Hey. It’s Full-Assed Friday. And I have a guest post. Sweet!
When Julie Davidoski from Go Guilty Pleasures first contacted me about doing a guest post I was pretty psyched. Her timing is so good she oughtta be a drummer. I’m working a second gig this week and have clashing show tunes duking it out for my last remaining brain cells. It’s not pretty. I’ve spent the past hour trying to write a coherent introduction for her post.
Julie claims that she doesn’t do much that’s full-assed, but I beg to differ. She certainly saved my ass this week. Here, she interviews her friend who works with an excellent pet rescue shelter in our state.
Best in Shelter
by Julie Davidoski
Unlike our beloved Accidental Stepmom, I don’t do a whole lotta things full-assed. Don’t believe me? Examine the 4-foot tall weeds in my backyard, or, if you dare, my spice cupboard. When it comes to raising my dog, Uncle Jesse, however, my derriere is unequivocally rotund.
Uncle Jesse is a multi-generational Australian labradoodle I purchased in 2010 from a well-respected breeder, after hours (days, weeks) of research to find a dog compatible with my husband’s allergies. I wouldn’t trade Uncle Jesse for anything (not even a lifetime supply of champagne and E.L. Fudge cookies), but I often question my decision not to adopt.
Recently, I interviewed friend and animal advocate, Jennifer Brewer. I’m excited to share our conversation, with the sincere hope that you might spread the word.
J. Davidoski: Tell us about your organization. Also why that does or does not make you a better person than me.
J. Brewer: 1. No way I’m a better person than you. 1a. Actually, there’s no way I’d admit to being a better person while you’re blogging about me. 2. I’m involved with 11th Hour Rescue in Rockaway, NJ. They pull high risk animals from shelters, and find them homes. They do not euthanize; even difficult to place dogs are kept until they are adopted.
J. Davidoski: How did you get involved?
J. Brewer: My husband and I are supreme dog lovers. During the five years we lived in an apartment that didn’t allow pets, he converted me from a “pedigree” dog person to a “shelter” dog person. He told me about the feeling of rescuing a dog’s life. He’s persuasive.
When we bought a home, I went online to find a rescue, and I found 11th Hour. I decided we would adopt from them.
J. Davidoski: So you were always an animal lover? Remember our Janis Joplin jackets with the fake fur trim? Could we have gotten more attention with real fur?
J. Brewer: We couldn’t have gotten more attention no matter what we tried.
J. Davidoski: What should you be wary of before adopting a dog, and specifically a shelter dog?
J. Brewer: Spend time with the animal BEFORE you commit. #2 – if a shelter doesn’t ask for references, walk away. They don’t tell you the truth about the animal’s history.
J. Davidoski: Like that unpaid parking ticket [your dog] Shunderson had. What about parents? Are there other considerations?
J. Brewer: Parents should adopt animals. Teach your kids about generosity and compassion. Like every activity with your kids, be involved – make sure you’re getting the right animal. Many people just want a puppy…now. They have no plan for after Christmas, when their kids won’t pick up the poop in the blizzard.
J. Davidoski: Related question: If you could send one message to potential pet owners, what would it be? (Besides picking an awesome name, like, I don’t know, Uncle Jesse.)
J. Brewer: Shelters are never fuller than at the beginning of the year – when the holiday glow has worn off and people have abandoned their now unwanted presents.
J. Davidoski: So if I have a Slap-Chop, will they take that, too?
J. Brewer: You’re on your own with that shitty gift. And, let me just say, that pitbulls are FABULOUS. They were bred to be nanny dogs, to watch children and love their families.
J. Davidoski: Hey. That reminds me. Though I don’t know why. What kind of dog do you have?
J. Brewer: Well… I… er… have a pit.
Editor’s Note: Brewer owns a gorgeous pitbull-mix, Shunderson, a former shelter dog. He’s one of the sweetest pooches I’ve ever met. He’s twice the size of my boy, and puts up with Uncle Jesse’s sassiness like a saint.
J. Davidoski: Do you get dirty looks at the dog park?
J. Brewer: I wish that was all we got. People ask us to leave, to leash Shunderson until they can take their dog out. Ridiculous. Do I have enough money to let my dog maul someone????
J. Davidoski: Very similar to what happens when I go outside without make-up.
J. Brewer: You go outside without make-up????
J. Davidoski. Well. No. But imagine! What’s the biggest obstacle in overcoming the number of unwanted pets?
J. Brewer: People think shelter dogs are bad. They’re far less damaged than most people I know. Besides, TONS of shelter dogs are surrendered by breeders and pet stores who couldn’t unload them. If you want a certain breed or age, the right dog can be rescued. Purebred puppies are stuck in shelters, too. And they’re euthanized.
J. Davidoski: After reading this article, people will be dying to know how they can get involved.
J. Brewer: Donations. $10 matters. Dropping off old towels and blankets. Bleach and paper towels are the biggest request of every shelter. But the best way is to go on Petfinder.com and find the rescue nearest you. If you want a dog, ADOPT. The average cost of basic food, supplies, care and training for a shelter dog or cat is $700 to $875 annually. I hope people donate… and to local shelters. I love the ASPCA, but they have LOTS of donations.
J. Davidoski: Yes, that’s why I asked – people think their donations get lost in the sauce.
J. Brewer: For pet owners, when you go to Petsmart, give the buck at checkout to help homeless animals. They can’t get jobs. They can’t collect unemployment. There’s no bailout for pitbulls.
J. Davidoski: They can’t even play guitars and write signs asking for money.
J. Brewer: Exactly. If you can’t donate or volunteer, spay or neuter your pet. The world needs animals, just not anymore than it already has.
J.Davidoski: Okay. I am so keeping you from [more] booze. Is there anything else you would like to share?
J. Brewer. More than FIVE MILLION animals are killed in U.S. shelters EVERY YEAR.
Also. Donate BLEACH and PAPER TOWELS.
J. Davidoski: I am picking up what you are putting down. Thank you!!!
J. Brewer: Crazy dog lady, over and out.
I hope you’ll take a minute to check out Julie’s blog and the shelter site:
Julie Davidoski: Go Guilty Pleasures
The Shelter: 11th Hour Rescue