Yesterday morning I lay awake in bed at 6 a.m. and the pets were all quiet. Can you believe that? Foster pup Cookie, resident dog Eddie, and miniature pig Remy, were all sleeping silently. The first time I've slept in in weeks and I took the opportunity to recognize that on that very same day, two years earlier, we were taking the Little York exit in Houston, heading towards Harris County Animal Shelter. Yesterday, marked two years since our start. Two years since an impulsive decision led to a cross country road trip between three young college girls, the saving of nine dogs, and the infection of the animal welfare bug.
Today, as we wrap up the first day of year 3, I find myself reflecting on the beauty of kismet. Fate. I think often about how nothing should have worked out on that first trip, that nothing should have panned out the way it did. And that honestly, we shouldn't have succeeded in our rescue mission. But for some reason, luck was on our side that day, and we did. Kismet. Today, marked day one of year 3. Today I spent time remembering our journey, how far we've come, and all we have left to accomplish. And that leads me to my next reflection: goals.
For those of you who know me well, you know I'm anal. Like super over the top perfectionist who has to have everything planned out perfectly. Or, perfect in my mind... at the moment... this often ends up not being perfect later on, but my hearts in the right place. That should count for something; shouldn't it? ;) There's pros and cons to this attribute of my personality, a con being that I can drive myself absolutely crazy about following routine. A pro being that I love to set goals. So, today, we're talking goals.
Year 3 Goals:
-adopt out 200 dogs (I think we're starting off on the right foot as this week we committed to taking 18 dogs on Sunday...)
-place 250+ dogs (whats the difference between "place" and "adopt?" When we adopt out dogs, this means we are placing a dog with a foster home and working directly with an adopter to find them a suitable match. Occasionally though, our partner organization, Lola's Lucky Day, has dogs in need of placement, but we don't have available foster homes. THANK GOD FOR TEAMWORK! When we place a dog, we can utilize our connection with other incredible local Wisconsin shelters who have space to take on and adopt out these pups when we don't have space.)
-recruit 6 more reliable foster homes
-assist more local owners with properly caring for their pets
-enhance our foster program to improve our ability to work with dogs with behavioral modification needs
-develop our transfer program to work with additional organizations
-grow our low cost vaccine clinic and pet food pantry
-create more opportunities for community engagement
-and lastly... PURCHASE A TRANSPORT VEHICLE! (This last one is a big one, we've been working on fundraising $20,000 for the last year to purchase a 2017 Ford Transit Transport Vehicle to help us rescue an additional 20-30 dogs a month. We're about half way there! And I am really hoping we are able to make this happen soon.)
So, it looks like a lot. But two years ago our little group thought driving across the country randomly to pull some pups from an overcrowded shelter was a lot, and somehow, miraculously, we made that work. I'm continuously blown away by our volunteers. Every single day I remind myself how lucky we are to have found one another and to have formed a positive, committed, dedicated, passionate, and loving organization. Naturally, I'm entirely confident when I say our volunteers can accomplish anything.
Here's to year 3,