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Monday, August 7,2017


By Tina Valant-Siebelts  

Did you ever notice when you’re sad that your dog is mopey, and tries to cheer you up? When you’re happy and excited, so is your dog! When you are stressed, your dog may lose its appetite, or even get sick. It’s like our furry family members are directly plugged into our thoughts, energy and feelings. They are.


Whether you volunteer/work at a shelter, serve as a foster home or simply just love dogs it’s imperative to stay positive. What we do, day in and day out takes an exquisite amount of energy. We can not afford to deplete ourselves by judging, getting upset, posting/responding negatively, or being offended by those pesky “keyboard quarterbacks” (people who advise what we should be doing in every rescue case, as they sit behind their computers and tag us, constantly). THINK about protecting yourself and setting boundaries. Surround yourself with positive people and be mindful about taking care of you.

Having made worldwide friends through rescue, it’s common to log into social media and see updates. This includes adopted dogs, happy endings, medical recoveries, dogs in need of homes, and those in peril. Several dog lovers (and vegans) I know, believe that sharing graphic, disturbing images is the only way to affect change. I heartily disagree. Remember that “We get more bees with honey, than vinegar.”

Before you share or post, THINK, would this be ok to say to/show a child? If you are so inclined to post a disturbing image/injury, or that video of the woman unable to control her two powerful dogs on &^$#@ retractable leads (attacking a cat, harmlessly sitting in his own driveway) please include a warning:

Graphic or upsetting content. Viewer discretion advised.

As tempting as it may be to negatively comment on the person surrendering/asking for help in rehoming - please don’t. Stating the obvious, venting, or starting a flame war serves NO ONE. You might feel better for a brief moment, but it drains you. All the time and energy wasted by posting things like, “How could you move to a place that doesn’t allow pets?” “You stink (and worse) is far better spent sharing information and truly trying to help the animal in need. You may not be able to adopt, but can you share information? Foster? Donate? Transport? Do something positive. You’ll feel better and not rob yourself of the joy in assisting that pet find its new home.

Elementary schools teach a kind acronym. Before you speak/respond/ post, THINK:

T – is it true?

H – is it helpful?

I – is it inspiring?

N – is it necessary?

K – is it kind?

If you can’t answer yes to all the above - keep it to yourself; or better yet, forget about it. Be like a dog, live in the moment, and hope for the best. Dog speed.

Are you looking for a gentle, sweet companion?

Eleven year old Rocky is a lab mix. He is in search of his forever home. Don’t be fooled by his age. Rocky has spunk, enjoys walks, sofa-surfing and has a lot of love to give. Email for info .

Tina Valant-Siebelts is a confirmed dog-o-holic, mom to many rescued pets, who volunteers with numerous organizations. To "fill all those dog bowls," Tina is an award-winning photographer, writer & event coordinator.


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