On Being Connected
I’ve talked before about how Old Dog Haven dogs are ambassadors in so many ways, and this week I’m thinking specifically about the connection that’s made between our dogs and the people who sponsor them. If you’ve looked at our website you know that many of our permanent foster dogs are posted under the section called Final Refuge dogs. If you browse through this section you’ll find write-ups and photos of the dogs and a list of people who are sponsoring a specific dog at the end of the dog’s post.
When people choose to sponsor a particular dog this isn’t a random choice for them. They feel some connection to the dog, and because of that connection they want to be that dog’s guardian angel. In most cases the dog reminds them of a dog they’re honoring or remembering and that sponsorship is a tribute that lives on in another dog.
Paying it forward.
Let’s take Frankie and Beanie as an example: Frankie and Beanie don’t know on a conscious level that they’re being sponsored by a pediatrician in North Carolina who smiles every time she looks at their photo on the website because she can see… through them…the two Doxies (Maimont and Lucia) that were once an important part of her life. In a way, Frankie and Beanie are conduits of connectedness. (I think I just made up that phrase.)
And then there’s the woman who has been sponsoring Faline ever since she came to ODH. This is another case of physical resemblance, but it’s more than that. Faline struggled when she first came to us, but through the patience and TLC of her foster family, she’s doing better…as did her dog Bridgett. The woman who is sponsoring Faline understands about small victories and loves knowing that another dog like her Bridgett is safely home.
Or, think about this: A woman who has been a long-time sponsor just adopted an adoptable senior dog that was courtesy posted on our website. The Ripple Effect.
Just to be clear: I’m not saying that the dogs that are sponsored are simply reminders of other dogs that have been loved. There is that, but there’s more to it. Our dogs show that they can provide connection, inspiration and that they have value beyond their lives with their families.
As I write this, we have 335 “Ambassadors in Residence” and every one of them is connected in some way to another person outside of this organization. Think about the kind of positive energy that is being sent out by a bunch of old dogs. Don’tcha love it? I think there’s a lesson and a moral here.