Happy Lunar New Year. This weekend, as millions mingle in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl, another event will be celebrated across the world on an even larger platform! At this moment, millions of people around the world are celebrating one of the year’s biggest festivals – Lunar New Year, which marks the first new moon of the lunar calendar, kicking off a 15 day long Spring Festival. It’s the most important holiday in China and many other Asian communities filled with feasting and honoring ancestors and customs.
This year presents the Year of the Wood Dragon. For a long time I believed I was born during the year of The Pig, however, while working for Home Box Office in the 1980s, one of my bosses of Chinese descent informed me that I was actually born the year of The Dog which extends into the early part of February. Many of us born in January of 1959 are dogs. Not only that, due to the time of day I was born, I discovered I was also born during the Hours of the Dog! Turns out I’m a Double Dog!! As someone who writes on a canine-infused platform, that is so fitting. I even use this fact in my author bio.
This week also brings Valentines Day, a bittersweet time for those in the Widowhood. Even for those who’ve moved forward with Second Chapters, occasions like this Day for Love in February, can make us nostalgic; like a cloak of sadness descending on our newfound happiness. I’ve been known to buy Valentines Day cards for dogs because for many of us, they are the loves of our lives. This week I may have a new Valentine as I’m happy to share that my partner and I have an active application on a puppy from a litter being cared for at the local animal rescue facility down the road.
Recently, I happened upon a woman named Ginny Oakwood who owns a dog care business and runs the local animal shelter here in Putnam County in Central Florida. She asked me to come tour the facility, and well we know how that can go. During the tour, my eyes were drawn to a tumble of black and white puppies playing in a large outdoor area. I asked to meet them and fell in love with these border collie/lab mixes. I even put in an application to adopt one on the spot. Hopefully our two current resident dogs will do well with our “Meet and Greet” that will happen hopefully next week.
These pups were found in terrible condition in early December, abandoned in the parking lot of a tire shop just down the road from me. This is a expanive 800 mile wide rural county where resources are limited. Ginny and her staff and volunteers are taking steps to improve the lives of local animals, but as many of us know, it’s no easy task. Ginny is meeting with the region’s mayors and soon will present to the local school board about ways to educate the young about animal welfare. That is something for which I’m truly onboard.
This Sunday, if you prefer something more inspiring than the glitz and media blitz of the “Big Game” (I’m not anit-football, my late father was Bill Parcells High School football coach) you can catch the Puppy Bowl airing on several networks. While that show is pre-taped and most of those pups have found homes, you can cheer on the underdogs of the world and perhaps be inspired to adopt one of your own, or make a donation to a rescue organization of your choice. When you’re out buying chips or a six-pack for your Super Bowl party, why not pick up a bag of pet food to donate to your local shelter and while there meet a few pups or kitties that just need a friendly visit, or more! A year from now you may not recall who won the Big Game, or the name of the Tight Ends, but you will always remember the day you welcomed in to your life your Best Fur-Ends!
May the Year of the Wood Dragon bring good fortune and Happy Love Day to all!