A Message from D'Arcy
2015 was an interesting year, but one I do not want to repeat. I took ill in May and my doctor discovered a fast growing tumour in my large intestine, which also contained a small amount of cancer cells. The mass was intrusive enough that it was removed along with most of my large intestine the following day.
I spent two weeks in the hospital and in June I started chemotherapy. Chemo was not fun and I became quite ill from this treatment. But after surviving 12 rounds of chemo, I was cancer free!
I am back to work part-time now and I am thankful to my great staff and the volunteers, who looked after the shelter while I was recovering. We have built a great team and we have learned to adapt in these changing times. After 15 years of running a shelter we are masters in stray animal behaviour, finding space when we are full, stretching the budget beyond its limit, and learning how to eat a sandwich before the dog actually gets it.
I am learning to work smarter, developing skills to steer my energy into areas where I am most needed. My staff have the skills and the experience to manage the day-to-day routine of the shelter, animal welfare, and customer service. I am needed to concentrate on the bigger picture – working towards a society without homeless animals, while managing our resources to ensure we can effectively deal with the reality of today. I have been working on preparing the future of the A.R.C so it can withstand the challenges of this ever-changing economy.
Times are changing; animal welfare is not a hidden problem anymore. People are changing and making better choices for their animals, choosing better food ingredients for their animals to eat, and demanding that society treat animals with dignity and respect.
I have had a little time to reflect on the past while recovering from colon cancer. It is amazing what you realize when you are forced to slow down and that is the message I am trying to share. Slow down and appreciate what you have today and learn to make do with what you have. Learn to be kind with acceptance and plan for a better future, as it just may not be there tomorrow. And, remember to hug your pet, they will always be there for you.
Once again thank you for all of your support, I truly appreciate it.