I recently went on vacation to "get away from it all." I had been working a lot and needed some time for me. My main goal was to relax, turn my brain off, and get back to center. Despite my best efforts, I still checked my email, browsed Facebook, and checked in on all the usuals. I kept seeing news stories that were troublesome — dogs passing away due to negligence on a plane ride, a teacher feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle for a demonstration, people leaving their dogs abandoned as they picked up and moved, and other stores of cruelty.
My heart was broken, even as I sat in the sun by our private pool with a cocktail in hand (one of those happy cocktails that normally come with a miniature brightly colored umbrella). Those usually cure all types of woes, but it wasn't working this time. At that moment, I was unable to relax and embrace those relaxation vibes. All I wanted to do was act.
Unfortunately, my efforts to unplug left me so far away from home and all that I knew. I was away from my own four adopted dogs and my partner’s two rescues. Sitting here in what should be my happy place, I felt useless. Some people might order another drink to ease the sadness, but all I could do was think of how I could help. The hideous deeds I was reading about were already done, but I wanted to do something that would prevent them from happening again.
I quickly posted to a social media outlet that if I read one more abuse or neglect story, I was going to scream. In my anger, I wanted to let out every square inch of air in my lungs. How could people even consider doing something so harmful to another being on this planet that has feelings and emotions, just like we humans do? At first, I wanted to meet and then strangle the people responsible. When the initial anger passed, I took a step back and realized I didn’t want to meet violence with violence.
Luckily, a good friend of mine (who is very active with fostering and volunteering on behalf of pitbulls in Indiana) reminded me that we can’t just sit and be sad. We need to do something. She reminded me that I do a lot to support animal welfare efforts and I just need to keep at it and continue to make a positive influence. Thank whatever god you believe in for a friend like that. (Side note: She and her husband are amazing when it comes to animal welfare! Here's a shout out to Jessica and Ryan Garr for all their hard work and dedication!)
I quickly snapped out of my sad mental state and started pondering what actions I could take that would make an impact. I currently donate part of my proceeds to the local Humane Society and I also chair their annual fundraiser. What else could I do? Well, I thought, I have this blog to help raise awareness! Why not use my voice to spread a message?
So my goal this year is to double my contributions to the poor animals of Indianapolis that are looking for a furever home, need medical attention before being eligible for adoption, or those that just need love. But, I am only one person. I want to challenge everyone out there to think about a cause near and dear to them. Rather than feeling sad about the state of things, I urge you to act.
Stand up and do something to support a cause you believe in. This might involve helping animals that don’t have a voice of their own, volunteering at a local homeless shelter, helping a nearby food pantry, reducing your consumption, or any simple act that makes a positive impact in the world. To help support you, I will make a donation to each cause that you list in the comments section. Tell me about what you’re doing to improve the world and I’ll help as well!
Don’t want to share publicly? Feel free to email me at email@example.com and tell me your story!
If you feel like helping, but don't have a current favorite cause, you can donate to the Indy Humane Society or support the upcoming Mutt Strut to help raise awareness for animal welfare.
Thanks again for listening (aka reading) and for taking action to help improve the world!
Mandi's Two Cents: Yes, I'm making a note on my own post! I was surprised at how many people approached me to tell me how they help with local charities, shelters, etc. after we posted this. It was such a great thing to get that type of feedback. Since this post we have adopted another dog to add to our mix! Our newest little mascot named Wampa lost his original owner in a car accident. We are so glad to have him ... now I just need to teach him how to make and bring me my morning coffee. Hmmmm ...