President’s Blog

July 21, 2020

Do I choose the pet, or does the pet choose me?

It’s not uncommon for plenty of knowledgeable pet people to support the perspective that the right animal is going to find you interesting and will seek to be your friend.  And that may well be the ideal animal to bring home!  In that case, many would say , that animal chooses you.  And that is wonderful!

But there is also a likelihood that there is a truly lovely and deserving animal who is very sad after recently losing their long time human and is sitting alone in the corner.  Or perhaps there is another quiet friend who is dying to walk over and meet you, but is intimidated in the presence of a crowd of other animals.  One of those might be the right pet for you too!

But, the good news, we have animals who have made huge progress in trusting despite the noise and occasional chaos which is sometimes normal in a shelter.  What they need now is a chance to get to know their human in a new home where they can fall in love.We have animals who might have come from abusive situations and DESPITE that they are willing to try to trust again.  It’s one of the most amazing things that I see at Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society, that willingness of some of these animals to open up and trust humans again.

Our staff has insights into the background and current progress and needs of all the animals.  They know the older animals who are trying to understand this new reality after having had one home for a decade or more.  Those animals want nothing more than to find a new friend to bond with.  They know the pets who have recovered or are recovering from injuries or medical issues.  These animals deserve to be rewarded for their tenacity and fighting their way back to health.

Will the animal choose you?  Perhaps, but maybe only if you ask the right questions and take the time to see some of the animals who will not come running to you right away…even though they may really, really want to.  If you open up, you will see them…

June 13, 2020

While this was written six months ago for the 2020 Winter Edition of MacChat, we all felt that it was highly appropriate to post as John’s inaugural blog post. Enjoy!

I’m honored to be the new President of Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society, a noble institution that was here, caring for animals in need, a century before I arrived, and hope- fully will endure for centuries after I’m gone. I’ve been pushing brooms and petting animals for years now as a volunteer and love when someone meets me and asks “Are you John… the Cat Guy?” I’m only saddened that I don’t qualify to be recognized as the “Dog Guy,” too! I need to work on that.

I also love to hear a visitor to the shelter exclaim how healthy and comfort- able the animals look, how clean and bright and cheerful the facility is. Many people work diligently 365 days a year to keep it that way, caring for the animals and providing them with whatever they need.

But there is another section to the shelter, rarely seen by the public, that is also clean, and bright and the animals there are getting healthier and more comfortable hour by hour and day by day. Each and every day, in those spac- es, Lucy Mackenzie treats cats and dogs (and the occasional bunny or horse) behind the scenes in a quiet healing area where they can be rehabilitated. A protected place where they can recover from whatever trauma, injury or ill- ness requires our gentle attention.

People hear about the large newsworthy stories in the press involving doz- ens of mistreated animals, and we are absolutely ready to provide all the help that we can in those cases. But what people don’t see or realize is that every day of every year we have numerous animals who we are caring for behind the scenes and giving them a chance to get better so that someday they can be out with our visitors and be considered to be taken home, to their forever home.

Once they are healed, from whatever challenge they came in with, we will proudly put them in the public portion of Lucy Mackenzie and gladly tell our visitors how brave and tenacious and wonderful they are.

Because these furry friends really are all those things…

John Zahara started volunteering at Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society in 2014 after he retired from the software industry and moved to Brownsville, VT. He joined Lucy Mackenzie’s Board of Trustees in March 2016, and was elected as President in 2020. In addition to being our Board President, he will always be known affectionally as the “Cat Guy” and can be found “pushing brooms and petting cats” regularly as a volunteer.

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