This week I am at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fl at a conference on using social media in hospitals and health care. Aside from this blog, I am woefully behind in the social media world. People in the audience are actually tweeting about the conference live! It is certainly transforming communication, but yesterday morning I overheard a simple, face-to-face communication that touched my heart. (more…)
Archive for September, 2010
The folks at Petfinder.com have designated this week (September 19-26) as “Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet” week. Surely they could have come up with a better event name, but I am all for the cause of advocating for those pets who languish in shelters, or are euthanized, because they are old, or have special needs, or aren’t the right breed, or happen to be black. Anyone who is involved in sheltering or rescue will tell you that black dogs (and black cats) are the hardest to place. There’s even a name for it: black dog syndrome. It’s interesting to me that year after year, Black Labs are the most popular breed, according to the AKC, yet if a black dog ends up in a shelter, it is at high risk of not finding a home. Theories about this abound. (more…)
As I collect both dog poetry and dog photos, I was delighted to recently discover The World According to Dog; Poems and Teen Voices by Joyce Sidman, with photographs by Doug Mindell (Houghton, 2003). The genesis of this lovely book was poems inspired by the author’s dog, which she wrote when going through a difficult time. The author’s poems are interspersed with brief essays and photos of their dogs submitted by teenage authors in response to the author’s invitation on teen listserves and web sites. Ms. Sidman’s poems are illustrated with stunning photos by Doug Mindell, a professional photographer. The contrast of these dramatic yet soft-focus black and white photos with Ms. Sidman’s haiku-like verse makes the book a stunning work of art. Although it is hard to pick a favorite among many wonderful poems in the book, I think the one that resonates most with me is called “The Splash of Your Heart.” I want to/gather you back/midair/that handful of puppy/you once were/keep you curled/in my palm/never hear the splash/of your heart/hitting the world. Another favorite, “Dog in Bed,” concludes: This is how it is with love./Once invited,/it steps in gently,/circles twice,/and takes up as much space/as you will give it. The poems are simple, direct, and heartfelt, and the author’s keen observations of her dog definitely describe “the world according to dog.” A wonderful gift for dog friends or just to savor for yourself!
I’m especially grateful for organizations that help homeless senior pets. All rescue work is difficult and heart-wrenching, but those who go the extra mile for senior, disabled, or otherwise difficult to place animals deserve extra support and acknowledgment. Thus I was pleased to learn about the charity of the month at The Honest Kitchen, a company that makes nutritious, “human-grade” dehydrated dog food. The Honest Kitchen has a “Pawlanthropy” program in which they select a charity to benefit from a percentage of online sales that month. September’s charity is the Compassion program of Just A Dog, a pit bull rescue in San Diego, CA. The Compassion program takes elderly or ill pit bulls who would otherwise be euthanized in shelters, and ensures that their final days are spent in a loving and caring home environment. I’m sure it is difficult work, but what a wonderful way to make a difference in an animal’s life, even if only briefly.
Kids and dogs. The essence of long, lazy summer days and childhood memories. This week, more vintage photos from my collection to celebrate the enduring bonds that we form with pets, which often begin with a special dog with whom we shared adventures, and who provided play, comfort, and love. Which one reminds you of your childhood dog? What kinds of things did you do with that dog?