A joy of nature has just entered my life. I have a new dog. It was a stray found on the Jamestown streets.
I have had a pet most of my life. Most of them were stray dogs. None were pure-breeds. The last pet in my life was a cat which walked down the driveway out of nowhere. I removed her. She returned. I took her farther away. Surely, I thought, she had a home nearby.
I really had decided not to have any more pets. The wild birds were my pets. However, I found that beautiful white cat sleeping on my front porch couch. OK, OK, I told her. You can stay. She didn't last for more than a few years. The vet thought that she probably had a brain tumor. That was the last straw. No more pets for me. Losing them is too emotionally difficult.
Ann Beebe’s new dog Bella.
I lived without any critter for several years. I tried to say that I was doing well. After all, I am extremely busy with my articles, gardening, friends and their pets.
Last week, though, I admitted to myself that I was lonely. I shared that with a friend, whose dog I adore. Just a couple of days later, he happened to see a sign at Pick of the Litter, in Falconer, that advertised a free black lab mixed dog. On Wednesday, I succumbed and visited the dog. The dog, named Bella, came home with me.
Why on Earth did I take a new pet now? I had thought that I might move closer to Fredonia. I even had a property chosen. The problem is that I would miss my land, house and wonderful road. Nature is plentiful here. The birds abound in my native wildflowers. A dog was the only missing need.
Bella is very smart. In just a few weeks, somebody at the kennel had taught her to shake hands. After being here just five days, she responds to my command "sit." She, also, is doing somewhat well at heeling, staying and lying down. Small pieces of dog biscuits work wonders. She is so eager to please me.
She's very happy being a work dog. Her job is to catch voles in my garden. It's a safe place for her, because it's fenced in.
I can hardly wait until I feel that she can take walks in the woods with me. I'm sure that she will enjoy the spring pond and streams.
I know of two facilities where stray dogs can be housed or adopted. The Jamestown Humane Society right now is having a money problem. They are not open as many hours. Folks can help in four ways. Donating money for food, facility upkeep and staff pay. The second way is to volunteer by exercising the dogs, cleaning the cages and just talking to the animals. The third is to volunteer time or items to sell at the Second Chances Thrift Shop on Fairmount Avenue. All of their sales support the humane society. The fourth is to buy items from the store.
The owners of The Pick of the Litter bought the former humane society facility in Falconer in 2004. They are under contract to take in strays from Jamestown and Kiantone. After seven to 10 days, if nobody comes for an animal, it is advertised in the newspaper and put up for adoption. Dogs and cats are provided grooming and boarding. Three or four volunteers provide the same tasks as at the Humane Society.
Having a pet is so rewarding. My life is enriched with Bella. I hope that soon I can take her to nursing homes to visit folks. Right now, we're just enjoying each other and want to be together every single minute. My life is not lonely anymore.
Don't forget to keep life simple. Enjoy and protect nature.