Mother’s Day, and Adopting – Not Shopping

Apr 26, 2022

First… It’s MOTHER’S DAY on Sunday, 8 May. We’re taking a mom-ent to celebrate all the sacrifices, joy, effort, love, constant worry and encouragement that moms out there pour into their little people. And for parents of fur-kids, we celebrate you too! For the humans though, we have a colour-in card for your little one to deliver / post / scan in and email to grandma or other mom-persons. Find it here.

Now… let’s talk adoption.

Before I had a dog, I had my heart set on a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The waiting lists are long, and eventually, I gave up, and oneday, spur-of-the-moment, bought a dachshund with whom I had an instantaneous connection. It was, without doubt, one of the greatest things that has shaped me and changed my life for the better.

Dax is gone now, but I could not have loved that dog any more if I tried. And he was not a Cavalier King Charles spaniel!

After him. Things kind’ve snowballed. I realized how much joy and richness is added to life in loving a pet. He taught me so much. He made me aware that animals truly do have feelings. They are sentient. They feel joy, fear and sadness. They get depressed. They experience fear. They do love! He taught me so much and made me acutely aware of the plight of unwanted animals. And from that point onwards I became an outspoken advocate for animal’s wellbeing and rights. As a result I also ended up fostering, and yes, many of those stayed, leading to my husband and I having a pack of 11 wonderful hounds!

The point is this, I always thought some breeds were better than others. I had preconceived ideas about their natures. And after having every kind of dog under the sun, I can without reservation tell you this: there is no such thing as a bad dog. Every single one of them is entirely unique and delightful! And even badly abused dogs, if given the chance, blossom. The love they give is beyond measure. And their gratitude is palpable.

I had also always had the idea that second-hand dogs were ‘damaged goods’. That they were ‘bad’ and that’s why they ended up where they were. I also believed that somehow having a dog from the very beginning of its life was better. I was wrong. On every single count.

Rescue dogs are honestly wonderful. Whether they are puppies or seniors. The joy they bring is life-changing – for both them and for their owner. Puppies bring a young, energetic, vibrant fresh joy. They are fun and watching them discover the world is entertaining, but they have boundless energy and require all sorts of training. Older dogs are amazing. They are loyal and happy just to be with you. And they don’t come with the housetraining and destruction! I’ve had both, and both come with different pros and cons. And they are both as wonderful.

After Dax died, I rescued the oldest dog that the shelter had, and she happened to be a dachshund. I named her Daisy and she is every bit like the joyful, happy, straightforward flower after which she is named. Did I save her, or did she save me? Both I think.

There’s also the perception surrounding shelters that they are sad, depressing places. And while in some instances this is true, by and large they are so filled with potential and joy and this supersedes and overtakes the sad aspects.

I think sometimes the other thing about a shelter is that it can feel overwhelming. All those animals need homes, and one simply cannot help them all. That’s ok. I’m sure you’re familiar with the story of the beach covered in washed-up starfishes? A man is walking along and throwing them back out to sea as he goes. Another man sees this and asks, “Why do you bother? You cannot possibly help them all.” The man replies, “No. I can’t, but I made a difference to this one.” And he sends another starfish back out to sea.

I think that’s the point about life really. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by all there is that needs fixing and saving. I don’t have to do it all. Neither do you. But for that one animal you do help, you make a difference. Even this blog. Maybe one person reads it and it gets them thinking. Then I’ve made a difference. All of us working together doing our small bits together creates great change.

So on a practical level, ways you can get involved in rescue is to take your children once a month (or more) to visit the animals. Young children don’t see the sadness the same way we do, they see the joy of those beautiful animals. And they LOVE volunteering! They love the opportunity to cuddle the dogs or take a less boisterous one for a walk. This is not only great interaction for the dog, but for the child as well. It teaches them empathy, gentleness, kindness. It teaches the importance of caring for others. And it acclimatizes them to animals and teaches them not to fear them. It’s also a gentle way to introduce them to the fact that not everyone and everything in life is fortunate. Not everything is a fairy tale. It’s a wonderful way to turn them into a helper so that they too can go on into the world and make a difference.

So, why not choose your favourite charity this month and pay them a visit over a weekend. I promise you, they will love it, you will love seeing you child engage with animals, and you’ll be making a difference in your corner of the world!

My Eleven concur!

Don’t forget to take a pic of your little animal-lover, tag us, and let us feature them making the world a better place!

So, that’s it from me for now.

See you in June.


Jennifer xoxo