I was in Alliance last weekend visiting my parents and two of my three siblings and their spouses. It was nice to all be together, although we missed my sister and her family. And Vince wasn't able to join us either since he was working.
But it’s sort of a good thing that there weren’t four additional people crammed into my parents’ family room. Our collective body heat would have sent the temperature inside the house soaring to near triple digits.
I know I recently wrote a blog complaining about the heat at my parents' house, but I’m telling you, my mother has the thermostat set so high I’m fearful one day one of us might spontaneously combust.
And with my luck, it would probably be me.
Fortunately, my brother Andrew and I decided to get away from the inferno by taking a little trip to the Carnation mall. It’s not like we were trying to relive our youth by hanging out at the mall hoping to see some of our high school friends; we actually had a purpose for going there. Besides, that mall wasn’t even around in our youth.
No, what we were doing was attending an event my good friend Diana created in honor of her late dog, Sampson. It was the inaugural debut of the Sampson’s Salvation Adopt-a-thon.
Sampson was an 11-year-old border collie/chow mix and a cherished member of Diana’s family, but when he wandered off their property a couple years ago, he was senselessly shot, killed and then buried by someone living nearby. It was a horrific act that sent Diana and her husband and daughter into a tailspin. This individual was tried and fined and sentenced to jail for 30 days, which is a mere slap on the wrist for something so heinous. But at least he didn’t get away with it without any repercussions whatsoever.
Since that time, Diana has spent many hours volunteering at shelters, walking dogs and advocating for the rights of animals. And Sampson’s Salvation Adopt-a-thon was her first effort at helping various shelters raise money and awareness of their adoption and foster programs – all in memory of her beloved pet.
So my brother and I first stopped at a pet store and picked up a gargantuan bag of dog food to donate to one of the shelters. Fortunately, Andrew was there to haul the bag around as I probably would’ve needed surgery to repair my broken shoulder after trying to lift the bag. Those suckers are heavy!
This worked in Andrew’s favor, however, as he is the one who brought it to the donation table and then filled out his name and address as an entry for one of the door prizes (even though we split the cost of the bag of dog food).
But I suppose if you do the heavy lifting, you should be the one to reap the benefits. (This is me trying to be all adult-like and mature - right?)
Diana’s husband, daughter and siblings were all there in support of her event as were a couple high school friends – so it was a fun to talk and catch up and take some photos.
There were tables set up and manned by various local rescue and shelter organizations and lots of gift baskets that were being raffled off with the donations to benefit the shelters.
And there were dogs and cats on-site hoping to be adopted into good homes.
It was a fantastic effort and I was even more impressed when I learned that Diana put together this entire event in only three short weeks.
When it was over, all of the animals on-site had completed adoption applications and I am hopeful that they have all since gone to live in happy homes.
And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? Animals have an incredible capacity to love their humans – even if some humans don’t deserve such love.
But for the majority of us (I’m thinking positively here), we cherish our pets – so much so that they truly become part of our families.
I have never understood how someone could adopt a pet – and then leave them out in the cold or give them up or not take care of them properly. Because those animals almost certainly love their humans unconditionally.
It’s so easy to love a pet. Sure, there are messes sometimes. Take our cat Twinklebelle, for instance. She regularly yaks up hairballs that require heavy-duty cleaning, particularly when she decides the white carpet in the living room is the perfect place for her hairball donation. And she tends to take flying leaps off our laps whenever she gets startled, which can leave vicious claw-marks on our legs.
And I can't imagine there is anyone out there who really likes cleaning the litter box. Or who loves following their dog around with a pooper scooper.
But our Twinks is the most lovable kitty, and purrs like a race car when you give her even a tiny bit of attention.
And, in my book, that makes every hairball clean-up worth it. Besides, I never did like that white carpet all that much anyway.
So I just wanted to give a Jane’s Domain “shout-out” (do people even say that anymore?!) to Diana for her successful event – and cheer her on for next year’s Second Annual Sampson’s Salvation Adopt-a-thon. I’ve already promised to give her a hand – and I know she’ll take me up on it. When it comes to our furry friends, they have no greater champion than Diana.
Oh, and PS, my brother ended up winning the prize for the dog food donation. But, I, too, was lucky and I won the Ohio State Gift Basket. I'd say that's a win-win all around - for our furry friends and for us!