Gone, but not forgotten :)

Oh so back into the swing of things in New Zealand.

Having ploughed through in excess of 6,000 work emails, de-cat-fluffed my house, caught up with gardening and washing and finally gotten around to re-stocking  my pantry after subsisting on toast and canned beans for a week, I can now move into the next phase: fund-raising! This is after all one of Planetpacers’ primary objectives and now that I have personally visited and worked with Animal S.O.S. in Madagascar and gotten to know the lovely Carlina and her fantastic and dedicated team, I can proceed with all the confidence (I can muster) for my maiden voyage into this ‘new-to-me venture’.


Carlina and her trusty side-kick, Delphine at the vet clinic, have put together a fund-raising proposal which is currently in the editing phase. Guadalupe a close friend of Carlina’s, will be putting her authoring skills to use and following an interview with Carlina this week, will be presenting me with a paragraph on Carlina’s beginnings/ trials and tribulations and adventures with Animal S.O.S. Madagascar. I will be learning about fund-raising websites such as ‘Go fund me’ and then hopefully putting everything together in order to raise enough funds and to help as many stray dogs roaming the dusty streets of Madagascar as possible.

People may ask,” Why Madagascar, and not the dogs of New Zealand?” That’s about the same as saying ,” Why World Vision and not the kids of New Zealand?” My answer ( apart from “why not?”..or “Why not both?”) is based on what I have witnessed in both countries. Yes, there are ill-treated dogs in New Zealand, but the law and the government is on their side and there are many, many wonderful individuals and organisations helping these dogs and adopting them out to loving homes. One cannot compare ( as a whole) the level of neglect and suffering the dogs are experiencing in Madagascar to those of New Zealand. In Madagascar, there is one dedicated individual ( and her employees), working against government policy and social prejudices to help these poor dogs. From a purely human perspective ( if that’s the way you like to look at things), the dogs in Madagascar are sufferers and carriers of malaria – a fatal disease for both them and the humans they encounter. You do not have to be bitten to contact Malaria, a lick on the hand by a carrier is all it takes. Often the people that ask the above question, actually support nothing and the question is simply a stalling mechanism. We are so very fortunate in New Zealand, to live in conditions that are so comfortable and democratic ( relatively) that we forget the atrocious standards that other individuals ( human and animal) live by in other parts of the world. Giving a small donation will not compromise your lifestyle, but could mean the survival of another living being who would otherwise suffer a slow and agonising death, either at the hand of a cold-hearted fellow-human or because of the random life-circumstance it finds itself in.

Our fund-raiser will hopefully ‘go-live’ in the next few weeks and even more hopefully, you will find it within yourselves to give at least a little to help the species that has evolved along-side humanity possibly for the last 40,000 years. They have stood by our sides as hunters, protectors, garbage-disposal units, therapists, farmers and most of all, companions through wars, illness and hurricanes, and moments of intense loneliness. ( unfortunately, they have also endured being the object of  dog-fighting, bull-baiting, scientific experimentation, genetic selection, tail-docking, entertainment..all orchestrated by humanity). You will shortly have the opportunity to stand by them.