Our Weekly Falmouth Enterprise Column
By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer
Friday, January 23, 2015
Time. Sweet, sweet time. It's the first gift we give shelter dogs. Time to adjust. Time to trust. Time to heal. Time to learn. Time to find the right family.
And the gift for volunteers is when it's time to write "adopted" across each dog's name on the board.
Those of you who have followed Tina's progress in this column will be pleased to know that this 8-year-old mastiff/American bulldog mix is doing well and is happy and loved by all the volunteers. Those of you reading about her for the first time will no doubt be pleased to know the same things. And speaking of Tina, the petit montage you see shows her indulging in two of her favorites pastimes: people and toys.
We do the very best we can to make Tina's life happy and special. Early morning unfolds with the arrival of one of the volunteers who is Tina's very special friend. They coo and cuddle, take a walk, sometimes read the newspaper, then have breakfast and then perhaps a massage.
Mid-morning brings more volunteers all vying for the chance to spend time with Tina—plying her with walks, and toys, and more hugs.
Then, by late afternoon teatime, still other volunteers arrive to check on her welfare, take her for a stroll, prepare her dinner, plump her pillows and tuck her in. And in-between, on really lucky days, she cozies up to the animal control officers. All in all, a pretty good life. Except for one thing: she lacks a home of her own. A place where she can go to sleep at night and know that the first thing she sees in the morning will be the face of her owner. And spending the day full of all the things a beloved pet enjoys. (That home would be without canine and feline roommates.)
Sebastian stopped in for a visit at the shelter recently. This 12-year-old cocker spaniel who is in foster care enjoyed exploring all the nooks and crannies of the facility, and with a nose like a heat-seeking missile, Sebastian was able to find biscuit crumbs overlooked by the non-food-obsessed dogs. And even though Sebastian lives to eat, he does not counter surf or break into cupboards or pantries. That is but one of his many sterling character traits—he respects boundaries. He is also beautifully housetrained, doesn't damage his foster family's property, doesn't get on the furniture (even though he's invited to do so), and doesn't act bratty or spoiled. Sebastian is a good boy who deserves a home of his own for whatever time he has left. We keep hoping someone will look past his age and give him a chance.
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We are truly grateful for the recent grant we received from The Cape Cod Foundation through the Thomas C. McGowan Fund for Animals. Their generous grant will certainly benefit the dogs we help. Their support is very much appreciated.
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A very early alert: We may be learning about the availability of some beagle/hound puppies. We have no other information yet, but stay tuned and check our website and future columns for when and if any news arrives.
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Conventional wisdom tells us that the most popular New Year's resolutions are losing weight, exercising more, and being a better person. Did you know that dogs can help us achieve all of these?
Dogs can teach us patience.
To be more giving.
And more forgiving.
To live in the moment.
Get over the past.
Enjoy a good meal.
And then a nap.
Get out in the fresh air. Even when it's raining.
Be open to new adventures. Blaze new trails.
Appreciate the love of family and friends.
Make a new friend. Or friends.
Give comfort in hard times.
Share excitement in happy times.
Get outside yourself.
Get over yourself.
We could go on but you get the idea. And don't just take our word for it. Ask a dog owner. Chances are they'll share things we haven't even thought of.
Ready to get started? Come visit us and we'll help you find the way.
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We are at the shelter seven days a week: Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3 to 5 PM.