When Jon and I decided to retire and move to Palm Springs, our first order of business was to adopt a dog. We hadn't had a dog in some time due to our rather peripatetic lifestyle, but now it was time to settle down, stay in one place, and start a family. Well, OUR kind of family.
We adopted Roxy soon after finding a place to live that would allow a dog (not easy when you rent). We waited awhile and then pushed it by adopting Charlie, our second "kid". Our landlord is a dog lover (thank God) so, after a bit of grumbling,we were allowed to keep our family intact. And then I wanted to do more for animals in need of a home. What to do?
First, I became an ASPCA Guardian. After just one of those terribly heartbreaking TV commercials, I was on the phone, bank card in hand. But I didn't just want to give money so I asked about other ways to help. They suggested we volunteer at a local shelter and they supplied me with the names of local shelters and phone numbers to call. Jon and I began by helping clean cages and taking dogs out for walks. That went well but then I had an accident and broke a hip. No more walking for me, at least for awhile. But that's when I got an idea. What if I got a ASPCA volunteer to bring dogs to us. We could bring shelter dogs into our home, walk them (Jon's job at first), and give them our love for a day out of their crowded cages. Roxy and Charlie pitched right in by showing these animals what being loved is all about. My little idea was an immediate hit! We were helping shelter dogs get ready for forever homes and adoptions were happening at a faster rate.
When my hip finally healed and I could use a power wheelchair to get around, we began going out for coffee with our two pups and two shelter pups every morning. Because I find it very easy to talk to people, we began making friends and finding homes for our fosters right away. It wasn't long before I had all the necessary paperwork with me at all times and we were getting adoptions on a regular basis. Then I began a list of people who wanted to adopt but had specific requirements. That list has grown over the past year to over 300 names. When I find a dog that matches someone on the list, all I have to do is call. Voila! Another forever home. By the way, I check people out as if I am an FBI agent. Serious dog lovers only need apply. I even tell them what to feed their new family members and warn them about all those little pesky things dogs are known for. Sometimes I even talk people out of adopting (or even owning a pet of any kind) but better that than having a failed adoption.
I know that I have written about this many times, but it is important enough to continue sharing my stories with all those who share my love for animals. Together we can make such a difference! Please, no more puppy mill pooches. You need look no further than your local animal shelter when you wish to add to your family. Believe me, the animals know they are being rescued and they will be grateful to you all their lives!
Peace and Love,