Thursday, February 10, 2011

Four inches can make a big difference

For the last many years as I have walked out the front door of the Spay Today Clinic (a high volume, low cost, spay and neuter facility, that I am part of) I have had no choice but to look straight across the parking lot at the County Animal Shelter. I have an open view of about 16 dog runs, each containing a tail wagging, slobbering creature with a set of brown eyes looking at me with the same question...won’t you take me home? Maggie and I have long ago come to grips with that question and we have chosen to do other things to help the animal causes. This has been a hard winter in eastern North Carolina and it has bothered me that these poor critters have no choice but to lay on the cold, damp and hard concrete.

About a year ago I saw a fancy dog bed at a local boarding facility and thought..”Maggie needs one of those”. Then I looked at the price which was close to $100.00 and thought 'damn, it's nothing but PVC and cloth. I can make one of them for less than that!! So, I began to think on it and like most things discovered that it would require some research to find all the components. Pretty quick I found all I needed except for a PVC three way elbow. I checked Lowes, Home Depot, all the local plumbing wholesalers, nobody had such an item. Finally I realized it was not a plumbing item but a plastic furniture item. Duh. So before long I had found a source for the last part. I ordered a dozen even thought I only needed four (something told me one bed would not be enough). Before long Maggie had a new elevated (4 inches off the surface) dog bed and had sworn off of ever sleeping on the floor again. She loves this thing!

So, if Maggie can have an elevated dog bed, then why can’t the 60 dogs who call the animal shelter home have one?? I figured I could spend about $1000.00 for materials and spend 3-4 days putting them together and this problem could be solved. First snag: I don’t have an extra $1K or a lot of free time. My pastor claims I have a PhD. in MSH(make s--- happen), so it was time to prove him right. Seemed to me this would be a good project for the Boy Scouts. After all, these days most old ladies don’t need help crossing the street anymore. So I goggled BSA. After clicking on a dozen or so websites I had the name of the local head scout (I figured his name would be Tonto). A call to him led me to a local scout master with the First Presbyterian Church and in about 45 minutes I will have the first meeting to discuss the possibility of a local lad taking on this effort as his Eagle Scout project.

Maggie watching

I’m sharing this with you for one reason. Every county has an animal shelter and most have concrete runs were the dogs are contained. How long since you slept on a slab of concrete? This project will work in Spokane, Baton Rouge or Baltimore and I can tell you how to make it work in 15 minutes or an email or two. Let’s get the varmints off the cold, damp ground and on an elevated dog bed. Believe me, in this case, four inches makes a huge difference. They will love you for it and so will Maggie and I. Think about it and give me a call. Crookedpaw

Note: My meeting with the scouts was successful. Look out critters, better times are coming!