Labor Day - Celebrating Those Who Work for Our Animal Companions

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Tomorrow, many people across the U.S. and Canada will recognize and celebrate Labor Day.

Workers are the backbone of a healthy economy. Without skilled and dedicated workers, brilliant ideas would never evolve into tangible goods. Essential services would remain undelivered. Most of us would languish without prepared foods, shelter, utilities and transportation. Only hunter-gatherers would prosper. With a few exceptions in Africa, the Amazon, the Andaman Islands and the Australian outback, we passed that bus-stop 40,000 years ago.

With all that workers do for us - and our families - it is only fitting that a day is set aside in their honor. But not all of us who labor hard during the rest of the year are fleeing to Vegas or the Bahamas to mark the unofficial end of summer.

Shelters and rescues will be in operation. Credible reports about people committing animal abuse and neglect will be followed up on and perpetrators nabbed and prosecuted. Animals suffering in dumb anguish will receive respite and sanctuary with foster families and may even be adopted.

It’s not only skeleton crews in high-profile organizations that will be out in force. Core members of your local shelter will be on hand to play with, walk and nourish their temporary residents. Much as they’re doing their hearts’ work, these workers could use a break, too.

So, if any of you out there are looking to honor those who labor their tails off for our animal companions, consider spending at least an hour to two this Monday volunteering at your local shelter or rescue.

Help clean out a cage and lay down some clean towels or blankets you thoughtfully brought with you. Pour out some feed. Do some leash-loping with a calf-hugging honey. Get down on all fours with some fur. You’ll help to reinstate at least one animal’s faith in humans and give the humans who house and advocate for them a chance to follow-up on some fresh leads that could save a life.

Of course, you could still make it to the park in time to enjoy a late-afternoon picnic with your family. And you’ll have time to cuddle your own pets you work so hard to provide for (never forget to celebrate safely!).

In so splitting your day, you could emerge with a completely new concept of what work is - and what it means to celebrate it.