This is a sponsored post on behalf of Stonyfield. All opinions, as always, are my own.
Years ago I worked at an animal shelter.
Even though it was for a short summer, it left a lasting impression on me. When I first started, I envisioned playing with cute puppies and kittens. Walking the dogs daily. Basically hanging out with the animals and giving them love. It did involve all of that. But it was not an easy job. And definitely not glamorous. There was poop. Lots of poop. And pee. If you have animals, you know there’s lots of cleaning up involved!
Despite the dirty work, my love for animals grew that summer. When I graduated from college, got my first “career” job and was living on my own, I went to that same animal shelter and adopted a dog. His name was Root Beer but we changed it to Rudy. A big goofy chocolate lab (maybe a mix but not sure exactly of what) that was about 7 years old.
Older dogs and cats usually spend more time in animal shelters. Most people want puppies and kittens. I didn’t. I knew puppies were very labor intensive and that was something I couldn’t do while I worked full time. Rudy was perfect. He had his faults but he loved fiercely. He was my loyal buddy and protector who kept me company living in a new town all alone.
We never knew Rudy’s story before the animal shelter. He was found running on a road and picked up by animal control. I did always wonder, how come no one claimed him?
Rudy lived another 5 years. He moved with us to Virginia and eventually to New Hampshire. He loved when we lived near the beach where we could go for daily walks and chase seagulls.
After Rudy, we began to search for another dog. We looked at animal shelters and rescues. We finally found Chocolate (now known as Cooper). It’s the same thing, we don’t know Cooper’s story before us other than he came from a high kill shelter in Tennessee. But once again, we found an amazing dog. He’s zany, gentle and just a love. It’s been 10 years and we couldn’t imagine our lives without him.
And now we have Nevada, who also came from an animal shelter with no known history. She’s a complete love bug who seamlessly merged into our pack.
When we started searching for a cat to adopt, we visited a lot of animal shelters. In doing so, it brought back a lot of memories of what it was like working in the animal shelter. Sure there are cute puppies and kittens but there’s also a lot of older dogs and cats who are scared, anxious and just plain nervous. Have you ever been in an animal shelter? It’s not the most quiet and calming place!
I was super excited when Stonyfield kicked off a Pay It Forward campaign this year. As you know, I’m a huge fan of not only their yogurt but the principles and vision of the company.
Back in August when I went on the Stonyfield Farm Tour in Vermont, I saw that Stonyfield cares a lot about their farmers and the cows who provide the milk for their delicious yogurt.
In the spirit of Pay It Forward, Stonyfield is encouraging families to spread good fortune in the form of a charitable act with the hope that others will be inspired to do the same. We had already done a few food bank donations and an adopt a family through work this year. I knew I wanted to help out one of our local animal shelters.
Animal shelters have done so much for my family over the years. If it wasn’t for their good deeds, I would never have been blessed with such great pets who completed our family. I’m thankful for their compassion in protecting and finding homes for homeless and unwanted animals big and small.
Animal shelters are always looking for donations of anything. I went on to their website and found a list of their most needed items and headed off to Target with the kids to stock up. Ron and I are huge animal lovers and it’s been passed down to the kids. They wanted to help them too!
Kitty liter, dog and cat food, bleach, and paper towels are always in high demand.
When we dropped off the items, the girl at the front desk was so appreciative. They need the help of the community to keep things in operation. Paying it forward to the animal shelter will bring joy and comfort to an animal in need and a family looking to give a home to them.
I hope you will choose to pay it forward during the holiday season and all year long. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be holding the door open for someone. It can be leaving a note on a bathroom mirror with an encouraging or uplifting message. It can be paying for the coffee of the person in line behind you. Btw – I love doing that one!
Happy Holidays to each and everyone of you!
How will you pay it forward?