Thirty six years ago tonight, my Dad was polishing his dress shoes. Why do I remember that after all these years? Didn’t he need to shine his shoes in the military all the time?
No… and it wasn’t because he was in the Air Force:))) It was simply that in the specialized investigative niche he often filled as an MP, when he wore a uniform at all it was likely to be combats.
Thirty six years ago tonight, Dad was readying his best bib and tucker for the next day … to drive me down to the Legion in Chatham to be sworn into the military.
He might not have worn his dress uniform on a daily basis, but he had the gruff Senior NCO down to a tee. When the recruiting officer stepped out of his car, Dad snapped to attention and waited until the young officer had walked all the way across the parking lot with his armload of papers. To this day I can hear Dad still, “I would salute you Sir, If You Had Your Hat On!”
Eventually, after the hat was retrieved, amidst much dropping of papers, and when things were arranged to my father’s satisfaction, I was sworn in to the military. After dedicating over twenty years of his own life to his country, Dad certainly wasn’t going to take my own swearing in ceremony lightly.
It was thirty six years ago and it was yesterday. I’ve come a long way from the shy quiet girl who stood there that day. But I learned a couple of valuable lessons that day that have stood me in good stead over the years:
- Everyone who outranks you isn’t necessarily always right.
- If you are polite, you can say almost anything to anybody, and last but not least,
- its Always Worth It to stand up for those that you love.
I knew today was going to be an important day too… having had a wee memo from the society to let me know that they were honoring my work with homeless pet and the senior pet sites by awarding me with a Golden Paw today. Nobody on the board was surprised when me and my trifocals weren’t up to driving into to the city: ))) However I do believe that somebody is crafting me a jpg that can be proudly displayed on the front door of the sites.
When I retired from the military, I had initially dreamed of starting up my own senior pet sanctuary. That was of course until I started doing my homework and realizing that even the most fantabulous mega lottery win wouldn’t garner me even a tenth of the annual operating budget for a place like Best Friends ( the subject of how military pensions in no way, shape or form have anything near the substance of those earned by politicians over much shorter time periods is a separate topic for a blog with a different focus than mine …lol )
The short version of this story is that in the process of researching the possibility of my own sanctuary, I had an ah hah moment and realized that my amateur web skills could still be put to good use for the animals here in Nova Scotia.
Like Dr Jeckyll and Granny Hyde, I have deliberately divorced the pet sites from the long list of things I nag about on this blog. Why is that? Don’t we need dog politics to get to No Kill Nova Scotia?
Of course we do … but we all need to remember that some of the best pet owners do not give a rats a** about dog politics. They just want a nice pet that they can love for life. They don’t want to have to spend an entire afternoon filling out an adoption application. They don’t want to sit on tenterhooks waiting for a committee to rummage around their references.
And before the keyboards catch on fire, yes I know that the animals need to be protected. But is there not going to be an adoption interview? Reference checks? A home visit? Follow up phone calls?
I know that there is a school of thought that the applications themselves will weed out the unsuitable adopters and avoid the time consuming interviews and homecheck for the rescue group. I only have one thing to say about that … how is that working out so far?
It needs to be remembered that there is a popular misconception among those outside the rescue community that there must be something wrong with a rescued pet. That they are somehow not safe or suitable for families with children. How can this be overcome? Why not let the animals ‘speak’ for themselves? Get them out in the public eye with offsite adoptions and just see what wonderful things will come of that.
What time is it? If we want to adopt our way to No Kill Nova Scotia, then its time to make the process as user friendly as possible … because each and every successfully adopted pet is the best possible ambassador of all.