It is the time of year when seasons are changing and many are getting back to a more regular schedule after a long summer. Kids are going back to school, family vacations are over, and the weather is beginning to cool down (for most). It is Hurricane season for some places and my heart goes out to all those that are in the path of destruction. I have family that lives in a place that is affected by hurricanes and I always worry. I am lucky that I live in a place where the worst of our weather is mainly snowstorms. They are a pain, but most of the time we don’t have to worry about too much damage. Whatever weather you have to worry about in your neck of the woods, there is always planning and preparation involved. You need to think about your family, your house, yourself, and don’t forget your pets! Every time there is some kind of natural disaster, our shelter commits to taking in animals from the affected areas. Usually we take in animals that are currently at shelters in those areas. This makes room for those that will inevitably get lost or abandoned during the storm. Our hope is that most will be reunited with their owners. If after a few months they have not been claimed, we will reach out again to help the shelters that are overpopulated. It’s not an easy task, but all we can do is be our best and try to help one another.
I am so fortunate that my community is always eager to help in any way when people or animals are in need. When our shelter reaches out for aide we are always met with open arms. People line up to either donate or adopt. When we get an influx of potential adopters, it’s important for us to counsel them and make sure they are making the right decision. It’s easy to get excited when you see an adorable dog giving you big puppy eyes saying “Take me home!” Adopting an animal into your family is a huge life changing decision. Whenever a person tells me that they aren’t sure, I always try to impress upon them that it’s ok to be unsure. It’s ok to want to think about it. I respect these people. The people that get caught up in emotion and don’t really think about how a dog will fit into their lives are the ones that frustrate me. When people don’t think, dogs unfortunately get returned to the shelter in a week or so. We try so hard to give good counsel and make sure dogs are going to the the perfect home, but we can only do so much. We at the shelter hope that when you take a dog home it is as part of your family, and you treat them as such.
What does it really mean to make a dog part of your family? Basically, welcome them into your everyday life. There is still this archaic notion that dogs are meant to be outside only, or left in a basement or mud room. Why would you even have a dog if they aren’t let into your home? I’m not saying that you have to let them into your bed if that’s not your thing, but let them be your companion and you theirs. (Side note, there was actually a study done that showed that women sleep better with a dog in their bed than with a person or a cat. Loooove!) It’s hard to believe that in this day and age we have to tell people how to treat their animals. If you have to be told that dogs shouldn’t be left outside or in a car during extreme weather, then you should not have a dog. If there is some sort of storm going on, bring your dog inside. Don’t let them sit outside in the rain or snow, or the summertime heat for too long. You are responsible for their well being, and that should be taken very seriously.
As the seasons change, we are already seeing topical storms and hurricanes develop and move in on those areas prone to it. Seeing pictures of these people trying to save themselves and their dogs is just heart wrenching. It got me thinking, and maybe this sounds silly, but do any of you have an emergency plan in place in case you have you get your animals out of the house quick? I have a backpack easily accessible that I would put Teddy in and then make my way to safety. I don’t have kids, so he is my number one priority (besides myself obviously…. but it would be admittedly hard to not put myself in danger to save him). If you are unable get your dog to safety without putting your life in danger, please do not leave them locked up. We see this all too often. You never know what could happen and you don’t want them to be trapped. Dogs are survivors and will do whatever they can to stay alive. If they are locked up, then they won’t be able to escape to safety in case of an emergency. Seeing pictures the last week off people trying to save their dogs from Hurricane Dorian makes me want to cry, but I would be doing the same exact thing. Teddy fortunately happens to be a compact little package and would be easy to grab and go.
Let’s love our pets always and forever. Not just when we first get them or when it’s convenient. Not just when they are behaving perfectly and doing adorable things, but also when they shred up a paycheck that you left laying out on the counter. Love them when its freezing out and they have to poop at 3 am. Trust me, they will love you through all of life’s trials and tribulations and we owe it to them to do the same.
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear if anyone else has a plan for their dogs in case of an emergency (or am I just a Crazy Single Dog Mom). I think sharing stories is a great way to learn from one another. Again, love and prayers to all that are affected by any hurricanes or storms this season. Remember to click the link at the bottom of this page “Follow Single Dog Mom” to follow my blog if you enjoyed reading, and if you can’t get enough follow me on instagram @singldogmom.
Pup of the Week:
I wanted to feature Moose this week because he was unfortunately seized by our shelter. You can see that he was not in the best situation when he was rescued, but he is so happy to be out of there and up for adoption. Direct message me for more details!
Bruce is still with us and looking fantastic. A lot of his cuts and scrapes have healed up and he is ready to go home!