Blog the Change: Gratitude!

Thank you.

Two tiny words, but aren’t they awfully powerful? Those two words can make someone’s day. Think about the last time you received a handwritten thank you note in the mail. How did you feel? I bet it brought a smile to your face!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about gratitude and dogs.

  • I’m grateful that all three came from rescues that took fabulous care of them before they got to come home.
  • I’m grateful for the good citizens who picked up stray Emmett and stray Lucas, and for everyone who picks up wandering animals and takes them somewhere to be cared for.
  • I’m grateful for volunteers who work tirelessly every single day to make sure dogs that look like Cooper get the chance at a family.
  • I’m grateful for our amazing vet who moved away, and I’m grateful for our new vet who’s enthusiastically perusing a solution to Cooper’s allergies (and answering my fifty billion annoying questions with kindness and patience).
  • I’m grateful for the shelter workers and volunteers who take care of my city’s homeless animals.
  • I’m grateful for the vets and clinics who donate their time and expertise to provide low-cost vaccinations and discount spay/neuter services.

This list could go on and on and on. There are countless people who tirelessly give of themselves to better the lives of animals every single day, whether it’s a volunteer dog walker at your local shelter, your vet tech who dutifully takes care of your dog’s anal sacs, or even the mayor of your town who champions the cause of your local humane association.

These are people who choose to work with or volunteer for animals because they love animals. They’re following their passion, and the reality is that these jobs are oftentimes thankless, difficult, emotional, and hugely challenging. But they do them out of love. And shouldn’t they be honored for that?

For Blog the Change today, I’ve decided to veer off course a little. Instead of championing a specific cause, I want to champion the people behind the causes and outreach programs.

I bet that you could come up with a few people right off the top of your head, people who make a difference in the lives of animals in big and small ways.

And I want to challenge you to write them a thank you note. By hand. And send it in the mail. With a stamp. 

Choose someone who is important to you even if you’ve never met them: your vet, the shelter worker who helped you fill out the adoption application for your dog, the animal control officer who answered a call you placed, your city councilman who championed an animal welfare cause, the receptionist at the local spay/neuter clinic, the organizer of a fundraiser… the possibilities are endless!

Let them know they’re appreciated. Share your gratitude, and I guarantee you’ll bring about positive change, even if it’s just bringing a smile to one person.

So can I count on you? Who will you send a handwritten thank you note to someone who improves the lives of animals today?


  1. says

    This is great — because all too often we focus on all of the awful things that are happening to animals. This reminded me that there are a lot of good things too, and we should remember to be thankful for them.

  2. says

    What a great post and a great idea! Most people don’t go into rescue/shelter/animal work in general for the recognition or mad props. But it can do nothing but good to let people who make a difference day in and day out that they are appreciated and the work they do is noticed and appreciated!

    I know quite a few people who could use a thank you note… now I just need to surreptitiously get their snail mail address.

  3. says

    I will accept your challenge. I can think of several amazing people who have made a difference in the lives of animals. I’d also love to find the woman who fostered our dog Kelly. The rescue group either changed its name or moved, and I can’t find them online. But I’d love for her to know how much better Kelly has made my life! And I hope I’ve made hers happy too.
    Peggy Frezon

  4. says

    I’m glad you guys are on board! I think spreading gratitude can create change! Tena, you’re totally right. Thanking someone can help brighten a tough day.

    @Kim, you’re so sweet! :)

  5. says

    It’s so easy to forget to thank people, but really none of us would be here right now if it wasn’t for the support of others. Volunteers in animal welfare work so hard in very difficult situations. They don’t do it for thank yous or for personal gain, they do it because they see a need and they are willing to sacrifice their time to meet it. But everyone likes their work to be acknowledged. It’s always pleasing to know others appreciate you.

    I accept this challenge!

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