Growing up, I always had pets. When my children were young, they had pets. My grandchildren have pets.
Because I live alone but am still working and often traveling, I do not have a pet at this time, and so I borrow my friends' pets. Gabby lives with Gene, Luther and Cluny live with Arlene, and Baby lives with Don and Pat.
I am there for “pet-sitting” if needed, or to cuddle and play with when I visit.
A few weeks ago I received an email from another pet lover — Ben Brown, who volunteers with Oklahoma Puppy Express.
Oklahoma Puppy Express is a nonprofit group that assists the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. When dogs are brought to the shelter, they are quarantined for an incubation period to check for diseases. If the dogs are declared disease-free by a veterinarian, they are then available for adoption.
It seems that Oklahoma has a surplus of dogs and if there is no home for them, they will be euthanized. When Brown discovered this, he suggested dogs be transported to other states where homes are available for them — and thus the Oklahoma Puppy Express was born.
They first secured a grant from the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma to buy a van. The van is equipped with 20 cages and all they need is a volunteer to drive it. The only cost to a volunteer is their time.
When I spoke with Ben, he was preparing to leave the next day to transport 20 dogs to Boulder, Colo., where families were waiting to adopt them.
So if you are a person who loves animals, wants them to have a safe home and likes to travel, this might be a volunteer opportunity that would interest you.
Email the Central Oklahoma Humane Society www.okhumane.org or Ben Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't live in the Oklahoma City area, check out www.petfinder.org, which lists more than 200 animal shelters across the state.
And don't forget the Wild Care Foundation in Noble, where you can take injured and orphaned wild animals to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild. Call 872-9338 for information.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at email@example.com.