October is officially Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month and the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is urging animal lovers to do their part in raising awareness about animals in need. Nothing compares to the unconditional love of a grateful pup. He’ll strive each day to be obedient and affectionate, surprise you at how clever and hilarious he can be, and find the most enormous trust and devotion in his little heart.
Here are five great throwbacks to remind potential pet owners why adopting is a wonderful opportunity to share your household’s generosity and give a new ‘leash’ on life to a homeless dog. (Don’t worry, Sarah McLachlan is not in this list.) To learn more about Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, and find shelter dogs who are available for adoption, visit www.aspca.org/ASDM.
1. Aretha Franklin– Rescue Me- Only 20-30% of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescue groups, leaving millions of animals abandoned often because their owner simply moved, had a child, divorced, passed away, could no longer afford the cost of a pet or to accommodate a health issue. Some are liberated from unfortunate circumstances of abuse and neglect, and need a safe place to recover and learn to love again. Take a que from the Queen of Soul and take a new furry friend in your arms, “‘Coz I’m lonely and I’m blue/I need you and your love too”.
2. James Taylor- You’ve Got a Friend– Originally written and performed by Carole King but made famous by James Taylor in 1971, her testament to lasting loyalty leaves an undeniable impression. Who else can you call their name and they’ll come running? ”There are 3 to 4 million dogs living in shelters nationwide who would make a fantastic addition to anybody’s family, all they need is a second chance,” said Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA Adoption Center.
3. Michael Jackson- Ben– A truly touching piece that’s known as a young Michael Jackson‘s affectionate tribute to his beloved pet rat. The horrifying reality is that ”Ben” was instead written for a kitschy 1972 horror film of the same name, about the friendship between a frail little boy with a heart condition and his best friend Ben, king of a telepathic mutant rat colony. Yep. Let’s forget that, forever, though, and instead recall the worthwhile message of unyielding fulfillment that a pet (albeit, even a freaky monster rat) can bring.
4. Queen- You’re My Best Friend– While written by Queen’s bassist John Deacon for his wife, lyrics like “I’ve been with you such a long time/ You’re my sunshine and I want you to know/ That my feelings are true/ I really love you”, transcend species and are sure to make any doting dog owner smile. Poll results* show that people who adopt a dog from a shelter are much more likely to be happy with their experience than those who purchase a dog from a pet store.
5. The Carpenters- Bless The Beasts and The Children– The Carpenters‘ compassionate folk classic is a plea to treat the little ones in our life well, “For in this world they have no voice/They have no choice”, and to “Give them shelter from the storm/Keep them safe/Keep them warm”. Though she’s a major songwriter and record producer now (behind some of the biggest hits for the likes of Gwen, Christina, andPink), Linda Perry’s one-hit-wonder 4 Non Blondes covered this track in the 90′s on a compilation of killer covers, If I Were A Carpenter.
*Conducted by Edge Research and commissioned by the ASPCA