This week, instead of sharing with you the seven things I’m most looking forward to for the week ahead, I’m doing something a little different. I’m telling you all about The 13 Project, which is an initiative of the lovely Serena Faber Nelson over at the fabulous Pretty Fluffy (seriously, if you love cute puppies, you NEED this blog in your life!)
The 13 Project is all about helping dogs, not through grand gestures or enormous commitments of time and money, but through simple consideration, thoughtfulness and small gestures. You can read all about the inspiration for Serena’s project here, but in a nutshell, this is it:
“To join, all you have to do is come up with a list of up to 13 ways you can help animals before the end of 2013. You don’t need to be a millionaire, you don’t need to have a website, or be a member of a rescue organisation…All you need is the desire to make a difference. If you’re time poor, make your list just one goal – or 3 or 5 things.”
It’s a beautiful idea, right? I’m so flattered that Serena asked me to be involved. As the Editor of a magazine for dog lovers, I suppose I’m in a unique position to be able to help. I spent quite a while coming up with my 13 things. Here they are…
Before the arrival of 2013, I will…
1. Continue to educate everyone I possibly can about Victoria’s arbitrary and utterly unjust breed specific legislation (BSL). It must be repealed, and ‘people power’ is the only way that’s going to happen.
2. Write a feature article about BSL for Dogs Life magazine, and encourage our readers to take a stand by writing to their local Members of Parliament and supporting anti-BSL groups.
3. Round up my fellow dog-mad filmmakers and start work on a documentary film exposing the insanity of BSL. People need to get angry about this, and that will only come through awareness!
4. Volunteer my writing skills, and media/PR know-how, to local rescue groups. Every little bit helps!
5. Donate all the blankets, towels and toys I no longer need for my pooches, Tex and Delilah, to Monika’s Doggie Rescue.
6. Buy RSPCA Christmas cards to send to family and friends across Australia and around the world.
7. Continue to support the Oscar’s Law campaign to abolish puppy farms. You can, too!
8. Choose animal welfare-themed Christmas gifts, whose proceeds benefit rescue groups, for my nearest and dearest.
9. Take extra poo bags to the dog park to pick up after pooches whose owners don’t. It’s a yukky job, and it’s frustrating that many dog owners don’t do it, but I’d rather get my hands dirty (so to speak!) than risk local dogs losing their off-leash access to the park. A properly socialised and regularly exercised dog is a happy dog!
10. Finish the book I’m writing in conjunction with Alex Cearns, the freakishly talented photographer behind Houndstooth Studio, which celebrates women who work with dogs. And then find a publisher for it. Watch this space!
11. Stop feeling guilty that my dogs came from a registered, responsible breeder and not a shelter. Tex and Delilah are loved beyond measure, and that’s what counts. And I know that one of these days I’ll be in a position to walk into a shelter and say, ‘Please give me the most “unadoptable” dog you’ve got; the one that’s been here the longest; the one everyone else walks straight past.’ That’s going to be an awesome day.
12. Keep advising anyone who asks me about responsible dog ownership. I seem to have become the go-to ‘dog lady’ among my friends and family, and that’s fine by me!
13. Never, ever apologise for being an animal lover. People who don’t ‘get it’ often mock those of us who are passionate about animal welfare, as though we’re somehow weak or hysterical for having compassion for all living things. But I’ll never stop trying to make the world a better place for animals because, as Mahatma Ghandi reputedly said, ‘The greatness of a society and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ I want to live in a great society.
Will you join me in supporting The 13 Project? Let me know below how you’re going to help animals before the year is out!