Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Paying it forward in Oregon: People helping pets

Two cats cuddled together
It can be very depressing to listen to the news these days. We're in the middle of several foreign wars, the economy is in shambles, teens in Portland are being shot as they head home from school ... It's enough to make you tune out and gaze at your animals as they sleep or look at cute videos of penguins instead.

One news item I stumbled across today made me feel slightly better about the state of the world.

Apparently, a woman in Oregon City was given a large bill at the end of her veterinary visit, and she was unable to pay the whole thing. So, a man in the lobby paid the other half of her bill.

No kidding.

He didn't want anything from her except for her to "pay it forward."  She claims that she did so by making lunch for her coworkers.

While this is pretty great and I'm sure they appreciated it, I'm not sure that this is in the proper spirit. Paying it forward means helping someone you don't know ... for no reason.

This doesn't mean the story isn't inspiring. I'm inspired, and this didn't happen to me or anyone I know.

Maybe we all should get into the spirit.

Pet owners can do a variety of things to pay it forward: volunteer at a shelter or donate pet food to people who have lost their jobs. For people who would rather make a difference in a less in-your-face fashion, consider donating to the animal rescue fund at your local veterinary office. Clinics often use this fund to care for stray animals or animals that have been abandoned by their owners. It's a way to make a real difference in the life of an animal.

In the meantime, go ahead and click on the penguin video. It's pretty cute.