We are packing up and getting ready. In the morning I’ll pick up our rented SUV and then race home and see just how much I can cram into it before Nancy and I hit the road at 10:30 for our eight-hour drive to Bristol, Virginia where we will stop for the first night of this eight-day odyssey.
Our schedule is packed. We will visit thirteen shelters and rescues in Tennessee and Alabama, and meet with a national Humane Society Rep, an author/no-kill advocate, and a group of volunteers and advocates for a brainstorming session.
In between those activities, I will write and Nancy will edit photos, but mostly we will drive. We’ll cover over 2600 miles, sleep in plenty of cheap hotels, eat on the run, and gather as many stories and images as we can in the hopes that those stories and images help bring change, that they inspire people to get involved, to ask questions, to find answers.
When you live in an area where dogs don’t routinely die at shelters, sometimes it’s hard to imagine that there are places in this country where they do.
When most every dog you know is a member of a family, has been spayed or neutered, gets first-rate veterinary care, and has plenty of food and toys and treats and exercise, it’s hard to comprehend that there are places where dogs receive none of that.
One of the most important things we will do on this trip is bring hope. Every time I’ve ventured south, I’ve met remarkable people giving everything they have to care for dogs and to save their lives.
I’m blown away by the things they do, the sacrifices they make—they seem almost superhuman to me. And I know it must take its toll. So if we can encourage them in any way—through honoring what they do in our writing and pictures, with donations we hand deliver and the ones that come after we leave as a result of our sharing their stories, we will consider it a privilege to do it. We will thank them for their heartbreaking work, for making the unthinkable decisions, and for loving the animals so many have forgotten.
As we travel we will post quick updates to Facebook and Instagram, and the real stories here on the blog. Because we have such a busy schedule, many of the stories won’t appear until after we return and there is time to write and process and share them with you. But stayed tuned because they will come.
I hope you will follow along and help us spread the word. More than the donations and hope and thank yous, this trip is about raising awareness. Because awareness is the first step towards change.
This is not happening because people don’t care; it’s happening because people don’t know.
Help us tell them.