Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Holiday Wish for You

Now is the time for happy and holy days for many. The New Year always holds great promise. Yesterday, I had particularly joyful transport. The Lenoir County SPCA helped an injured American Bulldog, Paisley. The injury required expensive surgery and amputation of her back right leg. Yesterday, we transported her to her new forever home. I have a picture of her settled into her first night below.

I generally work the front end of the transport. These dogs travel 120 miles on their first leg from the shelter to Emporia. When we are short of volunteers, the van drives another 68 miles to Richmond. It's a long trip at either stop, and the animals have often become sick or fouled their crate. Opening the door can overwhelm one's senses--and the driver(s) have that plus yapping dogs to contend with. They do it nonplussed.

The first stop, then, is one of great import because much ministrations must be made, as three out of four crates that come off the van have been cited as an EPA violation! The other 25% wait to be uncrated and take their 'leave' if you will. Getting puppies in a puppy pen (observing safe handling procedures to ensure that they are protected from the ground and the immune system evils that reside therein) is a great way to reunite puppies with their litter mates and get them cleaned up. We are surprisingly joyful to see them relieve themselves....we know that emptied systems make the drives further north more pleasant.

The older dogs also arrive in crates, but are on leash for the balance of their transport. Almost without exception, they are noticeably calmer once they are out of their crate and in the hands of a volunteer. I really do admire them for their courage and grace on their long journey.

We can learn much from these animals. First, when you have a chance to go to the bathroom you should take it! More importantly, they model the behavior that we would do well to emulate: As they face a day of uncertainty, they handle it moment by moment--embracing the best, and not worrying about their past or their future.

My wish for you, dear reader, is that you can cultivate the same perspective of embracing the blessings of each moment and to "leave them be" the worries of the past/present. And here is the picture of Miss Paisley, snuggled with her new toy and her new fur friends.

Another lesson for us all? I think so. For the New Year, I wish each of you Peace, Joy and Prosperity in all of its beneficent forms.