Monday, July 28, 2014

Taking Care of Your Corner of the World

A little something from the "good news" department. 
This is Ares. 

Earlier this month, my friend's dog (Ares) got spooked by some fireworks and broke out of the gate. He was missing for about 2 days. Turns out he was hit by a car, then someone dropped him (severely injured) at the animal shelter.

Once the family was reunited with Ares, they brought him to the emergency vet, who quoted a really high price for the necessary surgery (leg amputation). The family was looking at having to put Ares down (they have 2 boys in college, and thousands of dollars in vet bills was just not something they could manage).

I saw their post about Ares on facebook, and how saddened they were about the prospect of euthanizing their dog. And I thought- this isn't necessary! A number of their friends had already offered to chip in a hundred dollars.  So I set up an indiegogo campaign. One of those sites where you have a project (frequently, it's a band wanting to make a new CD), and you set a monetary goal, put your story up on the site, then spread the link around via social media and email and ask people to contribute to your cause.

Meanwhile, friends helped the family find a more affordable vet who would take installment payments.

Then, sure enough, everyone pitched in and raised all the money in just 3 days! All I did was set it up and post it on facebook and twitter, and send emails to some mutual friends. It was a group effort. But with everyone doing just a little (and a few people doing more than a little!), we saved a dog's life.

I learned a long time ago that I can't save the world. But that doesn't mean I should throw up my hands and do nothing. I can take care of my little corner of the world. And if we all take care of our little corner of the world, what a wonderful world it will be. Think globally, act locally. If you can make a difference, do! Believe me, Ares' family definitely are the kind of people who make huge positive differences in their corner of the world.

What we have domesticated, we must be responsible for. We made these animals dependent on us, so we must care for them. And they give far back more in return, if we let them. Pets can be such a comfort, so smart, so funny, so loving- a link to nature and an example of how to live in the moment and relax.

I donate to big groups like ASPCA, but I really feel I make a tangible difference when I bring a bunch of old blankets or a pile of newspapers to the local animal shelter. I also donate to local no-kill shelters, like the Happy Cat Sanctuary and Goathouse refuge, where you know the animals are rescued and loved, and little or no money goes to advertising (fundraising) or administration- and you can visit!

It feels so good to know you made a difference in someone's life. It really is better to give than receive.

We love you Ares! You brought out the better side in all of us.