The 501-C-3 Files
by Sophia and Adam Bogle
Happily Ever After with FOTAS
This month we have a special guest writer who has a personal story to share about Friends of the Animal Shelter, FOTAS.
Have you ever had a rescue animal? If you have, then you know that there’s something different about them. I have a long running belief that trials in life bring us additional strength and understanding, and rescue animals do nothing but solidify this idea. It seems to me that knowing hardship, in the way rescue animals do, makes them appreciate a loving home much more than any pet you might buy from a breeder or pet store.
Seven months ago my rescue cat, who was the most dog-like cat you’ve ever met, passed away. I had rescued her when she was about the size of a potato (coincidentally named Po). I got her when I was 21 and she had been with me through all of the ups and downs of a large part of my life. Losing her was really hard and so it took about six months before I felt like I could even consider another pet, Even then I was still approaching the decision with great trepidation.
So one day I wandered into the Jackson County Animal Shelter to check out a couple of the dogs that were currently up for adoption. After taking one of the “interview” walks that day, my attention was captured by a dog that I saw standing on a picnic table. He was ignoring the other dogs in the outdoor run, and instead was watching the volunteers intently as they worked. I was immediately drawn to his calm, intelligent demeanor. I just had to take him out next.
When I arrived at his pen, he was the only dog sitting calmly on his cot while the other dogs were bouncing and barking and generally behaving as I’ve known dogs to behave. He caught me staring at him and let out a single, low bark that was inarguably him saying, “Hey! I see you looking at me”. The instant we got done running around and playing outside, I called my girlfriend and asked her quite frantically how quickly she could get there. I sounded like someone who found the last Tickle Me Elmo hidden on a back shelf (way back in Christmas 1996). My trepidation was gone. I didn’t waste a second and started filling out the paperwork: I knew she’d love him.
Since that day, life has been amazing. He has been the single most well behaved dog I’ve ever met, and he continues to convert one “not a dog person” after another. Of course he is still part puppy and does his fair share of puppy chewing on the wrong things, but apparently love is blind. I’ve always cynically laughed when I read the line “happily ever after” because my realistic mind tells me that life is an assorted mix of the good and the bad, but since that day, I feel like I’ve been living exactly that: “happily ever after.”
I feel I owe my happiness to FOTAS. The amount of hours they dedicate to the Jackson County Animal Shelter every month really could never be fully comprehended and appreciated, but we can sure try. If you wander into the shelter some day looking for a new friend, pay attention to the people walking the dogs, changing beds or cleaning up messes, you are probably looking at a FOTAS volunteer. Give them a smile. They deserve our attention and our thanks.
FOTAS has been supporting the programs of the Jackson County Animal Shelter since 1990. Their vision is for all adoptable animals there to find a loving home. They work to improve the quality of life for the Shelter’s animals, promote spay and neuter programs, and facilitate outreach and educational activities about the humane treatment of companion animals throughout Jackson County.
If you are inspired to give some time or a financial gift (no gift is too small) just go to FOTAS.org. We can’t all adopt a new pet everyday, but working together we can all help deserving pets find their perfect match so they too can live happily ever after.