home at a local shelter is love in action.
Of course, you might just be in the mood for chocolate of the more familiar kind. Well now you can rationalize that chocolate indulgence because it helps dogs! Allow me to call your attention to one of the best Valentine's gift around: RescueChocolate.com.
The net proceeds from the sale of goodies such as "Peanut butter pit bull" and "Foster-ific Peppermint" go to help animal rescue organizations across the U.S.! And the chocolates in such items as "Bow Wow Bon Bons" are made in the tradition of fine Belgian chocolates with top-quality ingredients.
To celebrate a holiday that honors love, I'd say that eating life-saving chocolate or saving a life with chocolate-colored fur are both great ways to go!
Dr. Pia Salk
PS: You can see each pet's profile and adoption info by clicking on the name: