What’s your favorite part of the holidays? Helping others who have less? Or giving and getting rad gifts?
Be honest. Both, right?
We have two favorite activities of our own here on the blog — fundraisers and giveaways. And this year, we’re rocking two in one. Excited?
Two years ago — our first holiday season blogging — we rolled out our Kibble for Comments fundraiser, in which our then-foster Lollie Wonderdog earned 250 pounds of kibble for our local shelter’s homeless dogs thanks to your participation on the blog. Has anybody been with us since then?
And last year — though this was before the holiday season — we raised a stupendous $4,130 for the care of Little Zee, our then-foster whose neurological issues and medical complications put her at serious risk for the wrong end of the shelter.
Of course, these made perfect sense. Two years ago, we were pouring our time into shelter dogs, so naturally, shelter dogs should benefit from any funds we could raise. Then last year, our focus shifted, and we opened our home to eight homeless pit bull dogs, including Little Zee. We treated them like our own, so when one needed a small miracle to have a chance at a new life, we did what we had to do and raised the money.
This year, our focus has shifted a little again. In February we adopted Doodlebug, which took us out of the fostering game for a while. I also thre myself whole-heartedly into the fascinating world of dog training. At the beginning of the year, I started working, learning, observing, and just spending time at the best shop in Austin, and it changed everything.
At the Center, we see dogs every day who might have ended up at the shelter if their owners were a little less committed to resolving behavioral challenges — sometimes rather serious ones. How many of you, who volunteer or work at shelters, have seen dogs turned in because they bark, or pee, or nip, or run away? What about the ones who growl, or hide, or have bitten another dog or a person?
Often, there is only a small difference between these dogs and the ones who turn into success stories with their current owners: resources. With a great, experienced, gentle, creative trainer — and the money to pay for her — a dog with serious behavioral challenges can learn how to relax and act safely and appropriately. We all know good training ain’t cheap — especially private lessons. But does this mean that only those with means to pay should have the opportunity to turn around their relationship with their dog?
We think no.
So this year, training is our special cause. And in particular, helping those who are desperately in need of tailored, one-on-one help with their dog to afford the help they need. Tomorrow, we’ll introduce you to a fantastic program in Austin that does just this. And on Friday, we’ll launch our fundraiser and reveal this year’s beautiful prize pack.