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Happy Tail: Thanksgiving 2013 with fellow immigrants

In a wide ranging story, Peg Schaeffer tells of great fellow immigrants - immigrants to Adair County - and the joyous Thanksgiving she had with them. How thankful she is that they are raising five adorable grandchildren. She wonders why, so often, pet members of families don't have foster homes to go to. And suggests ways to help the animals, this Christmas season. She'll be a Christmas in Columbia, upstairs in the Historic Adair County Courthouse, Saturday, December 7, 2013, and invites everyone to stop and see her. Click on headline for complete story with photo of "Freckles," a most endearing Chihuahua available for adoption.
The next earlier Happy Tails: Happy Tail: There are many plusses to adopting a senior dog Posted November 24, 2013

By Peg Schaeffer

I had Thanksgiving dinner at my neighbors' house.

Like Keith and me they are immigrants to Kentucky. They moved here from New York.

So it's become the holiday tradition that we go to their house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Their children are grown as is my son so Keith and I always spend the holidays at their home. Plus Susan is the GREATEST cook. This year just I went for dinner since Keith had to work. (They made him a doggy plate though.)

Our neighbors have adopted FIVE grandchildren

Our neighbors have adopted their FIVE grandchildren who are ages 6 through 12. The youngest gave grace. His prayer was "Thank you for our feast and thank you for having Peggy come for dinner with us." Needless to say I was flattered.

As usual the meal was delicious. The kids helped prepare it. They peeled potatoes and helped make the stuffing. They set the table. There was a small squeamish about where I was going to sit so it sat in between two of them. When the meal started Susan produced a zip lock bag with 5 kernels of corn in it. The minister of their church had told the children how the pilgrims had nothing to eat every day except the fish they caught and 5 kernels of corn. So as each child was given the bag they had to say 5 things they were thankful for. It was heartwarming to listen to each child.

After dinner the children cleared the table and I sat with their grandparents and watched them play. They did cartwheels, danced to music, sang songs to me, and were kids. Now their grandparents are responsible for their upbringing.

They should be retired and relaxing but instead they are raising 5 children. Don't get me wrong - although it's hard, they wouldn't have it any other way.

I know other grandparents who have gotten custody of their grandchildren.

The parents have left them for various reasons (there isn't a reason under the sun I would give up my child). So rather than lose contact with their grandchildren the grandparents have taken over the child rearing.

Kentucky alone has 80,000 grandparents raising their grandchildren

In Kentucky alone there are 80,000 grandparents raising their grandchildren.

So I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise to me that so many people abandon their pets. Just the other day someone surrendered four dogs. Of course they haven't been spayed or neutered or vaccinated.

Her reason - she was moving and they didn't allow pets. So find a place that does. How can you give up four pets that depend on you?

If they were children you would find a place that allows children. Why not find one that allows pets? The big difference between abandoning your children and abandoning your pets - the children will be placed with grandparents, other family members or foster parents (not that any of these options are ideal.)

Abandoned pets have far different prospects

The abandoned pets, if they can't find homes, are left to fend for themselves or end up in a pound where most of them will be euthanized.

Besides the importance of spaying and neutering pets to cut back on the overpopulation more needs to be done to help people so that they can keep their pets with them.

In the bigger cities there are programs help people retain their pets. Food banks need to receive donations of pet food so that people can feed their pets as well as their families. Apartment owners need to be more accommodating to pet owners.

The majority of the battered woman centers do not allow pets. Many women will not leave their abusers if they can't take their pets. So they risk their lives so that they can protect their pets. Some communities have created a Safe Haven for Animals program that provides temporary sheltering options for pets.

Suggests foster families for pets of nursing home residents

I often go to Summit Manor and bring the dogs to visit with the residents. It is heartbreaking how often they tell me how they had to leave their pets behind. Sometimes they are taken to a shelter and the people never to see their pet again. It would be great if there were foster families who would take in the residents' pets and bring them to visit.

Suggests food pantries for pet food

More could be done to avoid the large number of dogs that are taken to the shelter. If our community joined together to help foster the pets and contributed dog feed to the food banks it would be a big help.

Donations for pets important at this season

Donations could be made to low/cost spay neuter clinics so low income families could afford to have their pets altered. It could stop the dogs from entering into a pound in the first place. Our tax money goes to feeding and ultimately euthanizing pets that could be saved if we all join together.

In addition it pays salaries for people to care for the pets as well as other administrative costs. Granted other communities have higher incomes and larger populations but it can be done. Look how money is raised for other worthwhile causes. Can't we squeeze out a little more to help people from sacrificing their pets?

Sugarfoot Farm Rescue will be at Christmas in Columbia

Sugarfoot Farm Rescue will be at Christmas in Columbia on Saturday, December 7, 2013.

They're sticking us upstairs again this year (hopefully we'll have heat) so be sure to come and find us.

Debra Dickson has been kind enough to donate a quilt she made for us to raffle. Tickets will be $1 each, 6 for $5 or an arm's length for $10. Please come take a chance on a beautiful blanket.

As usual we will have free coloring books for the kids and we'll have some items for sale. Come by so we can wish all of our friends "Merry Christmas". Hope to see you there.Peg Schaeffer, president & founderSugarfoot Farm Rescue860 Sparksville Rd.Columbia, KY 42728270-378-4521 home270-634-4675 The attached photo is "Freckles". He is one of 4 dogs who was an owner surrender. He is a small mixed breed dog with the longest legs. He is neutered and up to date with his vaccines. He will make a great indoor dog for an adult or a family. - Peg Schaeffer, President and Founder, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue

Contact us if you would like to help.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue,
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675

This story was posted on 2013-12-01 04:08:05
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Freckles: An owner surrender, needs Furever Home

2013-12-01 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer. "Freckles". He is one of 4 dogs who was an owner surrender. He is a small mixed breed dog with the longest legs. He is neutered and up to date with his vaccines. He will make a great indoor dog for an adult or a family. Peg Schaeffer, president & founderSugarfoot Farm Rescue860 Sparksville Rd.Columbia, KY 42728270-378-4521 home270-634-4675
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