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One Woman's Opinion

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Friends of Dogs Group Is Formed

Mary Wakefield Buxton

by Mary Wakefield Buxton

Urbanna, Va.— Would you like to join a club that has no other goal than simply to love and care for Middlesex County dogs?

Such a club is now ready for your support. It’s a wonderful club. The group has no officers, no rules, no bylaws, no formal meetings, no notes, no committees, no duties or responsibilities. The best part is it only costs $5 a year to join, which can be done simply by adding your name to the membership roster. This will immediately help our county’s homeless dogs.

The club got started last month when a stalwart group of dog lovers met May 14 in Urbanna over lunch at Virginia Street Café to form such a support group solely to help Middlesex dogs and the Middlesex Animal Shelter at Cooks Corner. The official name of the group is “Friends of the Middlesex Animal Shelter.” The group will meet informally at noon the second Tuesday of each month for lunch and conversation at the Virginia Street Café.

Cate Ogden of Hartfield of the Animal Welfare League in Kilmarnock, a well-known local animal lover and loyal caretaker, spoke to the group about her association and also her experiences helping dogs become adopted or find foster homes while they wait for adoption. Cate spends much of her time carting Middlesex County dogs and puppies up north to find good, lifelong homes for them. What a really beautiful thing to do!

Judy Davenport of Urbanna spoke of the urgent needs at the local shelter and the many opportunities to volunteer to help local homeless dogs that are held in cages at the local shelter.

The Friends group drew up several lists of goals, both immediate and long term. Immediate goals are to provide dog food when supplies are low, because having enough dog food saves the lives of dogs. The group also wants to form a list of volunteers to help at the shelter with walking the dogs each day so they can have some life beyond their cage. Other short-term goals are to find ways to help with adoption and fostering local dogs.

Longer-term goals are to form a non-profit organization where citizens could donate funds and receive a tax credit in order to raise funds to provide a dog park in the county where dogs could be free to run and play in a safe and fenced field. The group would also like to support the “Friends for Life Fund” that Middlesex County maintains to pay for surgery for injured stray animals and other emergencies.

It was Charles Darwin who first wrote that the highest moral order for any species of life is simply to work to help another species. Such work is totally selfless. His careful observation of all forms of life pointed out that in his experience this unusual altruistic behavior was only seen in the primates. Humans, of course, some of whom do wonderful things for animals, especially dogs, and, according to Darwin, he noticed some apes, chimpanzees and monkeys also offered shelter, food or other help like simply giving warnings to lesser animals when predators were near.

All those citizens who would like to help support our county dogs in need can do so simply by adding your name to the Friends roster. Just send a $5 check made out to “Middlesex County Friends for Life Fund,” c/o Mary Buxton, P.O. Box 488, Urbanna, VA 23175. It’s that simple. You will automatically become a member of the group. Contributions to this fund are tax-deductible. Please join us. We offer a totally painless opportunity to help dogs. 

The next Friends monthly meeting is Tuesday, June 11, at Virginia Street Cafe. Come, bring a friend, belong to a group that loves dogs and wants to help them any way we can, and learn how we can provide positive support and better help for our county to serve man’s best friend. The meetings are on the second Tuesday in each month. I hope to see you there! Woof woof!


*Please note: Summer is here and Mary will be on her usual vacation from writing this column. It will reappear in September. Be good to your neighbor’s dog and enjoy the warm weather!

posted 05.29.2013

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