You sure have been doing a lot of traveling this year! Who takes care of your poor doggies while you are gone?
"The Dogs" (cats and goldfish, too) are indeed my first concern when I receive an invitation to a contest or a sand castle job in some far away locale. Who owes me a favor? Who have I leaned heavily on most recently and is it time to give him/her a break? Who could most benefit from the use of my car/house/sandbox in exchange for spending quality time with my dogs? It is a complicated equation and a task I do not take lightly.
It takes a village to keep my dogs happy while I am away. Over the past year I have recruited the help of the very nice lady who cleans my house, my ex-husband, two ex-boyfriends, a cousin who was visiting from Michigan, and dear old dad -- when he happens to be at the parental condo unit.
This system has worked mainly because I only have two dogs - both past the age of puppyhood - who are fond of each other and whose needs are fairly easy to accommodate: a full water bowl, supper on schedule, twice-daily walks on the beach and the occasional cuddle break. They get very sad when I pull my suitcase out from under the bed, but they seem to understand that my absence is always temporary and someone will be around to fill the supper dishes before their bellies get too grumbly.
I would like to talk this week about some dog-sitters who have a far more difficult job on their hands. The Laguna Madre Humane Society has taken on responsibility for the care of all homeless creatures in our community. The Port Isabel Animal Shelter is a "no-kill" facility, which means that all healthy animals are cared for until homes are found for them. If a community can be judged by the kindness it shows to its least fortunate creatures - and I personally think that is a valid criterion - then we should all be proud of ourselves.
But this pride comes with a bill that keeps coming due. Food, medicine and funds for facility expansion all come from donations... and you can't put a price tag on volunteer staffers or donated towels, blankets and doggy treats. Did you know that you can get a chair massage at the SPI Massage Therapy Center for just $1/minute, and that proprietor Dolores sends all proceeds to the LMHS? This kind of dedication makes our community ever stronger and I for one would like to see even more of it.
The Society's big fundraiser - The Isle-Ditter-Dog Races and Puppy Pachanga Fashion Show - is scheduled for Dec. 2 at Louie's Back Yard. I am cutting short a stay in Cape Town, South Africa just so that Wags and I can defend his title as the fastest dog (yapper category - 2 years running!) on the beach. I urge everyone reading this to come out and show your support for the LMHS and all the fine work they do -- and cheer on Wags while you are at it!
You can download a pre-registration form - and save $$$ - for this year's event at the LMHS web-site, located at www.unlitter.com/critters. Note: I am once again in need of some assistance with keeping the site current and so am seeking a volunteer to shoot monthly photos (preferably digital) of the animals currently residing there. Call 761-6222 for more info.
Sandy Asks: I have been getting A LOT of requests for info from couples who want to get married on our lovely beaches. If you offer a wedding-related service (i.e. catering, flowers, photography, etc.) I would like to promote your business (for free!) in a new subdirectory of SPIonline.com. Please fax, e-mail or snail-mail your info to the addresses below. Also still looking for area baby sitters... thanks!
photo cutline: Wags shows off his blue ribbon from the 1st Isle Ditter Dog Races
There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit my web-site (http://spionline.com/) for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.
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