I’ve always been an animal lover. For most of my life, my family has had dogs, cats, mice and an assortment of other creatures, common and exotic. Now, as a single woman in her 60s, I often consider getting a new dog. I imagine playing with her in the park. I think about how much more “alive” my apartment would feel with another creature to share it with.
Then, I remember what it is like watching an animal get old and, eventually, die. I’m just not sure that I am strong enough to go through that again. There is also the possibility that my new pet would outlive me, requiring my kids to take care of her. It’s such a complicated decision!
In some ways, people like me – and I hope that I am in the majority – represent the “best case scenario” for a dog. We love our little friend for their entire life. Then, at the very end, we stick with our canine partner, no matter the physical challenges and small inconveniences that they bring.
Unfortunately, not all animals are so lucky. There are far too many pets that end up on the street or in a shelter for the final days of their lives. With “the good times” quickly forgotten, some owners just don’t want to deal with “accidents” or additional vet bills. So, “man’s best friend” becomes “yesterday’s news.”
This is why I was so happy to come across this video, today, of a lady who decided to open a retirement home for dogs. The home, which is run completely on donations, cares for elderly animals that are suffering from a range of conditions. Please take a few minutes to watch the video. Then, let’s start a discussion in the comments section at the end of the article.
There were a couple of things that jumped out at me as I was watching this video. On the surface, this is a “cute” program that helps a fairly small set of animals. But, if you look a little deeper, it is so much more important. It is a reminder that life, at every age, matters.
It is also a shining example of the joy that comes from following your passions, while giving back to the world. I loved the way that everyone involved with the program was having fun. It really is a “win-win.” The dogs who are lucky enough to be saved, get the love and attention that they deserve.
The people who are involved in the program get to be a part of something that is changing the world, one precious life at a time. They also get to build relationships with like-minded people.
As founder, Sher Polvinale, said in the interview. “The volunteers start arriving around 11. It was hard for me, at first, to have people coming to help. Now, they’re like family.” Everyone wins when we give back to the world.
This seems like a wonderful program and I wish them all the best! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this.
What did you think of this idea? Would you volunteer at one of these “retirement homes” for dogs if there was one in your area? How are you giving back to the world? Please join the conversation.