While I have been fortunate to enjoy a successful career, wonderful friends and a pretty darn good life to date, nothing compares to the passion I have for animals. I always knew I loved animals but I never realized how it was my life purpose to do more to help them until I decided to write a book.
My book (to be published shortly) was a bucket list item for me. It came out at a dinner with two colleagues, in general conversation, and they convinced me to do it. I just needed to figure out what my book was going to be about. One of them suggested I write about Flipflop (my Bahamian Potcake, who has the most energy and personality I’ve ever seen in a dog). Sure there was enough Flipflop stories to write a trilogy, but it didn’t light a fire in me.
I went home that evening and when I woke up the next morning, I woke up with more excitement than I had in a long time. I wanted to write a book about rescue, realizing I’m not the first person to do this, nor will I be the last, but I’m not writing to become a famous author, in fact I suspect short of friends and family my book will not sell, but regardless, all proceeds will be donated to the two rescues who saved Flipflop and Dahlia’s life.
Now I digressed, but my point is, it wasn’t until I started writing my book I realized just how passionate I was about rescue. I started fostering, volunteering and talking rescue to anyone who would listen. I’ve had several people tell me that when they decide to get a dog, they will adopt it, and never before thought about adoption, until meeting me. I don’t have words to describe how happy I am my message gets heard. Even if by one person, it’s one dog saved.
Through my volunteering and fostering I have met so amazing people who all have the compassion, love and dying desire to end animal abuse, neglect and uncontrolled breeding, that I do.
I have formed many networks and friendships and learned so much about what can be done to help:
- Share posts on social media – not the ones that make us cry, the ones of dogs and cats looking for homes (foster and forever homes).
- Educate, make people aware. Flipflop and I appeared on Breakfast Television a couple of years ago, it was an unexpected opportunity and I had zero time to prepare, but took advantage of it. It amazed me how many people saw it and said they didn’t know some of the points I mentioned (and there were still so many I missed). (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eBXOiBZ0Dc)
- Donate, and not necessarily money, rescues always need old towels, food, collars, bowls, crates, bedding, etc.
- Volunteer to be a transporter, pick up dogs from airports, transport them to locations, or if on a vacation, work with a local rescue before travelling and arrange to bring a dog back to them (the rescues will work on the paperwork and all you need to bring the pup back to the rescue or shelter).
- Foster, yes you will fall in love and want to keep every one of them, but you will also understand the greater need for foster homes and the rewards of your foster going to a wonderful forever home.
These are just a few things you can do, but what inspired me to write this blog, is an awesome lady I met through rescue, Mandy. Mandy adopted one of my fosters, Hannah, who’s story is shared in my upcoming book.
Mandy has two young boys and the moment I spoke with her on the phone, we instantly connected, I think we talked for over an hour about our past dogs and of course I told her all I knew about Hanna. Mandy and I are still in touch and connect every few months on the phone, just to chat and catch up.
So, it was no surprise when I received a text from her that her was her sons birthday and they had a lovely party. But what Mandy also shared was a photo, of what looked to be a gift table. However; upon closer inspection it was dog supplies…..and then I read her message.
Mandy and her family asked all the guests to the party to bring a donation for the rescue that Hanna came from. Such an amazing gesture and so thoughtful of Mandy and all the party guests. Apparently her son was also so excited to be helping dogs in need too, she sent me a photo of him by the donations just beaming.
My best friend has made crafts and snacks in the past and sold them at her office and donated the money to rescue, another friend collects blankets and such at her work every year to donate.
Not everyone can afford to donate money, but the beautiful thing is, there’s always something you can do, if you’re inspired to help.