I used to assume that all the times my supposedly scheduled posts didn't publish was because I forgot to hit the publish button, or that I did something else wrong. I'm far from tech savvy, so it's not an unlikely option. But, now I'm starting to think Blogger is just trying to sabotage me. Multiple times this week I was certain I had my post all squared away the night before, and yet the next morning I find it sitting in limbo. That said, here is today's post, which I've only just now rescued from the lost and found section of the internet.
Hello, friends! We're ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Are you? Feel free to join in on the fun! My co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, and I came up with the second two.
1. I get my _________ from _________.
2. It's a good thing _________.
3. _________ required me to muster a lot of courage.
4. My younger self would be proud to know that I now _________.
My answers are below in bold.
1. I get my kitties' and pup's food from our small, local pet store.
(Not only does our local pet store have really good options and variety in stock, but I simply just really like supporting small, local businesses. This pet store also has donation bins and regular donation drives for our local animal rescues, and I can definitely get behind that. That's not to say I never use Chewy and such, but I go small and local as often as I can.)
2. It's a good thing I'm not squeamish.
(My kitties have gotten really good at hiding their vomit in the patterns of the very few rugs in our house. It's like a game at this point. This pro camouflaging method of theirs has led me to stepping in a number of puke piles recently, sometimes when barefoot. And, due to Evan's hind limb paralysis and other kitties' various reasons, I also occasionally step in landmines of other sorts. I'm certainly not saying I enjoy these experiences, but I'm still glad I'm not squeamish, because these incidents are not pretty sights.)
3. Giving a speech at my high school graduation required me to muster a lot of courage.
(I was required to give a speech at my high school graduation because I was the valedictorian. Don't be too impressed. I went to a small high school and my graduating class only had something like 58 kids, so it wasn't much of a feat. Public speaking is bordering on being a phobia for me, so I was not thrilled to learn I had to give a speech at graduation. Much to my dismay, I wasn't allowed to forego giving a speech, so I had to suck it up and do it. I've never had to give a speech to that many people before or since then, and I like to fly under the radar as much as I can, so that experience always sticks out as one that really took me out of my comfort zone.)
4. My younger self would be proud to know that I now am a cat mom and dog mom.
(As a child, one of my main goals in life was to have the means to take care of my own animals. Ready for me to go on a tangent? At my grade school, we had a very basic home economics course, in which we had mock jobs as part of mock lives and all that jazz. We didn't get to pick our mock jobs, and I was given the career of a mail carrier. That's fine, but it certainly didn't pay much in my mock life. I especially realized this when we had to start choosing what we personally wanted to spend our mock money on. I remember choosing a mock tiny apartment and opting for mock public transport over having mock car payments just so that I could have a mock cat and dog. I think that young version of me would be happy to know that I am now owned by 4 very real cats and a giant dog.)
We've discussed helping ferals stay warm and cared for in the winter, such as by offering them even makeshift shelters and putting food out for them. We've also mentioned helping your own kitties or pups remain healthy and happy during the cold winter months, such as by minimizing time their outdoors and offering extra warm places for them to sleep inside the home. But, what role can you play when it comes to others' companion animals, those who are not ferals, but who are also not your own furbabies? The important thing when it comes to this is to be observant, to be aware of an observed companion animal's situation on a cold winter day, and, if necessary, to be a voice for the voiceless.
If you notice someone's pet cat or dog being kept outdoors for an extended, unsafe length of time on a cold winter day, then get the details of the situation and report it. Also report if an animal being abused or neglected in this way is left outside in the cold without shelter in which to stay warm, or while chained up, and so forth. If you believe you are witnessing a stray animal struggling to survive without a home, in the cold winter months or any time of the year, also report this to someone who can help them. In any such cases, get the address where the animal is located, the number of animals affected, details regarding the conditions in which the animal is living, and even get pictures if possible.
In case you ever do find yourself facing a situation of animal abuse or neglect, try to make sure you are aware of whom to call in order to get help for an animal in need. In some locations, cases of animal abuse or neglect are best reported to certain humane organizations. In some places, if you notice animal abuse or neglect, you should call animal control, or law enforcement. What's more, to ensure that an abused or neglected animal is indeed rescued from unsafe conditions, don't just report it, but follow through with any reports you make to ensure that animals suffering abuse or neglect get the help they need.
At this point, we do want to make what we're sure is an obvious clarification. In order to avoid mistakes or misunderstandings, never jump to conclusions without first having the facts, and this of course regards the care of others' furbabies. For example, if you see a dog outside in someone's yard on a cold winter day, don't automatically assume this is a case of abuse or neglect, and don't raise false alarms. In some cases, a dog might of course just be outside on a short bathroom break, perhaps even with their human monitoring them from inside the home. So, before making any reports, always make sure you have observed the situation enough to know the facts and to have formed proper conclusions regarding animal abuse or neglect. If you do ultimately come to the conclusion that an animal is living in unsafe conditions, then do your best to seek help for them.