“home is where the heart is”…

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“home is where the heart is”…

PAWS TO PONDER by Suzyn Barron, President of Warwick Valley Humane Society, Inc.


Did you know, I was away last week for 7 days on a cruise to Canada where there were no animals onboard?  7 days without bottle feeding kittens and cleaning cages.  7 days without hearing a bark or a meow or a parakeet chirp.  Although I admit I did hear birds singing when ashore and did see dogs being walked.  It was a wonderful, relaxing trip where I rested my brain from all decision making except what to eat which was easy because of the volume of options morning, noon, and night.  I did pay to have WIFI so I could send and receive calls and texts from staff whenever needed.  However, recognizing my need to rest, those were very few over the course of the week.

I did, however, receive a call from the police at 10pm one night asking for advice about an owned animal emergency.  I advised that the owner seek immediate medical attention at a 24-hour hospital and gave them the phone numbers to a few.  I would have done the same from home, so no matter that I was heading to Nova Scotia on the Atlantic Ocean!

I was able to take this 7-day vacation, confident that the staff and directors would keep things afloat in my absence.  Not to say that it was all quiet on the home front, but they managed to do a great job in doing their jobs.

As I write this it is my first day back and yes, it feels like I never left.  Back to endless emails, a pile of mail, supplies needed, and new pet faces to meet.   Apparently four individual young kittens, a litter of 3 kittens, a 19-year-old cat with double ear infections, a single parakeet and an emergency boarding of a huge dog were admitted to shelter in my absence.  Along with a baby woodchuck, a blind fawn, and injured bird, all of which were transferred to a license wildlife rehabilitator.

I must admit by the second day away I was missing my pets at home (one dog, 2 cats) along with the baby kittens I had been caring for.  I started experiencing the craving to pet a fur body which lasted throughout the duration of the trip.  I managed to survive but I know that pets are an intrinsic part of my life that I cannot do without for longer than those 7 days.  My pets missed me as evidenced by the exuberance of my dog who met me at the door and my cats who couldn’t stop rubbing against me.  But I think I missed them more.

I am now back in the saddle so to speak, much to the delight of my staff. I was told it felt empty at the shelter when I was gone.  It’s nice to be missed and it feels good to be home at my home away from home. After all, “home is where the heart is”.

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