Silently, December has crept up upon us. The holiday season always gives me the feels. It makes me grow sentimental, reflective and thankful. There is a perceptible shift in the air this time of the year. Everything feels lazier, cosier, more festive and cheerful.
This year has been a year of changes. It is this year that we have found homes for a greater number of dogs than ever. We also participated in more adoption drives and flea markets than we did the past couple of years put together.
"You are not the same as before." The Mad Hatter told Alice. "You were much more muchier... You have lost your muchness."
Looking back on the year, I have spent most of it on the sidelines. Because for me personally, it has been a transformative year as well. Enough said about me. This blog is about more than that. The past year has shown that our organisation is constantly growing and evolving. Contrary to the views of those who bemoan the state of our society, it is clear that there isn't a lack of kind, idealistic, passionate young individuals eager to make a difference. We are so lucky to have met more than a few of them at our shelter.
As you may already know, the lease on the land that our shelter sits on was meant to expire in May 2016. It has been extended a year to May 2017. But before we received confirmation of that, we operated the shelter like it was our last. Our efforts paid off because our shelter started to empty of dogs visibly as one by one, they all left for good homes. At one point, the number of dogs we had dwindled to about 17. That was as much the number we had when we first started out. What a full circle we have come. With the lease expiry hovering on our horizons and no new premises secured, we consciously tried to limit our population.
Then, we received news of the extension and heaved a palpable sigh of relief. The extra year was a buffer for us to contemplate rescuing more because it meant we had an extra year's time to find homes for them. We welcomed five retired working dogs to the shelter. They came to us because they failed to find homes despite the authorities' every effort. We had a pretty good track record with such retirees in the past. Some took longer than others, but we managed to find homes for every one of them that came to us before. It seemed all these dogs needed was some time to relax and leave their old working lives behind them.
We recently rescued six more puppies from a forested area. They are 8-10 weeks old. We have a small window to rehome them before they grow older and the harsh realities of shelter life dawns on them. We hope they get so lucky and find their human families in our adoption drives in the upcoming weeks. Because if the shelter has taught me anything, it is that dogs belong in warm homes and to loving families.
The shelter is a very different place now from what it used to be. We are all different people from whom we used to be. But what is unwavering is our desire to better the lives of dogs in need. We find homes for those that we can and if we can't, we try to make their lives as comfortable as possible at the shelter. Some things change but some things will always remain the same.