On the beauty of opening your home and your heart

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Who does not love Valentine’s Day?     Honestly … what better way to banish the bitter winter blues than a holiday devoted to love .. and chocolate!     It really is just frosting on the cake that this year, Nova Scotians have a lovely long weekend thanks to the newly minted Heritage Day Holiday!

Does this mean that anyone without a sweetheart or a partner has nothing to celebrate?    Of course not!    Here in the real world, love comes in all flavours, shapes and sizes.   There is the love that we have for our families!    There is gratitude for the happiness those dear to us share with their partners.    There is the affection for good friends who travelled down the miles of the road of life with us!

And of course there is the simple, uncomplicated joy of the relationships we share with our very aptly named companion animals!    Miss Ruby and Miss Mandy, pictured above, are two of the four beautiful dogs that I am lucky enough to share space with!

All four of my dogs were adopted from rescues right here in Nova Scotia.     My girls both came from The Animal Rescue Coalitions.    Henry came from CAPS, back when they were still rescuing dogs regularly from the Annapolis Pound.    And Rascal came from ASDR, back in its heyday!

All four of my pals were already spayed and neutered when they came here!    Everyone had been to the vet and there were no health surprises waiting in the wings.   As a side bar note to that, anyone who wonders why adoption fees are necessary needs to remember that in nearly every instance the rescue costs really outweigh the adoption fee … big time!

So why is Morgan the only one of my cats who was adopted from rescue?    (SHAID)     Do I not believe that cats need an equal shot at happiness?    Of course I do … but living out here the other four simply showed up!   Wot?    How did that happen?    Human negligence is how!    They certainly did not hitchhike out here, eh?

And just so we are clear on the subject,  just as with dog adoption fees, Morgan’s modest adoption fee from SHAID was only a fraction of the costs for vetting the other four!

Valentine’s Day is always wrapped up with pet adoption in this house.    Seven years ago today, I was talking to the indefatigable Elsie DeBay of Colchester Animal Control.       The short version of this story is as a result of the longstanding relationship ARC has with Colchester AC, Elsie was on the watch for an adult female dog for me to adopt.

We easily spent the best part of the evening talking about the starved dog she had just taken into to the pound.    To be perfectly honest, I do not know who was more in love with her at the end of the evening … Elsie or myself .. even sight unseen!    Promises were made to try to send a picture the next day and I was off to bed with visions of sugar plums!

The rest was history.    Even though she was painfully thin and I would have to wait for weeks and weeks until Miss Ruby had gained enough weight to be safely spayed , I could tell that my funny valentine was a smarty pants and a survivor and that she would be my heart!

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Today she is still a smarty pants and is very definitely Queen of the Roost here!   Surprisingly, she is not one bit food aggressive although all efforts to steal her cookies are met with the most effective example of The Look that any of my friends have seen!  Ever!

Seven years later, I certainly do not have any boxes of Valentine chocolates left from that year!   What I do have is ever so much better … that being of course the lovely relationship that can only be built over seven years of love and trust!

What time is it?    It is always time to remember that folks who say that money can’t buy them love have never, ever paid a pet adoption fee!

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