A forever home for the holidays

Contributed photoSpot is a 9-month-old domestic short-haired cat looking for his furrever home. He was surrendered to us as his previous owner had too many cats. Spot enjoys lounging on the cat trees in our free roaming cat room, and loves getting petted by our staff and visitors.

I’m sitting here after our last nor’easter, thinking about this beautiful, joyful, spirit-filled time of the year. Though we who live in the Northeast must often do battle with that staunchest of souls, “Old Man Winter,” our wonder and delight at the falling snow, crystal-capped branches, and brilliant solar reflections are certainly not diminished by these skirmishes, be they ever so severe.

Many think about opening homes and hearts to a new or additional animal companion around the holidays. If handled thoughtfully, with a sound management plan based on routine, routine, routine, predictability, lots of play and lots of rest, topped off with praise-based positive reinforcement training with appropriate goodies in pocket, this time of the year boasts many successful pet placements. Most shelters, rescue groups and reputable breeders will “hold that new baby” until after the holiday. Many require it. For those hearty souls prepared and capable, do we have the perfect companion for you NOW. Our doors welcome you.

In the ‘70s, most of my new pups joined our household in the dead of winter. Housebreaking went quickly. The “kids,” dog and human alike, love romping in the snow, or a brisk game of roll-the-ball. Outside sessions with the pups seemed longer than with our warm-weather additions. To the regal, detached, indoor felines (climate-detached, that is), the ferocity beyond the outside door of cold temps and wind chills were of no consequence to their schedule of gourmet meals, beauty naps, and organized indoor hunts.

A few years ago, my beloved mom sent me the tenderest of cards. We see a quaint brick two-story animal shelter, wreath on the front door, with little eager faces of dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies pressed up against all of the windows. Red hearts outline the Animal Shelter sign. A gift basket sits at the front step. I kept that card!

Those faces can be seen on Humane Society Road at Columbia-Greene. Those faces, those tender hearts, are longing for loving, permanent homes. They want to go home for the holidays — or right after! — can you help their wishes come true? We have free, sponsored cats and some dogs, for very special families. Put a little love in your heart!

This holiday season — a New year season — may our good and gracious God bless all those who bless us by making our labor of love a bit lighter. Thank you to our dedicated and most generous Board of Directors, our volunteers whose gifts of time and talents ease our burdens, and our membership — our generous donors, without whom we could not survive. Most importantly, we hold up our Staff for blessing and recognition. Your workday is filled with compassion, devotion, and attention, while you often tackle very frustrating, unpleasant, and difficult, tasks. Your true love of our animals, and your mission to find them good homes, is evidenced everyday by the excellence of your work. You are truly the stewards of God’s creation. May all of you be granted your hearts’ desires in the New Year!

Feel free to call us with any questions at 518-828-6044 or visit www.cghs.org. Stop down and see us at 111 Humane Society Road, off Route 66 (about a mile south of the intersection with Route 9H) in Hudson. Our hours are 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. every day. The Food Bank is open to any from the public in need of pet food or for those wishing to donate food anytime during business hours. All of our cats and kittens are “Furrever Free” with all expenses paid. Spay/neuter clinics for cats are $76 male or female, including a rabies vaccination and a 5-in-1 feline distemper combination vaccination. Nail clipping services are available 10-11 a.m. every Saturday at the shelter, no appointment necessary, for a donation of $5 for cats and $10 for dogs. Charlene Marchand is the Chairperson of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA Board of Directors. She may be contacted at cghsaaron@gmail.com.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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