Sunday, March 22, 2009
A Big Idea
One of the foundations of my life and also one of the things researchers have discovered is that being committed to a cause is an important factor in living a long, high-quality life. Women's health is, of course, a main passion of mine. That's why the book, the blog and many waking hours of the day are devoted to it. So this idea may seem unconnected, but it's really not. You'll see.
I believe and have a passion for rescuing animals - dogs, cats, horses, etc. who have suffered at the hands of humans (if you can call them that). So I had this idea I would love to just get out into the world and see if it might help in how people understand the neccesity of rescue and increase the number of people doing it.
After Valentine's Day this year, I was in the local grocery store and naturally, there were a couple of shopping carts sitting there full of leftover candy, cards...and stuffed animals. Well, I'm a sucker for stuffed animals, so I had to just take a peek. There in the basket under all of the others was a cute little white poodle with a red ribbon. BUT, she had grease on her legs and tail. I knew she would never be sold and I thought what a shame that she'll probably go in a dumpster somewhere without ever having a little kid to love her. (I'm a big Velveteen Rabbit fan also.)
So I picked her up and asked one of the employees walking around if he would take $1 for her instead of the half-price $6.00 her tag showed. I said that no one would ever buy her because of the grease and he said "Sure!." So I bought her, cleaned her up and although some of the grease didn't come off, a lot did and she's a sweet little thing. I now have her put aside to give my grandaughter. I plan to tell her that this is a rescued poodle and what I did was just like rescuing a real dog - a dog nobody wanted, but would be a loving pet if just given the chance. She is getting the gift of this dog so she can make it feel loved and wanted.
So the Big Idea, is what if we all did this? Every holiday, lots of stuffed animals are left over and go for low prices. Stores are always willing to deal. Often after the holiday is over, there are stuffed dogs, bunnies, cats, etc. that got dirty, had something spill on them or they fell into something on the floor that makes them virtually unsaleable. Sometimes they don't even go back out onto the sales floor to be sold. What if we asked for those stuffed animals "in the back" they were going to get rid of or we found them in the sales bins, asked for a deal or just bought them for whatever and used them to teach our children lessons? Lessons about the value of rescuing animals someday when they grow up and have homes of their own and the ability to help rehab abused pets, give them homes, love and more. Lessons that beauty isn't always found on the outside - that often it is inside where you might not see it at first.
The kids could even help with cleaning the animals and naming them, etc. A bigger, tandom idea is that rescue organizations like Humane Society, SPCA, FAIR and hundreds of others out there could work deals with the big stores like WalMart and Target to get unsaleable stuffed animals and use them to teach kids about rescue through their organizations.
It's a win-win for everyone. And when children grow up to learn the value of reaching outside themselves with an animal, they also become better human beings who understand the value of reaching out and making a difference in the world around them.
So that' s my Big Idea. I'd love to hear what you think and I'd love it if you would pass the idea on!