Off We Go on Shelter Tour!

Off We Go on Shelter Tour!

We leave for our shelter tour in two days. As always, I’m excited but nervous and slightly overwhelmed. There are so many details, so many new people, new places, and hundreds of miles to drive.

Often when I reach out to a shelter director or Animal Control officer about a possible visit, they are skeptical. Some outright ignore my emails or don’t return my calls.

I get it. I do.

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Uncomfortable Conversation

Uncomfortable Conversation

Okay, let’s talk about something that’s super uncomfortable for me….

Money.

I try hard to keep it in perspective.

When my husband and I have to spend large sums of money on something truly un-fun or unexpected but necessary like a car or home repair, or we make a stupid mistake and waste money, or one of our kids costs us some serious dough, I always say, “It’s just money. That’s why we have it.”

I work hard to pinch pennies and cook in and shop smart. I’m all about the use-it-up, make-do, don’t-waste-a-bit. ‘Shopping’ as an outing is one of my least favorite things to do. Money, for me, is a means to an end.

Or a necessary evil. It can do so much good, and it can also create a ton of stress.

One of the reasons we formally organized our work with Who Will Let the Dogs Out was to allow us to raise money to not only help the rescues and shelters we visit, but also so that Nancy and I could stop funding our shelter tours out of our own savings.

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Now You Can See It Too

Now You Can See It Too

The smell is familiar to me now, but that hot August day in 2018 it overwhelmed my senses. The mix of disinfectant, urine, feces, mildew, and desperation was powerful, made even more so by the heat.

Shelters, even the good ones, I’ve come to understand, have the same smell. I recognized it that first time as the faint scent that would waft off of foster dogs when they arrived at our house off a transport from the south.

In that squat brick building, the smell was accompanied by the unrelenting noise of animals jumping against chain link, knocking over metal bowls, barking and whining, their nails grabbing for purchase on the cement.

I had no idea.

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Somebody Oughta Do Something About It

Somebody Oughta Do Something About It

I have something BIG to tell you. It’s exciting, and also somewhat scary for me.

Three years ago, I visited a shelter in North Carolina. I wanted to see where my foster dogs were coming from. I’d foster over one hundred by then, and I was curious—why was there an endless stream of dogs in need?

I remember that moment so clearly. The smell, the sounds, the desperation, but also all those beautiful dogs.

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