By: Paulette Dean, Executive Director, Danville Humane Society
Virginia is such a beautiful state year-round, but it is prettiest to me in the spring and fall. I love the blossoms, the green trees, the bushes, and the flowers. Frankly, though, I used to enjoy spring more twenty years ago before I started working full-time for the humane society.
Now, I also associate spring with more and more puppies and kittens being born, more animals received suffering from the effects of fleas and ticks, and the hot weather that is sure to follow, bringing such misery to outside animals.
Because I am basically, as my sister says I am, a Pollyanna sort of person, I always try to find the good. And spring has taught me much about the natural resilience of animals.
Within the past few weeks, we received a litter of tiny Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix puppies. They were covered with fleas (and when I mean covered, I mean they each had hundreds of fleas on them). They were weak and anemic; they had scabs from scratching at the fleas. We knew that all we could do was to work diligently to remove the fleas, give them lots of food, and a pet vitamin to build their bodies. Through many experiences of this kind, we knew that a lot of their recovery would depend on them.
In the morning, they were still alive and seemed a little stronger. By the next day, they were playing, and a few days later, their skin was healing and they were normal little puppies.
They didn’t spend a lot of time resenting the suffering they had gone through, and my guess is that, if the owner who brought them to us had come to visit them, they would have wagged their tails to see their old friend. Puppies do not have a lot of time to waste placing blame. They quickly get to the work of living life to its fullness.
This sounds like a wonderful springtime lesson of hope and renewal for humans, doesn’t it?