When it comes to our spare time, we all find different things to become involved with – different causes grab us for different reasons. Some people get into local, state, or national politics. Some people volunteer with charitable groups after being affected by cancer, heart disease, diabetes, drug addiction.
Dog people, too, find widely disparate causes to occupy our spare time and dollars. I have one good friend who volunteers for animal rescue organizations in Asia; several who have devoted years to rescuing dogs of a certain breed; and still another whose mission in life is to shut down puppy mills.
I’ve found myself being strongly affected by the plight of unwanted animals in my community. I volunteer at my local municipal shelter, take on unruly adolescents and large litters of puppies to foster, and wrack my brain to find ways to improve the dog adoption rate; that’s my cause. Of course, there are also plenty of “cat people” volunteering at the shelter.
But even among the people who volunteer at my shelter and who share an interest in dogs in particular — we all get “grabbed” by different individual animals and their stories. One person is trying to improve the reputation of pit bulls in society and concentrates on training the pits and pit-mixes. Another person is drawn to the many Chihuahuas and Chihuahua-mixes, and has a knack for finding the unique traits that distinguish one tiny dog from the next. Another pulls as many retriever-type dogs as she can for a breed rescue. It’s just interesting to me, to try to figure out how we all get called to do the volunteer work that we do.
What’s your canine cause? How do you explain it?