Parade of Pets to take center stage

May. 04, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Make no bones about it, I love my pet. 

More than seven years ago my life changed when I was visiting my college roommate in Iowa. We were walking down the gravel road taking in a beautiful fall day, when I saw the sign: Dog for sale.

“You should get a dog,” Mary said. “It’d be great company for you.”

“I’m too busy,” I replied.

“No, you’re not,” she fired back. “You need a companion.”

However, when we approached her neighbor’s farm house, the dog had been sold. Whew, I dodged  the bullet. However, Mary’s neighbor told me another dog was to have a litter in December. “If you want one, I’ll save you one,” she said.

Before I could open my mouth and politely tell the woman, no, Mary took charge. “Sure,” she said. “Save us a nice one.”

Rather than throttle my old college roommate, I somehow let her hoodwink me into getting a puppy.  

That was a little more than six years ago. Today, Hopalong Cassidy has changed my life in so many ways, that I’m not sure what I’d do without the little mug-a-nut.

Cassidy, as I like to call him, is my 6-year old, 32-pound Bichon Frise and Cocker Spaniel mix. 

The first six months were trying on my patience. He chewed, I should say ruined, several pairs of my shoes. It’s a wonder I had any left to wear.

One weekend while I was busy working at the newspaper office, my computer suddenly lost power. Hmmm ... I thought, I must have hit the power cord and unplugged my computer. Nope, it wasn’t my large feet that created the problem. It was Cassidy. It’s a wonder he didn’t electrocute himself as he chewed the computer’s cable cord in half. Thank goodness I wasn’t on deadline.

To make matters worse he started to dig. Unbeknownst to me, he dug a hole underneath the neighbor’s fence, crawled under it and did the No. 2 in the neighbor’s backyard. Just as I thought I had stopped his mischievous early morning adventures, he retaliated by crying by the fence. To shut him up, the neighbor, threw him a burnt piece of toast to keep him quiet. 

This soon became a daily event between Cassidy and our elderly 90-year-old neighbor, affectionately known as “Sammy the Greek.” Cassidy would wait every morning at the fence for Sammy to feed him a slice of toast. To this day, my dog loves to eat a slice a toast before going outside every morning. To say he’s spoiled would be an understatement.

For those of us who have pets or just love animals, we know the joy that they bring our hearts. Cassidy insists on hugs, petting, snuggling and daily exercise no matter what my mood. Pets reveal to us what unconditional love really looks like: selfless, forgiving, patient, kind, eager, accepting, humble and ever-constant love.

I believe our pets have a job to do ... to give us their undivided attention.

That being said, I’d like to tell you about a fantastic pet project we are working on at The Daily Courier

In recent weeks, I’ve learned that our local animal shelter needs our help. During tough economic times, people seem to abandon their pets more than ever. As a result, they dump them off at the shelter, thinking that someone will care for them.

Unfortunately, while they would love to save all the animals, they can’t. Finances dictate, some animals have to be destroyed if they are not adopted. Hard times, means tough times for animals too. The American Humane Association estimates that with 8,000 houses going into foreclosure every day, between 15,000 and 26,000 animals are in danger of losing their homes daily. 

A recent national survey by petfinder.com finds that 84 percent of shelters and rescue groups are caring for more pets because of the economy; and as you might expect, 37 percent of them report seeing a decrease in pet adoptions in the last year.

Many of us would love to be able to write a big fat check to help our local Community Pet Center, but we can’t. But collectively, as pet lovers, we can.

The Daily Courier would like to offer our help by publishing a pet album featuring pictures of everyone’s beloved pets. The cost is $12 for each published pet picture. In turn, The Daily Courier will give a portion of its profits to the local animal shelter to help with various needs at the facility. 

It’s time to give back to our community and “paws for a cause” that will help raise funds for our local animal shelter. I’ll be doing my part by publishing Cassidy’s adorable mug shot to help raise a few funds for the animals. Won’t you help the animals and become their ally?

Look for an ad in The Daily Courier to see how you can help raise funds for the Community Pet Center. The animals will thank you.

 

Wanda Moeller is the publisher of The Daily Courier. She can be reached at wmoeller@thedigitalcourier.com.