Thursday, March 10, 2011

What a garden can grow

I love watching Pride and Prejudice ... not the new age vamped up version but the classic BBC one with (be still our beating hearts) Colin Firth.  What's not to love?  Gorgeous costumes?  Beautiful scenery?  Lovely period houses?  Its almost frosting on the cake that its a familiar old favourite that lends itself well to watching while rug making.
Do I have time to watch it all in one shot?  Of course not!   The original novel takes less time to read than the DVD boxed set does to watch. 
Does that mean it sits on the back of the shelf?  Of course not!  It simply means that in order to see the whole thing that I have to be patient enough to catch as catch can.
Rather like the rug hooking, eh?  Really rather like anything in life.  If we want to see the whole picture, sometimes we have to think outside of the box ...dvd or otherwise, eh?
In the animal loving community ...particularly with the cat rescuers .. there is a real push on right now to get Low Cost High Volume Spay Neuter out the gate.  Meetings have been held.  Letters have been drafted to the Premier.  Presentations have been made ... with more in the works.
Is Spay Neuter important?  You bet!   We will NEVER get to No Kill Nova Scotia without Low Cost High Volume Spay Neuter.   But it is important to remember that while it is a critical part of the No Kill Equation, it is not the only ingredient in the recipe.
The Homeless Pet Project is coming up to its third birthday.  In the course of researching and building the site, I have been blessed with a bit of a birds eye view of the status quo around the province.  
Now when I first started the site, it was quite normal to have sixty odd dogs listed on any given day.  Since then, more folks have started using either Petfinder or Adopt a Pet ( hey I have to have a listing to link the pet too, eh? ).  By New Years Day of this year, it was more normal for 80 - 85 dogs to be listed on the site.
(The subject of how many cats are listed on the galleries would make you weep and is a separate topic that will get a post of its own soon....  sigh )
This week it has just seemed that there have been more dogs than ever.  So this morning I counted and gosh .. there are 119 dogs this morning on my site :(
One hundred and nineteen!   So the big question is... why?  Are more groups using Petfinder and Adopt a Pet?  Nothing new so far this year.  Hmmmm.
Now if there are ever so many more dogs because more are simply are being listed on Petfinder then that of course is a Very Good Thing.
But what if there are simply more dogs?  More owner surrenders?  More good dogs dumped on a back country road?   More animal clinics trying to find better outcomes for owner requested Unhappy Tails?
Gosh ... would that be the best argument ever for putting the other elements of the No Kill Equation into play?   The Offsite adoption events?  The Medical and Behaviour Rehab?  More Proactive Redemption?  
Happily ... many of the ingredients are already in the cupboard.  The rescue groups.  TNR Groups.  Volunteers.   Fosters.
But at the risk of sounding like a stuck record .. the best way to prevent homeless pets is to provide opportunities for people to keep the pets that they already know and love.   Is it important to get the pets fixed?  You bet!  Over the top critical important!
But it is also critical for people to be able to feed their families if they are going to be able to afford to keep their pets.   Just like the darned mice I find in the wood pile .... for every great job that pays well in this province there are dozens more that people don't notice.  Households where the taxable income is well under the price of a new vehicle.
Hmmmm.    Now I'm not a hermit.   I have a lovely life that is full of friends and family.  I pay attention to what is happening in my community.
So even if I personally am an empty nester who doesn't have to drive to work every day, I don't need to watch the news to realize that costs are going up.  
I can't help wondering what kind of impact THAT is going to have on pet retention.  What kind of effect it already IS having on pet retention.
I know that on a personal level, I save a lot of money every year by growing my own garden and putting food by.   And if my enthusiasm sometimes exceeds my own needs there will always be someone who can put any extras to good use.
When my mother was a girl, every home had a Victory Garden to do their own bit.  These days, there are wonderful resources for starting up community gardens as well.
So I have dusted off my personal site and over the next few weeks will be adding a few bits about old fashioned thrift as well.   I am hoping that the folks looking for ways to feed the kids AND keep the pets might find something useful.
What time is it?  This IS the time to get organized about growing some sort of a garden.    Its just frosting on the cake that gardening is an excellent way to teach children about respect for life and responsibility.   And THAT is always good for the animals.

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