I was all set to write about the Hun Horsemen for today (as in Atilla). But, I then thought that maybe the Huns wouldn’t be such a great Valentine’s Day topic. So, I decided to write about the good that could come of this day!
VALENTINE’S DAY – if you have a significant other
I agree that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday. But, I also think that there is nothing wrong with telling that special someone, once a year, that they are indeed that special someone…
For me, I go one step further on this special day and take pains to act outside of the box. I try not to fold the laundry or change the sheets in my hairy barn clothes. I also attempt to make sure I dress in underwear that doesn’t have sharp hay seeds stuck into them. And, the most difficult, when Hubby suggests that I don’t have to kiss them when I feed – and then kiss him – I refrain from kissing the animals.
On this one day, I can steel myself into de-animalization and remember how much Hubby endures while living with a somewhat eccentric horse lady. (If he hadn’t come along, I could totally see myself waaaay out in the country, living in an old Shoe surrounded by feral cats, dog packs, barn animals, all my horses and a camel… while I hang out of the upper windows yelling at kids to, “Get off my property!”)
For me, Valentine’s Day equals Appreciation Day. And, we all could use a little appreciation once in a while.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A SPECIAL SOMEONE
For many years, off and on, I was single. Some years Valentine’s Day didn’t even register on my radar. But, some times it did and I was sad.
If any of you are sad, I have a few ideas… When I’m sad, I find that going out into the world and helping someone/something else, really brings you out from under whatever rut or dark cloud was gripping you.
So, if you feel a bit gloomy, go hang with others who have it worse. Bring a little sunshine into the life of a forgotten older person in a home. Go visit a kids’ cancer center. Volunteer to wrap packages to be shipped to our service men.
Help an animal.
A little donation: There are so many needy animals… Of course, they could all benefit by donations to proven animal welfare associations. Any amount is worth much more than you know – sometimes your donation is the anonymous message of approval that a Rescue may have needed on that particular day in that exact moment to uplifted them and gave them the strength to continue.
A little time: OMG. There are so many local shelters or local rescues that would love anyone to volunteer for an hour or a day! Filling waterers, fixing fences, loading bales, grooming, loving, walking, grazing… Any amount of attention in any way will benefit our fuzzy friends.
Sign a Petition: If you don’t have time in your schedule to physically hang with some deserving beasts, you can search through the many petitions and give your support.
Donate things: Many animal welfare organizations need blankets, leads, halters, cotton, wraps, medical supplies, blenders, fans… the list goes on an on. Call your favorite special interest group and ask what household items they might need. Maybe get your friends to contribute as well.
Local Zoos: Maybe there is a local zoo in your area. I’m not a fan of zoos but I do know that many smaller, private zoos do try their best on what little funding they receive. And, kids first learn about animals at a zoo… so maybe find your local zoo and ask what they could use. I know that a local zoo back East lost all of its power during a storm and lost several animals to freezing temps. They needed a generator or even battery powered socks and old down/wool blankets.
Injured Wild Animals: If wild animals are your thing, there are many private organizations that rehabilitate injured wild animals. Often, they let you visit. I know I caught and donated three baby skunks (my dog killed their mama – so sad) to the Skunk Lady who came by in a van and took them away. I received a photo of the three a few months later. All grown up and ready to be released.
Sea Animals: Of course, there are so many sea animals that need help and rehabilitation. Several centers need volunteers to prepare food and clean up. If you are really brave, you can watch THE COVE and rally the troops.
Rare and Endangered Animals: If rare animals or rare breeds are of special interest, join a committee or involve yourself in a club that supports these animals. It is free and those special interest groups really need involvement.
Birds: Find the bird enthusiasts in your neighborhood and ask them what they need. I know of a home for Parrots that can always use towels and seed. I know of a Falconry that would love volunteers to clean cages…
Sign up with Emergency Animal Aid Groups: When animals need rescue, who drives? Who has the trailer? Who has the facility? Who arranges it all? There are many groups who have lists of volunteers to call during animal emergencies. They could always use more names. How great would YOU feel if you helped a lost horse or a very cold and wet dog or a cat get help and travel back to safety? A little bit goes a long way.
Are you a pilot?: Sign up to fly animals to their forever homes.
Vow to show up at a demonstration or vow to help with online campaigns: Nothing is better than a face in front of another person’s face. If you show up at a demonstration or at your Senator’s office or even if you push yourself in front of a Congressman via email, it all adds up.
I’m sure there are many other ways to show your love to a needy animal on Valentine’s Day – or any day. Giving in this way always, always uplifts my heart… I’m sure sending love would fill the heart of the receiving animal and I’m guessing it would help your heart skip a few beats as well.
If you readers think of more as you read this, please add them in the COMMENTS below!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
February Drop in the Bucket Fund: LEROY, THE WONDERPONY
He was found in a Home Depot parking lot with a huge leg wound. To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate towards the care of LeRoy, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)