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. 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.