Twenty-one years ago today, I quit smoking! So was my body immediately grateful to be on a healthier path? Of course not!
Like anything else in life that is going to be better in the long run …. my body was not having any part of that! Gratitude, schmatitude! There was such a full-scale revolt that I was actually sicker than any other time in my life!
To be perfectly honest, it took almost seven years before my body began to reap the benefits of being a born again non smoker! Seven years! Sometimes, I am still gobsmacked that I was able to stay the course!
But here is the thing that is also very helpful! Whenever I get discouraged about regulations being written at a snail’s pace …. about politicians who honestly believe that their constituents do not give a rats a** about the animals …. it does me good to remember that at one time nobody could have imagined that I could become a non smoker!
After all … seven years ago, who would have imagined that the horrible home-made gas chamber at the Cape Breton SPCA would be gone? That provincial would have finally opened its blind eye to the cruelty carried on in its name there? That they would have stepped and pulled out all the stops to put the branch on a better path?
Seven years ago, who would have dreamed that the Kings SPCA would be filling their empty white elephant with such hope and optimism and community spirit?
Seven years ago, who would have dreamed that the society would move towards No Kill and have a vision of a No Kill province ?
Seven years ago it was still so often a death sentence for any dog over five to find its way to society shelters! They were perceived to be unwanted! Unadoptable!
Now before the keyboards catch on fire, I am not saying that absolutely everything is perfectly peachy keen with the society! After all, the society is made up of real people … warts and wrinkles and all! But …. the society is also an organization! More importantly … it is an organization that has discovered that saving lives generates public support!
There is a lesson in there for our politicians! They are so afraid to write meaningful anti tethering legislation! As a collective whole, all our provincial parties are all nervous about supporting spay neuter! Red, blue and orange neckties ALL get too tight at the very suggestion that it should be illegal to shoot a companion animal!
The provincial board of the society did not wake up one morning and say .. gee what if we picked a better path? What if we paid more than lip service to life saving? What if we really put our heart into it?
Like any other organization … including government … these changes were driven by the desire of the membership! Straight, sweet and simple that is always the most powerful motivation for institutional change!
What time is it? It is always time to remind our provincial politicians that animal welfare is an important issue to ourselves as voters! At the end of the day, the way ahead for the animals will only ever be paved by strong voter feedback!