So long and thanks for the fish. And the lettuce, bird seed, paper towels…
Snarled traffic on US-41 through Port Charlotte notwithstanding, life is starting to slow down here in southwest Florida. Now that spring is officially here, there is the occasional lull in frenetic activity as the weather heats up and the seasonal residents start making their way back home. Some people have already begun to leave, as evidenced by my finding a parking space at Wal-Mart that was a mere three miles from the front door. At midnight. I can’t wait until I am the only crazy person shopping for kitty litter scoops and KY jelly at that time of day. (For cleaning habitats and inserting feeding tubes, respectively. Get your minds out of the gutter!)
We will miss our seasonal volunteers at Peace River Wildlife Center. Hopefully they will continue to follow us via our web site, Facebook page and Waterline online. These folks have worked hard over the past few months to help make PRWC a great place to visit and a fun place to learn about the diverse population of wildlife with which we share our little corner of paradise. They clean habitats and cages, guide tours, work as gift shop clerks, help in the hospital, transport injured and releasable animals, build, sew, cook, and donate supplies that we need on a daily basis.
While they are checking their homes for damage from the 20 feet of snow that buried those domiciles for the “better” part of the winter (“better” as defined by “larger or greater”, definitely not “of superior quality or excellence”) we will continue to guide tours, clean habitats, and offer outreach programs at PRWC, and we could use some help from our year-round residents to do so. Anyone interested in volunteering over the spring and summer is encouraged to contact the PRWC office. As much as I miss our northern friends when they make their annual migration, I will not miss being overlooked in line at the deli. It seems when there are fewer people at the grocery store, my super hero power of invisibility is less likely to be triggered unwittingly.
Speaking of super hero powers, it has recently become obvious to me that I am not the only one in my family to have been so blessed. My adopted 4-legged “daughter”, KC, is a dachshund with the ability to see alien life forms. She may be no more than six inches tall, but she is smart enough to know that she cannot fight off these beasts by herself. Luckily, the aliens are only a threat to humans when we are asleep, so all KC has to do is dive under the bed and bark vehemently any time that she senses we are sleeping. Works like a charm—not only have we never been attacked, we haven’t even seen one of these alien predators.
I’m not so sure that this power is going to be beneficial for the dog in the long run though, because lack of sleep can make humans a little cranky. I wonder why she was on Craig’s List to begin with. Hmm. I wonder why I was on Craig’s List. Every time I go to that site looking for used cages and supplies for PRWC I end up perusing the “free pet to good home” listings. I’ve gotten my last two dogs that way. I think it would be considerably cheaper for me to buy supplies new at a local store than to try to save a couple bucks and end up with a rusty rabbit hutch and a dog that needs $85-a-bag specialty food.
Anything that cannot be purchased at a local shop can be bought through www.smile.amazon.com. This site allows buyers to register PRWC (or any registered charitable organization) as the beneficiary of 0.5% of all eligible purchases. PRWC also maintains a wish list on this site and donated items can be purchased and shipped directly to us. It’s a win-win-win for PRWC and a great way for our seasonal friends to donate from afar.
Wishing safe travels to the snowbirds and a quiet summer to our year-rounders. Stay safe on the roads, stay off of Craig’s List if you have no more self-control than I, and stay frosty.
by- Robin Jenkins, DVM