“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller
While I’ve always been an animal lover (I cannot recall ever NOT having a dog) I got my first taste of what it meant to ‘do good’ when I volunteered for the Humane Society where I lived in Canada. I was one of the people who took a kitten or puppy to a retirement home as part of a ‘pet therapy’ program. Little did I know at the time how far off my vision of visiting and having fun with grandparent like seniors was…I visited the floors where the residents had the greatest challenges, namely Alzheimer’s and near end of life care. I will never forget the day the staff at one location broke down into tears because a man who had not spoken in TWO-FRIGGING-YEARS reached out to the little fur baby in my arms and said “puppy”.
There was so much emotion around the visits though that it was a real challenge for me to continue volunteering. One day the Director said to me “SL, you’re one of the best Volunteer’s we’ve ever had and yet you must stop crying so hard in the lobby when you bring the animals back.” She was right. I had the heaving sob thing going on every time I got there. Not inspiring for the other people who were there to adopt. Anyone who has spent time as a volunteer with animal shelters or as part of a rescue group knows all too well that there are way too many unwanted dogs and cats filling up shelters each and every day.
As a business owner with a sales background (which means I view myself as a “professional problem solver”), I’ve often pondered “how, how, how” is the best way to address the issue of insane euthanasia rates due to all the overcrowding at shelters. At the same time, I realize that there are already thousands of people who are attempting the same thing through their work in shelters, rescue groups and as animal advocates. For some reason, the message isn’t being heard or taken to heart in a way that is putting a dent in this ongoing challenge.
Maybe people need to hear a different “marketing message” 😉 ?
My aim with ‘Pawsitively Speaking’ is to create a new narrative around pet rescue.
My desire is to shift the focus of the conversation and efforts from the “problems” in the shelters to the “possibilities” for keeping them out of there.
I believe this can be done by more:
–more fosters (the goal of this platform)
–more rescue and shelter adoptions (instead of backyard breeders)
–more education (especially for kids and teens)
–more dog training
–more spaying & neutering
Call me a Pollyanna (I’ve been accused of that before!) and yet I stand firm in my conviction that by promoting the joy of fostering a dog or cat, more people will step up to assist because they will see, hear, and learn the ‘pawsitive impact’ being a foster parent will have on their lives. The words gratifying and rewarding come to mind when I think of my very first Foster Mom experience. For each of us who have done this we have our own way to express (and yet there probably aren’t enough of them) to describe how it feels when the most perfect family finds “the one” (your one) they choose to love forever. Let me sum it up by saying, it does a heart good and I would love to help more people have that experience. ❤️
‘SL’ (Sindee Lee) Gillespie
Founder of PawsitivelySpeaking.com &
The Joy of Fostering Movement
CEO (Chief Everything Officer)
Merry Moola, Inc.