I love living in the Valley! What's not to love? After years of being posted to more northerly climes, the gardener in me is like a kid in a Zone 6B candy store. Even better is being able to whine about bitter cold being minus thirteen and not minus thirty! Best of all of course is that retirement means never have to leave good human friends behind anymore!
In this house, moving has never meant having to say I'm sorry to my pets. When my posting message came in, I was appalled to have so many of my coworkers ask if they could have first dibs on Max when we moved. As if I would leave him behind! Funny how none of them were lining up to ask for my tripod senior kittizen, eh?
But I am wandering afield as I often do in my meandering way! The point is that I did bring my pets along with me. Before I get too preachy about that, it is important to remember my Dad was earning the Queen's shilling back in the days before budget constraints limited the number of postings.
What does that mean in realspeak? Why of course that it wasn't unusual for us to be on the road every two or three years. As a result, I found out first hand that how easy it actually was to bring along our family pets when we moved.
Admittedly, we were considered a bit of an oddity at the time. Why were we the exception to the (then) rule? Was it that my Dad, as a Military Policeman, saw how poorly things usually ended for abandoned pets? Perhaps it simply was Dad's firm belief that with children more was 'caught than taught'!
Whatever the reason, the son of a Cape Breton coal miner and the daughter of a PEI potato farmer always walked the walk about responsible pet ownership. They created a cycle that has carried on when their granddaughter brought her pet along when she moved!
So here is today's 'what if' .... would it not be money well spent for municipalities to host free seminars on moving with pets? It might not stop every pet from being abandoned. It might not keep every pet from being passed around like an old sock on the free to a good home circuit.
But it WOULD help the kind hearts who simply do not know how easy it actually is to move with pets.
We live in an increasingly transient society. Such seminars could prove to be penny and pound wise if they changed the outcome for even a percentage of those posted or in pursuit of a new job.
Let's face it ... every pet that stays with their original family represents one less of burden on both Animal Control and rescue groups and shelters. In that light, it is actually penny wise and pound foolish not to give it a shot, eh?
More importantly, pets cannot be expected to be their best selves when they lose the people they love. That is how pets wind up being caught on the free to a good home treadmill. Until they can actually talk, pets are limited to such socially unacceptable ways of expressing their grief as chewing and marking and jumping up, eh?
The best bit of course would be that every time pet moves with their original owner, the kind hearts who would have 'adopted' them are now free to adopt a pet who is genuinely homeless.
What time is it? It is always time to look for proactive ways to prevent pets from becoming homeless in the first place!
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. Chinese Proverb
And that is how I see it on Tuesday, January 17th ... the SIXTY - SECOND day since the dismissed shelter manager and the disbanded board created the renegade shelter.