A dog-owning friend of mine was texting me a hello the other day, adding this vote of confidence: “love the pet activism, btw.” He’d seen a number of my posts on Facebook and Twitter, many of them my urgings to read and listen to PackPeople’s online interviews with dedicated figures in the animal rescue and welfare world.
His comment totally caught me off-guard. An activist? Me? I’m just a writer. I love dogs, I love attention and I’m a writer… but wow. I guess I’m doing my part.
Unwittingly, perhaps even by accident, I’ve become involved in a very important cause. My friend Yurda, who I would say is an activist – and by that I mean someone who brings to the world both strong intention and action toward social change – asked me a few months ago if I’d like to write for www.packpeople.com, then if I’d like to conduct the interviews she’d planned for sharing information about the dog rescue community.
Sure I would. If I have talents that can help, well, yeah. I love dogs!
Through the course of interviewing some of the most learned, experienced and passionate people working in animal rescue, I’ve encountered a common answer to the question, What would you recommend to people deciding to get involved in animal rescue?
What many of them answer falls along these lines: Don’t think you’re going to save every animal you can right away – do what you can.
As someone who first and foremost generally thinks about himself, from the moment I wake up to the time I hit the sack (unapologetically, too; I like it that way), I do find it interesting that even a close friend would call me an activist. I haven’t thought of myself that way, but I’m grateful I’ve become part of this huge circle of caring – by helping rescues, shelters and other pet care organizations share their message of hope. And further to the point of “doing what you can,” many interviewees have shared how, along with the crucial importance of fosters and hands-on volunteers, there will always be people needed to help with clerical work, website management, emails, etc., all the stuff that doesn’t actually touch the dogs but still goes a long way toward saving them.
The point of all this? Basically, if you want to help with this cause, as with any cause, do what moves you. Some people want to get out there and handle animals, and it gives them great satisfaction to do so. Others (like me), love an air-conditioned room, a keyboard and my dog Ringo playing with his chew toys while the TV makes noise in the background.
With a shared purpose, we’re not different – we’re complementary.
One of PackPeople’s main interests is to bring these various sorts together in the sincere interest of animal welfare, and it gives me tremendous pleasure to be a part of this important and influential movement. In just a short while, I’ve learned that activism truly does begin at home, even if I’m just an indoors-y city guy with decent typing skills. Along with those people out in the trenches, we can save a lot of animals, improve their standards of living and influence their humans toward healthier, happier homes.
Together, we really can bring change.