Since it is already Tuesday, I realize I am a little late in hoping everyone had a great weekend last weekend! Mine was spent in my studio, making a ton of quilt-y goods, including this tote I made for my pet sitter.
Speaking of pet sitting, the night before I left for the Long Beach Quilt Festival last month, I almost hit a dog on the way home from taking Clarence to the dog park. After I swerved onto the sidewalk, I ran out of my car to check if she was ok, and she was in such horrible shape: caked in mud, malnourished, and trembling. She had no tag on her collar, but responded positively to my endearment of “Sweetie” with a gentle thump thump thump of her tail. I hoisted her into my car, took her home, bathed her (pretty significantly because she was a mess), then let her play with Clarence…who thought the idea of a sleepover was a great one! That first hour with our new guest, it was a just blond whir somersaulting across my hardwood floors.
Since I was leaving the next day for an entire week, I called numerous shelters and emergency hotlines that night to see if I could get her taken care of…but no such luck. The following morning I went to my vet and pleaded with him to see if I could board her for a week until I got back. Fortunately he said yes, so I dropped “Sweetie” off, hoping that while I was away, I could get her either reunited with her owner or adopted–unfortunately neither happened.
This is where compassionate quilters came to the rescue. Numerous quilting friends tried to help me problem solve on Facebook, including art quilter Kim Ritter. She even went to my vet to meet Sweetie, helped me pay the cost for her care and vaccinations, and posted signs in the neighborhood.
When I returned from Long Beach, I went to my vet to visit Sweetie, and she was so affectionate. Below my coworker Allison Cooper is giving Sweetie some much needed love.
I called more than 20 agencies and rescues to see if anyone could help me, but unfortunately every shelter was filled or beyond capacity. I thought my best option was to take her to city-run BARC, a local agency that was recommended to me, as there is a huge campaign to adopt out as many animals as possible in the next few months in order to win some significant grant funds. Below is her picture.
Problem was, I just couldn’t stand it, I couldn’t stand the idea she could possibly be put down, and people were messaging me and encouraging me to explore other options. So I went out, bought a crate, more toys and treats, and brought her home. She is home with me now, and I am fostering her in the hopes I can find her a forever home soon. (Hey, I have a lot of pets already!) She is learning commands very quickly, loves to be around people, is very docile and playful, sleeps a lot, and loves to go on runs with Clarence.
Since moving to Houston, I have now taken on three rescues (but again, I am planning for Sweetie to find another “forever” home). But as I was driving down to Houston from Boston last fall, I noticed more and more strays on the side of the highway as I traversed across the South. It is a real problem, and one that Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker is striving to correct in our city. I heard her speak at the Grand Reopening of Friends for Life, a no-kill shelter in Houston where I got Clarence, and she relayed that she is determined to adopt out as many animals in Houston shelters (namely BARC), and spread the word of how crucially important it is to spay and neuter your pets.
It got me thinking…I know the Mayor is a fan of Quilt Festival (she attends on her own time every year…sometimes more than once!), and she also loves animals. I’d love to coordinate some kind of quilt-y outreach, but don’t know what exactly. So many of us at Quilts Inc. have rescued animals for pets, it is a cause very close to our hearts.
So here is my question: If you as a quilter could be a part of some kind of outreach to help raise awareness for rescue animals, what would it be? And if you have a rescued love one, tell us about him/ her in the comments section. On Thursday, I will randomly select a winner to win this set of Puppy Park Fabrics by Riley Blake Designs!