The Dog that Did Not Save Christmas—But the Neighbors Did!
Guest blog by SPCA adopter Judy Crowder
“Doggone!” Normally, I, a self-professed “pun junkie,” would have enjoyed this. But on December 23, it wasn’t funny—not at all.
My husband and I had lost our beloved Scotty dog, Bridget, to old age and cancer the previous October. Although we still had Sophie, a half Bloodhound, half Bassett rescue dog, we were still feeling the vacancy. Walking Sophie alone was hard, with the sight of an empty leash hanging by the door daily reminding us that we had lost a family member. I began to half-heartedly look at available rescue dogs online. Sophie was a gem, a goofy dog that looked like a Bloodhound with short legs, so we were
900 and Counting
Just before I joined the SPCA for Monterey County, a wise mentor gave me two pieces of advice. First, he said, “You won’t know exactly what you have for a full two years.” This has been right-on. I’ve been here 17 months, I’m still learning and expect, to some extent, I will always be learning here.
Secondly, he said, “Do something big within your first six months.” I’m happy to say we made two big moves. First, we committed to a spay/neuter program targeting the Salinas community, where we have traditionally seen the most incoming, unwanted animals. By offering weekend surgery slots convenient for pet owners who work during the week and setting our price even lower than our already low rates, we found the magic formula. We’ve altered more than 400 pets from the highest need areas in Salinas since this past April; more important, comparing this year to last year when we had no special program, we’ve seen the numbers of unwanted pets and accidental litters coming from Salinas drop by 25%. These results strongly suggest a causal relationship.
Preventing animals from coming to us in the first place is priority one. Not far behind, is
In September, SPCA Humane Officers rescued Kona, a neglected senior Golden Retriever, from a property in King City. She was emaciated, had signs of having multiple litters, suffering from painful dental disease, and covered in sores, fleas, scabs, and dirt. She also had a large, untreated mammary mass. She didn’t have access to food or water.
Dear Mr. Delucchi,
I am sorry that you are not grateful for my donation, big or small, therefore I might consider donating my money to another animal shelter who will be thankful for any dollar amount I donate.
This was part of a longer, hand-written letter I received this week. It wasn’t signed and didn’t include a return address, so I have no way of contacting the individual. What prompted it was a recent mailing from the SPCA. In that letter, signed by me, I thanked supporters for their generous giving. And, as many charities do, we asked people to consider increasing their already generous support. That was the line that got her. She explained how she takes from her grocery money to help the animals throughout the year. I could feel her hurt in the hand-written words.
If I could reach this supporter, this is what I would say:
Dear Animal Loving Friend:
I gave you the impression we were not grateful for your support and that kills me. I am sorry. We are touched more than you could imagine to learn
Someone caught me in a weak moment. I was attending a memorial service for an SPCA supporter when I was wrangled into modeling in the PacRep Theatre’s November 1 fashion show/fundraiser titled “Runway Revels! A Very Different Fashion Show.”
And, it was a very different different fashion show, namely because it included a lunk like me.
Promotional materials urged people to “experience a new and theatrical event as community VIPs walk the runway and model PacRep’s famous Costume Collection.”
Models were asked to to share a short anecdote related to theatre or performing. I had nothing. I played Pig Pen, from Peanuts, in the 4th grade. I like to think I gave a stirring, nuanced portrayal of this flawed, complicated character. But, I had one line and probably botched it.
A month before the show, I had my appointment with the costume designer. Models were invited to choose their costume/character from among the few dozen musicals PacRep has put on. I met a bubbly lady where we were surrounded by clothing racks and boxes spilling over with feathered boas and crazy hats. “I can really see you as a giraffe!,” she gushed. “You know, like from Madagascar,” which I did notice on the list of past PacRep shows. “It would require that you walk on stilts.”