In our special corner of the pet universe, we are champions for small dogs – specifically, keeping them active and at a healthy weight. Small dogs have gotten labeled too many times as “lap dogs” and people don’t realize that proper exercise is just as important and necessary to their health as it is for bigger dogs. We are also champions for the human-pet relationship and the benefits pets bring to our lives.
It is not that we don’t care about pet-related causes. We DO. We just don’t want to water down our message and think that many of the great bloggers out there already cover pet-cause topics wonderfully and thoroughly.
I do struggle with this though because we are huge proponents of pet rescue and the adoption of shelter pets. As many of you know, we adopted Gretel from a really cool rescue. Almost all of my pets as a kid came from “the pound” or were needy strays that we took in. I don’t want to ignore that part of my passion for animals.
I have found the fit! I organize the Adventureweiner Club of Seattle – one of the biggest Dachshund clubs in the City. Many of the members own rescue dogs and are very active in local animal causes. In unrelated news I have been thinking about expanding our scope of club activities. It makes sense that one of the “expanded activities” our club should include is the support of pet-related causes, including pet adoption and rescue.
I recently attended BarkWorld in Atlanta where I met a couple of women who launched a campaign to raise the awareness about pet adoption. Pet adoption campaigns are changing. Proponents have realized that there are still a lot of stereotypes about pets at rescues in shelters. There is still a misconception that they are all “damaged” in some way. Adoption awareness campaigns are moving beyond the “get your pet at a shelter” message to a “rescue pets are not damaged goods” and “shelter pets add to your life” messages. I really wanted to find a way to work with these women and their campaign.
We hosted another Adventureweiner Green Lake Walk this weekend. I approached the club members about creating event around this campaign and cause. I received a lot of encouragement and support of my ideas. I am still working out the details and will share them with you later but it looks like it is going to happen.
So how does this fit in with our blog? As I said, I don’t want to dilute our message about the importance of exercise and health for your small dog but I don’t want to leave out this important part of my passion. The Ah-ha moment came for me when I realized that most of the pet-cause activities of our club will involve some kind of tie to exercise (in this case it will be a walk to raise awareness). So I DO feel comfortable sharing our efforts with you on our blog because it is important to show you that the two causes are not mutually exclusive. The promotion of physical activity can be tied into supporting pet-related causes.
So for now I am going to leave you with this thought: Pets have been shown to increase human health and wellbeing and a lot of pets can be found in shelters – so the two things are related. The inforgraphic below from MastersInHealthCare.com illustrates it well.