29 Jul 2014

Nantucket Haute Dogs

In the 2008 heartwarming film Marley and Me, John Grogan reminded all of us that “a dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes or designer clothes…he doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his.” The dogs, cats and other pets of Nantucket are no different. They don’t trouble themselves with the size or design of their home, don’t give a second thought to which beach they’ll frequent or what they’ll wear to dinner tonight. Their problems are simpler. Shall I nap on the porch or under the tree? Which family member should I entice to toss my toy? Is today the day I can catch a bunny on the lawn?

Observing a day in the life of our pets helps keep everything in perspective. They really have very basic necessities to make them happy. A little food and water, some recreational activity (a long walk or just some ball tossing on the lawn) and plenty of snuggle time or back scratching and they’re all good. How much easier and less stressful our human lives would be if we could simplify our requirements to match those of our pets!

Sadly, on Nantucket like in many other communities worldwide, there are hundreds of pets each year who don’t have their basic needs met. At their annual fundraising event last week “Dressed to the K-nines,” Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals raised awareness of this chronic problem. Their organization helps meet the needs of many homeless and abandoned island animals by providing shelter and medical care and placing them in loving adoptive homes. It was a fun and outrageous event with pets and their owners taking to the “CATwalk” in elaborate and detailed “couture” to raise funds for this serious island cause.

The adoption stories were inspiring and heartwarming with a video detailing the before and after story of one stray dog Flo, who went from scrawny, hairless and terrified to plump, healthy and ornery in just a few months with her Nantucket family. It reminded me how little it takes to make an impact on this island – in the lives of people or animals. As Kinky Friedman once said, “Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” A little love goes a long way.

If you or one of your family members are pet lovers on Nantucket and looking for ways to get involved, you can volunteer to spend some time with the animals at Nantucket Safe Harbor. Take some long walks, toss a ball or simply stop by to rub some tummies. If your family is in search of their first pet or looking to add to your brood, why not consider adopting one of the homeless animals who are just waiting for a loving home? Let your time, affection or generous donation make a difference in the life of a furry friend.

Happy tails

Shellie Dunlap


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