On recognizing opportunity …..

I love ponds!  What is not to love?   A pond is more than just a ‘pretty face’ … in this yard the upper pond does double duty by providing badly needed drainage to keep the driveway usable in the spring.    Even better, ponds are good for the environment because they provide a refuge for wildlife!   Best of all of course is that ponds provide pockets of peaceful relief from summertime heat!

One of these days I am going to do a page for this site about ponds!   I am a middle aged grandmother not a landscaping pro … but with three ponds at my place I have learned a few lessons in pond building along the way.

There is more to building a pond than just digging a hole!  Depth is important if one is going to winter over water plants.    Drainage is necessary to prevent heavy rains from flooding the neighbours out!    Designing a pond can even involve consulting an electrician about the cost of carrying a power line out to the pump!

Like everything else in life, the time and effort put into planning the pond will save one a lot of grief once the project is launched.

It is exactly the same thing with Anti Tethering Legislation!      If gaps in legislation are the only thing driving the ‘education not enforcement’ bus ….it is not unrealistic to believe that initially after the legislation has been passed, that there will be more dogs who will not be left behind to suffer by society inspectors.

At the risk of sounding churlish, it is difficult to imagine that either the society or our provincial government are unaware of the fact that more resources would be needed for the society to proceed forward in a humane fashion with a surge of seized dogs.     Lets face it .. that 100,000 dollars really only represents a fraction of the funding needed for that, eh?

The good news is that the animal loving community in this province have a proven track record of generosity!     Methinks that the two biggest stakeholders at the table … the government and the society … would be pleasantly surprised at the support that meaningful Anti Tethering Legislation would generate!

After all .. .look at how quick animal advocates were to support the society when the Agriculture Minister could not see his way clear to providing a more realistic stipend for cruelty investigations, eh?   Not to be mean … but that was AFTER the society had been sniping and undermining the advocacy work the society was either unwilling or unable to do!

Lets face it …. if we all woke up tomorrow morning and found the Anti Tethering Law fairy had come overnight … the biggest challenge would be coming out of the gate!    Why?   The answer is simple!   In the long run, laws are a very effective way to educate people, eh?    It is only in the short-term that there would be a transition requiring more resources!

It will not stop every person from ‘doing what their daddy did’ but it will provide an incentive to pick a better path for both the pet and the pet owner!

So here is today’s what if!      Instead of thinking of the cost of enforcement, the provincial government should be thinking about the economic benefits of Anti Tethering Legislation!    Just imagine what might happen if all the municipalities in this province were to offer free lifetime dog licenses for pet owners who would attend workshops with respected positive dog trainers.

How hard would it be to get pet supply companies of all stripes to sponsor workshops that would open up a new customer base for them?    The pet industry is big business that does more than promote product … it could be providing more Jobs Here in Nova Scotia if there were more responsible dog owners, eh?

What time is it?   It is ALWAYS time to remind our provincial politicians and our municipal councillors that the animal loving community wants Nova Scotia dogs to stop getting the short end of the leash!

Opportunity is often difficult to recognize; we usually expect it to beckon us with beepers and billboards.  William Arthur Ward

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