A few dogs that we were trying hard to save from a horrible animal cruelty case died anyway (the perpetrators are still committing cruelty - long story; more later) ... the local media pounced on a tragedy here at home and in doing so, condemned family pets in formula headlines, rolling out back room talk about BSL ... and our very own local shelter dug a deep moat around itself following public criticism - effectively preventing rescues from designing safe passage to dogs at risk. It's been a kick in the ass with way too many WTF moments and my busy head has been spinning a little too dizzy.
We're used to making our own good news to fend off the bad, but this week I needed a little help, so I outreached to our facebook friends with a request for their best happys. Within an hour, nearly 230 people voiced snippets of good news from all around the country. It was actually overwhelming .. Bam! Bam! Bam! .. news bits came pouring in so fast it was hard to take them all in. Some of it was a repeat of popular headlines: For example, lots of people were loving the story of the pit bulls who saved a chihuahua from the coyote....
... but by far, the most heartwarming bits of news were the smaller stories that don't make the news or large org blogs or websites. Like Laura Pieper who announced that her pit bull was just approved to give blood - saving the lives of other dogs, Jessica Najdek who was celebrating the return of her lost pit bull and her appreciation for the Alameda Shelter that treated her and her dog so well, Katie Bell who just put an obedience title on her dog, Darbi Blencowe whose rescue just finished heartworm treatment and found her forever home, Dena Ely whose rescued pit mix started signaling when her blood pressure drops and brings her close to black-outs, Bijou Galletti, who helped fight off a BSL threat in Long Island...and on and on. Get yourself a coffee and look up "I need some good news" thread on our facebook page.
I'm so grateful for all the response and optimism that poured in. And I'm becoming convinced that the enormous collective of individuals who extend so much compassion and activism towards making things right for the dogs is as powerful, if not more powerful, than any of the work the larger organizations do. The power of intention and all that. Individuals don't bring politics or policies to their work like organizations can do...They don't worry about budgets or promotion or answering 100 emails a day. In fact, they're free to put the most amount of attention and focus on any given situation or dog without being hindered. Pure focus.
Since optimism needs regular feedings (I know mine does), I'm going to declare Wednesdays 'Good News Hump Days' on our facebook page and collect the week's happys for everyone. Then, I'm going to pull out 1-3 of those individual, rarely heard stories and expand on them with more details here on the blog every Monday morning. So please contribute - or just watch, if that suits you. Whatever you do, keep making the magic that was so very apparent in yesterday's facebook thread.