Everyone knows the number one cardinal rule of blogging: Never, ever, blog about your job. From Dooce to Shea Allen, we know that people get fired for inappropriate social media use all the time. You just don’t do it. But it isn’t something that is always simple to avoid, especially when your job and your blogging niche intersect. Especially when you work in animal welfare and maintain a website about your dog.
Now that I have moved cities, changed professions, and am no longer all affiliated with my former employment, I feel a bit more freedom to talk about the things that get me riled as well as support the organizations that deserve celebration. There are still many subjects into which I will not delve for the sake of confidentiality but it turns out there are some pluses to leaving a job you loved. There is a freedom now that I didn’t have before. I can say exactly what I think of rodeos, for instance, and rant as much as I please about hunting practices or rescue groups who give legitimate organizations a bad name. It is liberating.
I have a responsibility to make sure my opinions are well-formed. Having worked for an organization that was often the victim of unwarranted social media attacks by individuals who didn’t know the full story, I never want to say anything that might cause unjust accusation. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who vents first and regrets later. Thus, I still need to practice caution. As much as I may want to spout off about Big Oil or the ill dog a co-worker of a friend recently adopted from a so-called rescue, I need to hold myself back. Take it slow.
One thing I definitely need to do? Is get into fostering again. Now that we are settled into a normal routine, I think we are ready to start helping the animals in our new community. After spending the last two and a half years immersed in the morass of animal welfare, it’s hard not to miss it. I don’t know if I will ever throw myself back into that world as earnestly as I used to – I am not sure it was healthy, given my latent dog obsession – yet I do feel the need to dig back in at the ground level. Fostering is a great way to be involved with fuzzy animals without becoming ensnared int the politics.
Because, as anyone who has worked in animal welfare knows, there are always politics.
How to begin?
I will be honest. We had an appointment for a home inspection with the foster coordinator of the Edmonton Humane Society this week. With all the chaos of Shiva’s surgery, I couldn’t very well subject her to the stress of the cone and a stranger being in her home. So I cancelled. As much as I was looking forward to it, I don’t feel that sad about it. Don’t get me wrong, the EHS is a terrific organization. But I am not convinced they need my help. Their facility is gorgeous and they have a waiting list of volunteers. Perhaps they don’t really need one more. Maybe my time would be better spent elsewhere.
How does one decide? I know all the things to look for, charitable registration, references, veterinary partners… How does one confidently choose an organization with whom to volunteer? I am looking for a group that is legitimate but that maybe doesn’t have a whole lot of resources. Am I being too picky?
How did you choose?