Established in 1965, HAWS assists over 6,000 animals and welcomes more than 31,000 human visitors annually. As an "open admissions" shelter we lead the community in animal welfare and assure sanctuary for all animals in need, regardless of age, health or temperament. HAWS is a non-profit, entirely donor-fund organization with an active humane education program, and both wildlife and companion animal rescue services for Waukesha County.
HAWS License #267280-DS
To set the mood for today's blog entry, think of Louis Armstrong's song "What a Wonderful World." Are you ready? Continue reading!
One day this past summer, when I wasn't at HAWS, I looked out the front window and spied the neighbor’s Golden Retriever playing in their sprinkler. She jumped back and forth in the spray, took a drink, got water up her nose, sneezed, and went back for more. All the while her human kids stood giggling at her antics from the front porch.
Now, really, what is better than that picture? Down economy, tough times or whatever, our pets are still living in the moment and finding the simple joys in life. THAT’S why we need to press on – and what we tell folks when we speak with them about adopting, volunteering, donating or sponsoring our organization. Our pets still think we’re rock stars, still believe we are the best, still find the fun in each day. They are there for us and their role as companion, listener, clown and exercise program has never been more relevant to our emotional well-being than it is right now.
Now, more than ever, we at HAWS and throughout our community need to be there for all of them! So let’s make this year a TRUE celebration of pets and their people – and what we give to each other.
Our sincerest thanks for your help, dedication and compassion, and belief in the HAWS cause! We are more than just a shelter because of you. C'mon by sometime and see what YOUR support continues to do for us.
By the way - we're having a White Out at HAWS: adopt any solid white or light colored animal at HAWS throughout the month of January, and the adoption fee is 50% off! We're here 7 days a week, adoption applications are available both online and at our facility.
A book titled Fitness Unleased - A Dog and Owner's Guide to Losing Weight and Gaining Health Together found it's way to HAWS. I was immediately interested, being the advocate I am for the Four-Footed-and-Furry exercise partner. Hey, having a dog to walk helps you keep that same-old, same-old New Year's Resolution! This book agrees, and is a great tool to get you both started on a new fitness routine.
For the record, I do walk the walk on this topic - literally. My husband, myself and our 2 dogs are daily evening walkers, and on weekends I also join their twice-daily walking schedule. (Monday thru Thursday the a.m. walk is done at 5:30 - not for me! But I'm happy to go at the more SANE hour of 8am Friday - Sunday....)
At times, we get the strangest looks - especially when all 4 of us are bundled up beyond recognition and still out there moving. During snow storms, rain and frigid spells we especially like to look around and ask "Where IS everybody?!?!" (The putting on of the dog booties is a worthwhile hassle, trust us!)
Don't get me wrong, I don't always enjoy this routine. Many days our 9-year-old greyhound and I are of the same mind: seriously, the couch looks a lot better right now! But we definitely notice we are all more stiff if we don't go, and that extra cookie isn't so guilt-inducing once we've done a lap or 2. (This is the part where I tell you to ADOPT 4 PAWS FROM HAWS or, if that's not an option, BECOME A VOLUNTEER DOG WALKER!)
"Having" to walk the dog can be very motivating. Our primary source of that these days is our 12-year-old fuzzy mutt - a HAWS alumni. We've always suspected she's part Border Collie; she's always ready to go (dog owners, you all know what it's like having to spell certain words - we can't even say anything that RHYMES with "walk" without her running to get her leash). Lately, tho, her after-walk routine has us shaking our heads in amazement. She'll give us about 5 minutes to settle in after returning from our nightly exercise before...grabbing her favorite squeaky toy and running up and down the hall with it. Even better if one of us stands at either end of the hall way so it becomes a game of keepaway!
(I think in the dog-to-human-years comparison, a 12-year-old dog is equivalent to a 65-year-old human. We're not there yet, and she is NOT going to show us up.) But, really, we just got home....
To summarize, there is yet another role a pet can play in your life - personal trainer. Just don't teach them how to use a whistle.
By the way - in January & February we have several dog-centered seminars and classes. Check out our Events Calendar for puppy and dog events (play and exercise are a big part!), along with lots of other fun things to do at HAWS!
Please enjoy one of "Sandy's Stories" - a Rescue Tail written by one of our long-time volunteers.
In the midst of a full lobby, with children excited to see the pets up for adoption at HAWS, and a stormy day brewing outside, someone left a cat carrier in the lobby. They did not tell anyone they were doing this; they just set it down and walked out.
An employee noticed the carrier and asked whose carrier it was - but when no one answered, she looked inside...and found a beautiful calico cat! When she looked closer, she discovered that there were also six tiny kittens. There were two orange tabbies, one tortoise shell, one black, and two calico kittens.
At that time, all of the usual HAWS volunteer foster homes were full, so we took mother and brood home until they would be old enough to be adopted. I put them in our spare bedroom which I use for fostering animals, and from the first we couldn't believe what a wonderful, caring mother she was. She was no more than a kitten herself, with her age estimated at 8 months. Her sweet face had a little brown mustache on each side of her pink nose.
As the weeks went by she became special to us with her loving ways and tender heart. The time came for us to return all of them to HAWS for adoption and with a heavy heart we did what we should. (We had four other cats in our home at the time, so we felt it was the right thing to do - return her to HAWS so she could be adopted by another family.)
While at HAWS, for some reason not known to those of us that loved her, "Missy the Mom Cat" was not getting adopted. One night my husband was at HAWS for a meeting and went back to see her. She ran to the front of the cage, called out and stuck her paw through the cage at my husband. Right then and there we failed the definition of "foster" and she became cat # 5 in our home. She has become a constant companion to my husband, sitting on his lap with paws outstretched as much as she can, and cuddling to him in bed while fighting with our black Lab for the closest position next to him.
MIssy is the "mother" to all our other animals, and when she is on your lap, purring and rubbing, we know she is showering us with her love. We feel she is a blessing with a fur coat. I’ve heard said that God sends you the animals he wants you to have and we are so grateful that he sent Missy to us and HAWS.
By the way - there are many ways you can help the HAWS cause, and becoming a Foster Home is one of the most rewarding! Contact us for more information on being a foster caregiver at 262-542-8851.
The Packers are done - so are the Vikings and Brett for that matter - the Pro Bowl isn't until Sunday night...what is a person to do to fight Afternoon Football Withdrawal?
Come to the HAWS for Paws Bowl V!!
(note the use of Roman numerals...just like a certain big game...)
Sponsored by the Friends of HAWS - one of our volunteer groups, this fifth-annual event is taking place this Sunday, January 31st from 11:00am to 2:00pm at Fracaro's Lanes, 1430 Whiterock Ave., Waukesha.
For your donation of $15 you'll get 3 games and shoe rental. Better yet - teams are encouraged! Groups of 4 are $50, teams of 5 are $62 and teams of 6 are $75. And, of course, food and beverages are available for purchase at Fracaro's.
All proceeds benefit the paws and claws at HAWS - so call Maria at 262-490-2102 to reserve your lane!
By the way, this is only the first of many great events this year for the Friends group - learn more by coming to their next meeting, Wednesday, February 10th at 7:00pm at HAWS, or read more at their webpage.