COLUMNS

The Cabernet was nice, but its about the pets

Thom Hanrahan Brownwood Bulletin Editor

My wife teaches me a lot of things.

I know that won’t come as a shock or even as a mild revelation to all the veteran husbands out there. But it still happens to be true.

And one of the things she taught me is that there are causes out there worth our support in both money and time.

Wendy, despite her problematic health, regularly goes with other Bank of America associates to the local food pantry to prepare boxes or bags for school children or the less fortunate.

She works from home, so it would be the easiest thing in the world for her to just sign on in the morning and sign out in the evening and rarely leave the house. But she knows that what she is doing with those people on those days is making a difference. Plus, working from home rarely gives her a chance to see old friends from her days in banking centers.

Once in a while, like at last summer’s Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure in Kansas City, she talks me into tagging along. And you know what? Spending part of my weekend handing bottled water to the runners wasn’t a bad way to spend the time.

Friday night, I got the opportunity to take some pictures at the Canines, Cats and Cabernet event at the Depot Event and Cultural Center.

The event is a fundraiser for Brownwood’s Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter. And it was obviously a lot of fun for both those in attendance and for me as a member of the media.

The work that the shelter does is important. Imagine a world without those late-night Humane Society and PETA commercials. The people at the Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter do. And they are doing their part to make that kind of programming unnecessary.

And that work can’t be done without money. That is why it was so gratifying to watch hundreds of people from this area turn up for the food from the Brownwood Country Club and the wine. Even better was watching the evening’s auctioneer, Rex Tackett, crack wise and wrangle every dime he could from the bidders.

And God bless those buyers, because we have a treasure in our local shelter and we are so fortunate in that regard.

According to The Humane Society of the United States, the U.S. has made strides over the past few decades in terms of increased pet ownership and it’s also progressed in terms of euthanasia.

According to its website, “the number of dogs and cats euthanized each year in shelters has decreased, from 12–20 million to an estimated 3–4 million.

But there are some other daunting numbers HSUS reports:

An estimated 2.7 million healthy shelter pets are not adopted each year, and only about 30 percent of pets in homes come from shelters or rescues.

6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year.

We can do better than that here in the United States. And that’s why I’m so glad we have the shelter we have and that we have the people that come out on a beautiful Central Texas night to support it.

My dog, Max (yes, the girl with a boy’s name), was a rescue adoption and I can’t imagine life without her. She is here with me in Brownwood and let me tell you she loves it.

Max doesn’t care for other animals. She loves people and especially children, but she will get her dander up and the sight of another dog or cat.

Except when we would go through a Petsmart on an adoption event day. She did not even give a cross look to the animals that were looking for loving homes. I am fairly certain that is because Max has been there herself.

Yes, I am one of those that believe our animals have feelings and awareness. And I know they become part of our families.

So, thanks, Brown County for coming out and spending strong for a good cause.

The Texas wine wasn’t bad, either.

Thom Hanrahan is the editor of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Sundays. He may be reached by e-mail at thom.hanrahan@brownwoodbulletin.com.