Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dogs and people--maybe kindness is the answer

A post on Facebook yesterday described a New Zealand program to rescue dogs from shelters. Instead of showing pitiful pictures of dogs in cages with dire predictions as to their fate, the shelter invited nearby office workers to walk a dog during their lunch hour (they were fortunately near a green space). It became a program whereby the dogs saved the people, getting them out in the air to exercise and have fun. The bonus? All the dogs were adopted.
It made me think of a program for the homeless that I read about somewhere. Instead of outlawing them and forbidding people to feed them, one city (wish I could think which one) provides start-up homes for them. The results were an amazing decrease in homelessness and an upswing in formerly homeless people who could now help and support themselves.
My thought was a little compassion goes a long way.
Today at lunch I was telling a friend about all this and the connection I see between a caring, helpful approach vs. a  hostile, punitive one, and he told me about a fancy hotel (NYC maybe) that has a dog as a greeter. The dog is eligible for adoption, and the hotel has placed something like twenty-four dogs in homes. And then there's New York's Algonquin, where they always have a resident cat, and the Peabody Hotel in Memphis where ducks parade through the lobby to the fountain, marching to a John Phillip Sousa tune. By contrast think of the Florida law officer who had a ninety-plus-year-old man arrested for feeding the homeless.
There is so much anger in the world when a little creative positive thinking can lead to solutions that benefit everyone and don't punish the less fortunate. States that have raised the minimum wage have been proven to improve their economy dramatically--and yet conservatives predict joblessness and despair if it's raised.
How about you? Can you think out of the box for solutions to society's problems, solutions that benefit everyone and punish no one? It takes a lot of love for man and animals, I think.


LD Masterson said...

I've always thought nursing homes, rehab centers, assisted living facilities, etc. should include animals. Either let people bring their own when they come or adopt some and let all the residents/patients share them. Good for the people and good for the animals.

Judy Alter said...

LD, I think that's being done more and more, and it's a terrific solution or people and animals. I had a friend whose father had Alzheimers--his constant companion in the care facility was a wonderful yellow lab who slept with him every night. It's a wonderful way of thinking out of the box.