I shouldn't do it, I know it, but I still do. I read the pet rescue sites - about the dogs and cats and other animals who are found, what happened and their quest for a 'forever' home. In a society of kill shelters, kill organizations (like PETA) we still have a strong network of rescue people. Some like our friends Sonia and Sally take it to heart when an animal needs to find a new home, or never had a proper home at all. We've helped when we could, and in the past have taken part in livestock, companion and wild animal rescues - not to mention the occassional aggie! I've been reading about a place in Alberta and how most of their dogs come from the dump where they have been dumped. That is terrible for so many reasons - the least of which is it cruel. We have our own 'dump' dog stories - many of which are because someone got a puppy who soon became a dog (ie: no longer little, cute or easy to care for) and then became 'trash'.
Cody was a dump dog who is still a damaged soul. Emma, the Elkhound, was dropped off in the country, which is terrible but when you think about the fact that she is elderly and mostly blind, it becomes unconscionable. We tried to find her owners and to no avail so she is a self-placed rescue. We love her and she has her seeing eye cat and pal Abby (who is also a rescue but a Pyr). Our cats either self-placed or found and growing up almost all of our companion animals were rescues of one sort or another.
What I cannot understandm, what I cannot fathom, is how people can choose to do terrible things to animals (okay we do things to other people too but people for the most part have some better defenses than animals). They choose to be careless, neglectful, cruel, unaware and they choose to be irresponsible. They aren't always 'dregs' often they are people you would never suspect (like PETA who eutanizes over 80% of their surrendered animals). They are movie stars who are dog fighters, veterinarians who abuse animals in their care, unknowing and ignorant people who don't have a clue and no desire to get one.
So what is my point? It is simple - choose to NOT be any of the above. Choose to be a caring, informed person who would choose to rescue an animal, to provide them care until their final hours, choose to make a difference. If you cannot foster or adopt then maybe consider other ways to help - besides sending money to the big name organizations where you don't know where the money goes. I mean HSUS, PETA and others who use thier huge budgets for many things but animal care isn't one of them. Support local no kill shelters, rescue organisations and rescuers. Be a relay driver, a short term foster home or anything you wish. That would be the gift of life for an animal - and with Abby sitting here watching Luke play I cannot think of a better reason. Where would she be if her start in life hadn't ended up here? Where would Patches, Emma or Nick, Cody, Andy, Harley...the list goes on - where would they be? I know our lives would be less rich, less full of memories and yes less full of hair, care and stress too!!
Think of your animals and those without families this Christmas - and remember the first Christmas was celebrated in a barn!
I was thinking today, watching Earl with his cow Hot Donna, how much our animals can become part of our lives. How much more did the animals that kept the stable warm for Joseph and Mary that first Christmas morning? They warmed it with their bodies and their gentle spirits and they more than likely understood and stood reverently at the birth.
They, being creatures of God as well, must have sensed something special about that night, and the time leading up to it. More perceptive than us in many ways they probably had a pretty good idea the angels were about before they became visible to the people.
When I was small I left cookies for Santa and grain and hay for the reindeer. Couldn't have those hard working animals not getting treats somewhere. So now we are at Luke's third Christmas and he is learning about Jesus, His birth and of course you cannot miss Santa in our culture. But we are trying to focus on the giving, sharing, charitable St. Nicholas rather than the lap sitting, bribe taking, list keeping, peeping tom type Santa that has children and adults thinking they have to be 'worthy' of a gift. I never liked the idea of someone who spyed on me year round to ensure my good behaviour or to bribe him with appearing goodness before the holidays. (phew sorry about the rant!)
But back to the blessings of the season - family, friends, time together and the wonders of creation around us every day of the year. May you and yours be brightly blessed, always and in all ways!
There are storm warnings and watches for us, cold weather looming in the forecast and around us there are folks without power suffering through ice storms. Down south they are struggling through their first snow in decades and it seems that this is our warning shot that winter is coming for us too. The birds are eating lots of seed, the deer are out browsing and the cattle are busy making beds in the bush. The signs are there for a storm and yet I look out on a calm day with no wind, warmer temperatures than the night before and a quiet grey sky. I think the ocean before a storm is like this - lulling the unaware, lurking just over the horizon.
Are you prepared? Generator fueled up and working? Food stashed away? Batteries charged? Storm ready? Not that we can be ready for everything but we can be prepared for the basics of being stranded, especially in the rural areas like ours.
I spoke to a friend of ours from Texas about getting a generator and he wasn't sure he'd need one, that was before the hurricanes of course!
Earl has gone to get some hay for the cows and horses, and we'll bed them in the trees for some extra comfort during the storm they say is coming. I don't know how much I trust forecasts, it seems our worst storms sneak up on us, rather than giving lots of notice. This could be a tempest in a tea cup, and I wouldn't mind a bit!
Gotta go and open gates, will be scrapping later so might post a freebie for fun or a layout or two.
There are some great ways to share and reach people, and blogging is something that is quite new for some of us. We know it's a great tool and when someone new joins the ranks of bloggers in farm and ranch country its a great thing.
More to come from the Farm Animal Care/Farm Animal Councils from across Canada!
Share your links by getting in touch with me, and think about this when you start looking forward to Christmas - it all began in a stable, with farm animals in reverent attendance! Look for our Christmas card, digitally of course, very soon right here!
So here we are, entering December, and approaching Winter Solstice, Christmas and the end of 2008. So many things change in a year...all I need to do is look around me to see that. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and even with the challenges therein it is a wonderful time of year. Making and finding perfect gifts from the heart, teaching little ones about the meaning of Christmas from all angles (with the help of angels) and spending time with family and friends.
There will be rants, rats and grinches to be sure - and I'm not sure we could appreciate the goodness without a bit of them. I'd rather not have such a weighted news towards the negative and violent - but rather towards a balance where we hear about the good, the bad and the ugly equally. Even if it requires more effort to find and tell about the good! Wouldn't that be a kicker?
I have been away from scrapbooking a bit with helping my hubby study for exams and doing my jobs - but I got a few new digital pages done, am working on the rest of my corn kit and have thoughts of doing some paper and hybrid pages soon. I even got my scrapbooking table and goodies semi-sorta-kinda-maybe organized enough to work on a layout or two.
The snow has started to have smaller flakes, not the big fluffly ones from this morning. It's warmer though and I hope the cold stays away for a while - this is just about perfect weather for me. My birds are eating, my dogs are snuggled down in their straw beds and the cows and horses are eating. Luke is protesting a nap and I'm deciding what to make for lunch. Earl is on the second last exam of this term (go Aggies!) and then we are going to have a bit of a Christmas break!
I'll post some pages and some freebie goodies soon...maybe a rant or two but no promises ;-)