Thursday, June 3, 2010

The garden won't grow if nobody plants any seeds

I love gardening.  Whats not to love?  Its good exercise.  Its creative.  Its like a little miracle just 'watching my garden grow"  And best of all ... at the end of the season there are lots of Good Things in my pantry and my freezer and my Keeping Cupboard.
Scientists are just starting to discover what our grandparents knew all along ... its good for us to eat food that is grown in our own locale.  Admittedly, its easier to subscribe to this theory in a Zone 6b where we are blessed with such variety and bounty.
Scientists are also just waking up to a few things that pet lovers have always known.  Pets aren't just great company ... they are good for our mental and physical well being. 
Yet we as a society have such a casual regard for the well being of pets in general and tend to categorize them in two groups.  First there are the owned and loved pets who are the responsibility of their humans.   Irrespective of where the pets originally came from, those living the 'good life' are the clientele who represent the backbone of the prosperous and flourishing pet industry.
Sadly the second group seldom get out of the gate.  Their owners were likely originally motivated by the media hype and advertising generated by the pet industry.  Outside of one commercial for Bissel .. have you ever seen any pet related industry ad mentioning housetraining / obedience / chewing / etc ?  Nope.. its all happy dogs playing frisbee and cats who politely wait while their human cleans the pristine litter box.
No mention is ever made of how the happy families keep their pets.  Granted, most of the pet food companies do have a certain amount of good information on their websites ... but none of that ever surfaces in their advertising.
I'm not necessarily saying that the pet related ads should be like the classic ad from the war on drugs ... where there is picture of a comatose drug addict laying in squalor with a small child's voice over saying 'when I grow up, I want to be a heroin addict"  After all, advertising has never been based on worse case scenarios.  
Yet shouldn't the pet food companies have a few ads promoting pet adoption .. just to kind of balance things out a bit?   Hey ... wait a minute ... isn't somebody already doing that?  What about the IAM's Home for the Holidays program that is run every year?
Like Petfinder, there is no cost for the shelters who participate.  What do they get in return?   Besides the free advertising in all the media?  Besides the added visibility by being part of the website?  There are also cute little adoption packages that can in themselves be a little incentive.
So here in Nova Scotia, who signed up last year?  Nobody.  Not a soul.   What about this year?  Well, I am happy to report that so far:
  • The Colchester SPCA  .. who btw have really done lovely things with their new site , and of course
  • SHAID who just seem to lead the way so many times, eh?
But ... like Bugs used to say ... that's all for now folks.    I know that summer hasn't even started ... so to speak .. even if this good rain has all the seeds sprouting up now.   But by the time I'm covering over the pumpkins and fall annuals for frost, the Home for the Holidays campaign ads will be in full swing.
What time is it?  Its always time to pull out all the stops for the animals ... especially when its so easy and free.

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