Yesterday, I went to our organization's PO Box to pick up the monthly mail.
Normally, this is not a high priority as there are usually only a couple of envelopes, unless we have recently sent out a newsletter.
Since we are only mailing out a yearly newsletter now, I had little expectation when sauntering over to the post office yesterday.
But, surprisingly, there were more than a dozen envelopes, most of them, obvious Christmas cards!
I placed them in my bag without opening and then went to walk one of the dogs we have boarding in Manhattan.
It was a cold, crisp day in New York City. The snow from more than a week ago is now completely melted after some heavy rains and warmer weekend temperatures. But, one could feel the colder, winter "wind chills" starting to return and settle in.
Nevertheless, the brisk weather felt good to me and more befitting to what one should expect as we approach the deep days of winter.
I went to the Dog Spa to walk Cassy -- a very sweet little 7-year-old, Beagle mix rescued more than a month ago, but yet to be adopted.
Cassy originally went to a foster home in Manhattan. Although she is housebroken, completely social and gentle with people, kids and other pets, she does possess the rather loud bark associated with her breed. She occasionally barked at the cats in the foster home and for brief periods when the foster people would initially leave the apartment.
That was enough to cause neighbor complaints.
The foster in this case was very intimidated and when she received a threatening letter from "housing" she informed me that Cassy had to immediately go.
Unfortunately in this case (unlike the one with Lady a few weeks back where the neighbors and landlord allotted some time to us to work out the problem) there was no time to try and work with Cassy to alleviate and solve the barking and/or separation anxiety.
The loving little Beagle mix has now been in boarding since before Christmas.
I walked Cassy around Carl Shurtz Park yesterday and took her briefly to the dog run. Although a little timid around the bigger and younger dogs there, Cassy held her own and surprised me with her ability to quickly run and engage in play!
It was a beautiful crisp day in the park which is adjacent to the East River. A flock of seagulls flew lazily over the water as the wintry sun twinkled brightly through the now bare trees.
I really love our city parks in winter. There is a certain peace about them as the bustling jogging and sunbathing crowds of summer are long gone. Most of the "life" one sees in the winter parks these days are wildlife.
I felt amazingly good. No stress. No phone calls or "crisis." No desperate email alerts or "Euth Lists" -- at least for the moment.
No spells of vertigo.
Just a peaceful dog at my side and the pleasure of watching seagulls circle in the crisp blue sky.
Indeed, the only thing I regretted is that I did not have my camera with me. It would have been the perfect day for pictures -- particularly, better photos of Cassy.
But, perhaps that can occur over the next few days.
I felt sad and somewhat guilty when returning Cassy to her small, barren "room" in the boarding facility. Yes, she is safe and cared for. But, it is no life for a loving and gentle dog like this.
Despite almost constant advertising and promotion, Cassy has yet to find someone with a heart for her. Some dogs are just "luckier" than others.
Over the past couple of weeks we have adopted out 4 dogs. But, all were fairly recent rescues over the past couple of months. But, for other dogs like Daisy, Coco and Nia who have now all been in boarding for almost a full year, "luck" just doesn't seem to be on their side.
I hope Cassy doesn't turn into one of our unlucky, "long time boarders."
It would be a travesty for such a socialized, people-loving dog like her.
Last night, after all other errands were run and phone messages answered, I finally went through the mail that had been picked up earlier in the day.
Almost all were from former adopters. Generous donations, lovely cards, warm notes and "thank you's" for the animals adopted from us.
In one case, a cat adopted 16 years ago and "still doing fine!"
They all truly warmed my heart.
It is the rare person who possesses the thoughtfulness and class to contact the shelter or rescue group they adopted a pet from months or years before to update and thank (especially without solicitation). Indeed, I would not have the sensitivity or thoughtfulness for that!
It is a "little thing" for sure, but a little thing that means so much.
Aside from the money which is always appreciated and needed, it was the warm notes and sentiments that most touched me.
It reminds one of an old Brenda Lee song: "Sweet Nothings."
Sweet nothings, indeed.
A walk in the park with a needy and grateful dog. Sea gulls flying lazily over the river. Warm notes, generosity and gratitude from past adopters.
They may be "nothings" in this material, technical and fast paced world, but they are in fact everything in terms of what's really important in life.
They, in fact, validate everything we do and who we are in nature and in life.. -- PCA