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  • Writer's pictureBill Stauffer

Gratitude Friday 5-20-22 – National Rescue Dog Day

“A dog is not a thing. A thing is replaceable. A dog is not. A thing is disposable. A dog is not. A thing doesn’t have a heart. A dog’s heart is bigger than any “thing” you can ever own.” ― Elizabeth Parker, Paw Prints in the Sand

Today is National Dog Rescue Day, the link is to a dedicated web site. They have some ideas on how to celebrate it:

· POST A PHOTO: Share a photo of your rescue dog on social media by using #nationalrescuedogday.

· GIVE LOVE: Shower your rescue dog with love with a walk, a delicious treat, a new toy, or extra cuddle time.

· ADOPT: Adopt a dog from a local shelter or a pure breed rescue group to save a life.

· FOSTER: Provide a temporary home for a rescue dog.

· HELP A SHELTER: Check your local shelter website to donate and to view their wish list of much needed items.

· VOLUNTEER: Help out at your local shelter.

· SPAY/NEUTER: Be responsible for your pets. Overpopulation is the number one reason shelters exist.

· EDUCATE: Teach young children the importance of kindness, unconditional love, and responsible care of all animals.

Even posting a picture of a rescue dog helps heal the world! There is some evidence that even looking at a picture of a dog will make you smile. This article, In the Human Brain, Dogs and Children Are Equally Lovable is about what the title states. This one found some evidence that dog pictures increase workplace productivity. That works for me!

Julie and I have had a total of five dogs since we got together. Haggis was a pet shop boy, we had

not thought about the implications of buying a dog at a store. Sean we got from a breeder, and we saw first-hand what that looked like. Really great dogs. Along the way we realized that we could serve a need by taking on a rescue. Our third dog Webster (who would open doorknobs with his teeth and let himself out of the house in the event of fireworks or thunderstorms) was a direct rescue. The evening he came to our house as a midlife dog, he laid down next to me on the floor and gave out this forlorn whimper. We knew in that moment, that come what may, he had found his forever home.

Tweak was a direct adoption and Ella was a rescue from West Virginia. There is a lack of no kill dog shelters in West Virginia, so a lot of rescue dogs come up here to the Keystone State. I guess we came to the conclusion that there were dogs around that need homes. So, we stopped buying dogs and found ones to welcome into our home. I found a number of articles from people who believe that a rescue dog is a grateful dog. We sure think so.

Pandemic dogs are a thing. According to this web site, 49% of American homes welcomed a new pup during the pandemic. I can understand this, I have noted that our dogs were are primary support network during the plague siege. According to this article, not all those homes were prepared for the costs in time and resources of taking on the lifetime responsibility of a dog. From where I sit, when you look a dog in the eye and tell him that you are part of their pack and your home is their home, there is a reciprocal agreement in place. Dogs never fails on their end of the bargain; they deliver unconditional love. We are charged with taking care of their health and safety. I think, as a species we are less dependable than dogs. If you take one on, please do your very best to uphold your end of the agreement.

Who rescues who? There are a plethora of article and videos of dogs rescuing people. This rescue dog, Nanook (not of the north, that is ZAPPA) pulled a woman from a river, and the posting of her story brought in a second story of the same dog saving a hiker in the same mountain pass. This video is a compilation of five dogs who saved people’s lives. Togo saved the whole village of Gnome Alaska and has a movie made about him in his honor. Judy was a WWII POW dog who saved people multiple times. We have service dogs who serve those who served us. This web site says that there are about 500,000 trained service dogs and the supply of trained dogs, which can cost 40K is fewer than needed.

Our favorite local dog rescue is Peaceable Kingdom. We have had yard sales and donated old leashes, beds and towels to them. A few years ago, were considering a tertiary dog for Ella to play with as she is a dog centric dog, but Tweak would have none of it. Tweak thinks he is a person and has no need for a dog. They do dog adoptions by appointment, have a wish list and medical care fund and are seeking long term volunteers. If you are not from the Lehigh Valley PA and feel like donating time, money or supplies to a dog rescue, or even finding a pup to bring home to your family, I found this site that lists dog rescue organizations by state and county. Please consider helping out a dog rescue today!

In our house, if we did a cost benefit on our pack of dogs, the ledger would come up in favor of us getting more from them than they “cost” us. It is not even a close calculation. They heal us, makes us smile, lead us to play and watch out for us. If you can rescue, I hope you do. I am grateful for our rescue dogs. If you were rescued by a dog, please comment below. I am grateful for rescue dogs and all us whom they also rescue!

What are you grateful for today?

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