2016 Calendar?

Thinking about a 2016 Calendar at this time of year may seem a little premature however, you may want to come up with 12 seasonal pics of your favorite feline or canine ……… but please read on!

We are very familiar with the OMHS* operations and, over the past 2 years, have got to know a number of the staff quite well. This has allowed us an insight into their work, and the emotions that go along with their particular line of business. We have witnessed the frustrations, and the tears, as individuals try and comprehend what they are seeing.

I can well imagine that most people work there (both salaried and volunteer) because of their love of animals and because they have an inherent desire to simply contribute to their well-being. I can also well imagine that after a short while, a number of them are struggling with the realities of unwanted and/or abused animals.

I used to know a young lady who had always loved animals and, according to her parents, was always bringing “stray” dogs home! She decided that her future would be in the veterinarian field and was eventually employed by a local vet. I am not sure how long she lasted there but it was not long because, while working with animals was her passion, she could not cope with the pain and suffering, the medical procedures and the rehabilitation restraints that were sometimes necessary. I have no doubt that she would be wonderful with any healthy animal, but was ill prepared for the range of circumstances that confronted her in a veterinarian clinic.

I can “feel” for those individuals because although I have never worked in the animal welfare field, I have had to confront disturbing situations while in a volunteer capacity many years ago. I clearly remember, on numerous occasions, driving to work and stressing over what I might be confronted with that evening. I had many sleepless nights as my mind reviewed the evening’s events and tried to make sense of them. The “burn-out” average was 2 years so at 2-1/2 years, I resigned from that volunteer position with a clear conscience!

During the late summer of last year, I wanted to create a calendar** showing Ray at his best through a 12 month cycle. It all came together extremely well and I had a small quantity printed for people who had been directly involved with Ray. The OMHS posed a little problem because I did not have enough for everybody, and did not want anybody to feel neglected, so the solution was one calendar for everybody.

The next problem was how to present the OMHS calendar to make it meaningful and visible to all the people working there, and keeping in mind that they do have their own calendar as a fund raiser. Given all the emotions that can be experienced in their work as noted earlier, I decided to simply include a request that it be posted in their lunch room (so everybody could see it) and I also included a note (below) which was to be posted next to the calendar. 2014 12 calendar If you have any thoughts towards letting your shelter know how much they are appreciated, and can come up with 12 pics of your particular cat and/or dog, please give consideration to a 2016 Calendar and please feel free to use the above text (adapted to your circumstances of course) if you so wish.

Those “guys” need an emotional uplift periodically so perhaps now would be a good time to review your pics and expand on the collection so that a calendar could be an option to consider later this year?

*Oakville & Milton Humane Society

** I used Vistaprint and was delighted with the result.

19 thoughts on “2016 Calendar?

    • Well I think it is fair to say that we all like to know that we are serving a purpose and are appreciated. In the animal rescue/shelter business, those “guys” need it especially so given the emotional drain on them.

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  1. That is such a wonderful idea to honour these volunteers. In South Africa we have a huge problem with stray dogs and feral cats. Many city councils and volunteers are participating in the care and placement of these animals. Big amounts of money go into the sterilization programmes in an effort to control the stray population growth. I take my hat off to these people.

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    • Yes they should certainly be celebrated. Our local shelter, like many, is funded totally by donations so you can imagine that any salaries are going to be “restrained”….. and volunteers a necessity to maintain operations. Further, outside professional help (i.e. veterinary services) are provided to the shelter at either no charge, or at a very reduced rate. We should regularly recognize the people that work in that environment and visibly support them.

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    • Totally agree. It would appear to be a sad aspect of human nature that we take so much for granted. We often don’t think about how these services are being provided. I have known so many people who want government services but do not want to pay taxes; who see the value in various charities but do not make any contributions, financial or otherwise.

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  2. A very inspiring post 🙂 And a great idea!
    What you say about volunteer burnout is so true. But if not for their selfless time and help, many animals would not survive to become our much-lived pets.

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    • Absolutely. Our greatest assets, in so many fields, are the volunteers. Using Canada as an example. It stands out as a pretty good places to live however, I would suggest that if every volunteer, in every field, withdraw their services, life as we know it here would change drastically and Canada would no longer look so inviting.

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  3. Colin & Ray, that’s a fantastic idea! And I think Ray would make a stunning calendar model 🙂 Good on you for volunteering for so long in such a difficult field, too.

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