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Partying at the shelter

It's a grey day in Grey County. They're calling for rain later this afternoon. That's good, because niece Rachel is competing in a barrel race this morning, and it'll be the first one I've been able to go to.

On Wednesday, I was invited to a donor appreciation event at the Guelph Humane Society (GHS). Rob and I have been contributing for years and, most recently, decided to sponsor a cat cage.

My first stop, though, was to my friend Pat's place. She has this meticulously kept back yard courtesy of her nephew Wes.

It's looking pretty spectacular these days. The urns on the front porch were bursting with colourful petunias and the peonies in the back yard were at their peak.

They also have gigantic yellow lupines, thriving hostas and crocosmia that will be blooming later in the season.

Nice, eh?

At the spanking new shelter, everyone was in a great mood. It's been just more than two years since they opened the doors, and boy, have they been busy!

Over that time, more than 7,500 animals have felt the love and care of the amazing staff at the facility. It's not just dogs and cats, although they are the bulk of the animals who are abandoned or surrendered. They care for rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, snakes, turtles, chickens, and even lizards. They also triage wildlife that are sick or injured, too, sending them on to rehabilitation centres.

A profile in the annual report told the story of how someone left Kingo, an orange tabby, in a locked cage in a ditch full of water in March last year. Fortunately a kind soul found him, hypothermic, with broken teeth and a badly cut up nose from trying to get out. Honestly. How cruel are people????? Thanks to GHS, he was fixed up, loved up, and adopted out to a family who actually appreciates him. Hurrah.

Rosie, another stray - dog this time - became famous in the press when she avoided being caught for three, anxiety-filled days. She had been dumped in the vicinity of the shelter, and was almost hit by traffic along Hanlon Boulevard quite a few times. Staff had to use their wiliest wiles to finally lure her into care, where she found her fur-ever human mom in Rebecca. She and Rosie were the star attraction at the garden party.

Rebecca told the story of how her long-time cat companion had died and she just didn't have the strength to adopt again because her heart hurt so much. The audience nodded in sympathy - we've all been there.

But, when she saw Rosie in the local news, something clicked, she adopted her and now, they're both in love again. Another feeling we have all experienced.

It was a great afternoon. The sun shone brightly. The flowers and hors d'oeuvres were excellent. And I got to meet the latest occupant in 'our' cage, which we dedicated to our own GHS rescues Nick and Nora, who have long finished their time on this earth.

Tootie is a happy wee girl who was not quite ready to be adopted last Wednesday. She actually purred and chirped while I was paying attention to her.

The GHS and many shelters across the country are run exclusively on donor funds. Thank goodness there are people who give. We feel privileged to be among their ranks. Until next week.

Gratuitous cat photo courtesy of Hobbes, who is looking regal in 'his' spot on the love seat on the deck.


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