Everywhere I turned this spring I heard people complaining about the weather. I came to regard myself as an oddity, a lone enjoyer of the cool temperatures and rain. Recent springtimes brought unending streams of hot sun, temperatures near ninety for days running, and stifling humidity, but no rain. These, not our cool wet spring, I looked upon dreary and wearing. When the meteorologists roll their eyes and apologetically forecast another round of rain, I roll my own eyes and think about the not-so-distant past when rain in any amount was infrequent to non- existent. Last summer our reservoir levels had evaporated to the point that public utilities officials could count the number of days' worth of water left. Yet, for the past two or three months, no one I encountered seemed to have any recollection of the drought that parked itself over our area month after bone dry month for a year and a half. Only my co-workers, familiar from firsthand experience with what suffering the lack of rain adds to the misery-laden lives of animals on the streets appreciated, as I did, each new opportunity for those who have had no water to finally ease their thirst.
Perhaps the reason people frown upon frequent rain is that we never go without. Yes, not so long ago authorities warned us to conserve and the governor put restrictions in place but we always had clean water to drink. Now that our reservoirs are full, we easily forget the past and aim our sights toward recreation and enjoyment--the cookout, a dip in the pool or a weekend at the beach. We don't want our activities impinged upon by the rain, but then again, we aren't thirsty.
This spring the skies have blessed anima1s with access to water. Puddles were frequently washed out and replenished so that those who have been so thirsty for so long could finally drink their fill. Last week I pulled onto a side road where five little birds chirped vociferously as they splashed about together in a gutter puddle. I stopped for a moment to watch them busily, vigorously giving themselves a good bath while exchanging social pleasantries; I couldn't remember how many dry years have passed since I wi1nessed a similar sight. What a glorious spring I thought, sharing her bounty with creatures for whom a drink of clear water constitutes a luxury of the highest order.
So if you find yourself feeling a little grumpy about the cool temperatures and rain, consider two things. First, be assured that summer's hot Sun will descend upon us soon enough; second, remember that if your picnic is cancelled due to rain, somewhere a deserving creature will be able to drink the water she needs to live.
Please remember us this summer when the volume of our work increases with so many animals bringing newborns into a world where life will show them no mercy. Cruelty cases rise sharply during summer months as do our expenses. We work hard all year, but in summer our donations always drop substantially and we hope you will make a little room in your budget to help keep us going. On behalf of the animals who need us, we extend our deepest thanks.