Kelly and Brooks

This is part of Blog the Change.

On Be the Change for Animals I’ve written about many inspiring people and organizations, but recently I started thinking, what does it really mean, to someone like me, to “be the change for animals without spending a single cent.” How do I fit it into my busy life, limited finances, family schedule, and other issues? What if I’m not one of those with the energy, vision, passion, resources to do big things? How can I Be the Change?

1. Get Personal– As a blogger, I often promote various causes. But if I’m really busy, on deadlines, rushing to get things done, I might get out the facts, but I don’t always put my heart into it. Taking that extra step, telling why it’s important, how I really feel about it, might encourage others to relate in a more personal way. I can’t necessarily be in the jungle with the tigers or at the puppy mills, but taking extra care in sharing their concerns is something I can do.

2. Think Local– I don’t have time or money to travel to help all the great causes I often write about. But there are plenty of local groups that could use my time and efforts. I’ve joined a few walks that benefit animal causes. I’ve helped a few local rescue groups. But there is more I could do. I will commit to finding my place locally–where I can use my talents to the best of my ability, and do something that will make a real, tangible difference. Walk dogs at a local shelter? Start a bi-monthly pet food drive? I’m not sure what it will be, but I can do more.

3. Speak Up--Maybe this is the area in which I have fallen down the most. I have witnessed instances while, not specifically abuse, represents irresponsible behavior on the part of the pet owners. In my neighborhood, I often hear a dog barking endlessly. The owner occasionally opens the door and yells at the dog to shut up. Do they ever stop to consider why the dog is barking? Is he overheated? Thirsty? In pain? Lonely? Every time I hear the owner yell at his dog, and not try to understand the dog’s needs, I get so upset. It would take a lot of nerve to speak up and say something (since I don’t even know this person) but it would be one way of being the change for this dog.  Another woman in my town stands in her doorway and lets her dog out on a leash, and the dog only has the length of the leash to use to “do his business.” Maybe the woman is infirm. Maybe not. But if so, I can think of a million different ways to let this dog out than this. The poor dog, who is obese, simply stands there looking morose. I can only imagine that, if he doesn’t get the job done outside, she lets him back inside, he has an accident inside, and then she scolds him for making a mess in the house. This breaks my heart. It’s not his fault! I’d like to say something to her. But do I dare? There are the dogs left in cars when it is hot outside. The dogs chained up in the yard night and day. The cats left to roam outside all day and yowl in the rain because they are cold and wet, and no one lets them back inside. Can I Be the Change for these Animals? I hope so.