By: Carol Bryant, Social Media & PR Director, FIDO Friendly magazine
I’m not accustomed to op-ed writing and I’m not exactly sure why; in fact, I may have discovered a new-found interest in sharing my opinionated prose for the sake of dog.
As the Social Media and PR Director for FIDO Friendly magazine, I see a lot of sad, disheartening and horrific dog neglect and abuse cases cross my inbox. To the best of my ability, time and resources, I do all I can to be the change, as the BlogPaws adage goes. People who are involved in rescue and advocate for the welfare of animals are my heroes. No offense, but for as much as I love pro football, those who score a winning touchdown or split the uprights for the extra point are not my heroes (unless of course, they advocate for animals). The down in the trenches, doing what they can for the betterment of animals folks: YOU don the invisible S beneath your attire.
So what happens when good rescue goes bad? The blog I write has recently been nominated for three DogTime Petties award. With ardent fervor and slide-across-the-floor ala Tom Cruise “Risky Business” style, I rejoice. The greatest part of this process is the $1,000 in rescue group funding that is awarded to winners. To groups who are struggling to get by, day by day seeing the intakes and sacrificing of themselves, this money is as good as a bar of gold. So if FIDO Friendly wins, it would be my greatest joy to split the financial award between two wonderful dog rescue groups. I announced my intentions and went on my merry Facebook way.
Then the letter hit my inbox. “How about supporting my group that has been helping dogs since 1988 instead of a 2010 Johnny come lately.”
How could I have lived 42 years and never had a sip of Kool Aid from the “good rescue gone bad” drama?
Truly? Really? You didn’t just go there. Once the thoughts of “whoa, nuh uh” cleared from my mind, I deduced, as Rod Serling wrote, “people are the same all over.” And in every bunch of loving apples, therein is a not-so-ripened one.
I won’t throw apples back; just not in my style and not worthy of keystrokes. I did ponder how to reply, what great words would change negative Nellie and cause her to see that we who rescue are all a part of a greater network of paws joining paws.
And so I wrote. “Thanks your input and concern. I just want to help dogs in need but will not engage in the politics of who should get what and why. As long as dogs are being helped and the money used appropriately isn't that what rescue is all about? You ALL are saving lives. Continue the journey. Live that philosophy. Dogs need us. No matter who saves them – getting them good homes is what it’s all about. Paws joining paws.”
I hope the message is pondered, perhaps marinating in her mind a bit, and if there truly can be a change, then maybe for the good of dog, she’ll reconsider and see that we are all in this together.
There are some paths I will walk down and they generally involve four legs traipsing by my side. It has been my experience that a path of negativity and division generally leads to a dead end. Unite paws and be the change you want to see in the world. Yes, I truly love the BlogPaws mantra.