There are so many “Help! My dog is missing” posts on Facebook these days, it makes you wonder if all the local dog owners just leave their gates open and hope that their pooch makes it home in time for dinner of an evening. It really is quite astounding. Then I see my friend post that her dog is missing and she doesn’t have any idea how he got out of the backyard. I felt a slight chill go through me. This family is fairly new to town and they seem like conscientious dog people. How would he have got out of the yard?
We start sharing the “Missing Bruno” post. No sign. No one has seen him. They canvas their neighborhood, knock on doors, hang posters. No one had seen this 80-pound — give or take — hunk of love. How could he have just vanished? The days pass and still he hasn’t returned home. A reward is offered for his safe return … I hold my breath, still nothing.
In rescue work, you hear all measure of horror stories about missing animals and you hope upon hope that this is not the case. As the days compounded, I felt more and more desperate and sad about Bruno’s fate.
But the sharing upon sharing of the missing pup finally hit upon a lady who thought she had seen him in town. She contacted the family to come over and see, and there he was. Skinny and hungry and afraid, but there was Bruno ready to come home.
“Did he sleep OK?” I asked once he was home again. “Oh, like a log on top of his human,” came back the reply. The family was so overjoyed to have him home and so grateful to their new community for all the help in bringing him home. I was so happy to have played a small part in the sharing and sharing among the online community — it really can and does make a difference.
Plus the Good Samaritan didn’t even accept the reward for his safe return. She donated it to South County Animal Rescue (SCAR)! The next thing I know they are getting Bruno a playmate, so he’s not lonely during the day when everyone is gone. Oh, and what a fabulous idea is that!
Whether or not you are a Facebook fan, social media is good for these types of things. The sharing and resharing can have this wonderfully magic compounded effect, so that there is a good chance that someone or something can and will be found. I was so happy for Bruno and his family I wanted to run over there and hug them all.
It’s so lovely to have a story like that with a happy ending. In animal rescue, that is not always the case; so we have to take onboard the wonderful ones when we can and hold them tight.
I was also reminded that people are basically good. Ignoring the bad apples that seem to get all the press; it’s so lovely to be reminded that most people are innately kind and want to help. It makes them feel good — it’s part of our basic human condition and lovely to witness in action.
“I adopted Chloe from SCAR last year,” the lady told me. “My mother had just passed on and Chloe made the world of difference for me at the time. Then my father passed and I had a little money and I could think of no better charity to donate to than our very own South County Animal Rescue.”
I was so gratified that her adoption led to her love and loyalty over the past few years. Also, that a rescue pup would make such a difference in the grieving of a human. But us animal lovers know all about that!
During this season of giving and gratitude, take time to reflect on what has made a huge difference in your life! It is likely not money or a new car, the latest smart phone or gadget. It is likely love — pure and simple — the people around you, the animals that share your life.
It’s a simple concept, but not really. In the day-to-day madness of our lives, it is easy to bypass the obvious and keep looking ahead at the horizon for bigger and better, out of reach or just around the corner. Very often what is right in front of us are the most important things.
If you are looking for something to love this holiday season, look no further than a rescue animal from your local animal rescue SCAR. If you have money to give, it’s the season of “McGives” and the Community Foundation generously assisting local charities like ours to fill up their coffers a bit and pay some bills.
If you like overstuffed baked potatoes or a fun and festive tea party, SCAR and the Soledad Historical Society will be hosting two fundraisers on Dec. 7 at the Soledad Museum in Soledad.
The baked potato event is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bill Ramus Park in Soledad. The tea party is 2 to 4 p.m. at the Soledad Museum and — surprise, surprise — I have tickets I would be happy to sell to you!
You can rest assured that, at SCAR, we are all volunteers and none of your hard-earned donations will go to large salaries or marketing campaigns. Be a part of the change you wish to see in the world. We have learned that through SCAR, and it’s a wonderful thing to witness.
Lucy Jensen is the co-founder of South County Animal Rescue; [email protected]