BY DANIELLE DYER
Let me tell you, starting a dog rescue is not easy. No amount of love for the animals or wishing for low homeless rates will fill a bank account. While funding is desperately needed, having a baby rescue with just a small, buzzing following doesn’t attract the attention of the rescue-passionate masses. But those days will come. For we are the little rescue that could!
In October of 2017, our sister boarding facility relocated to a beautiful plot of land overlooking the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction, Colorado. This location used to be occupied by a large animal veterinarian so it came with a large stable barn. The barn doesn’t have walls and has a dirt floor but, heck, it has a roof and electricity! This barn will eventually be a rescue dog’s dream bed and breakfast. For now, our sister boarding facility has donated an entire room of six boarding suites for the Harmony dogs. But, wait! Aren’t there an average of ten Harmony dogs waiting to be adopted at a time, you ask? Yes, yes there are. Meet Danielle and Emera, the two co-founders of Harmony who have a hard time saying “no” to the sweet eyes of a dog in need. As the rescue dogs take over the boarding facility, we are working hard and plugging away to try and get our name out to get people on board with our rescue dreams and goals.
Take today, for example. In addition to our day job of working at the boarding facility of 50-100 daily dogs, we have a networking meeting from 8:30-10:30 am where we will drag our introverted selves into a sea of strangers and declare our passions and visions of our rescue to come. Then this evening (covered in hair, no doubt), we will attend a coalition of like-minded animal welfare members of our community. Here, we plan to soak in all the advice and lessons these veteran animal lifesavers have to offer. Plus, tapas! Yesterday, we took a two-hour lunch to take three dogs to the vet for their much-needed vaccinations and wellness check. At the end of the workday, we shuttled Sammy, one of our rescues to his trial home visit/home check. Phew, these days are long. We would never complain, however, because we are saving lives!
So, we have our point A: bones of a stable barn and point B: rescue doggy oasis. Our path from point A to point B is literally made of money. We have been fortunate enough to have a stockpile of food, toys, and blankets to keep the rescue dogs fed, happy, and comfy. All of this has been donated by our amazingly generous community. The monetary donations we are currently receiving has covered the vet bills associated with ensuring the dogs get and stay healthy and ready for their forever homes. But with all this, we are basically the equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck in the rescue job force. Our only option? Fundraise!
One day, we will have a staff and volunteers who love nothing more than planning swanky charity dinners and fun chili cookoffs for a cause. But until then, it’s Emera and me. Emera’s background in the hospitality industry provides us with a few contacts who, with a little begging, may help us with our first “pawp up” dinner. We also have a local yoga studio who has generously offered to put on a fun “yoga with the dogs” session. Additionally, an area artist reached out to us to host a “paint your pup” night. Lastly, I am a yard sale aficionado with a barn full of donated goods waiting to be sorted and priced. Long story short, this will be a busy, money-making Spring. So, keep your eyes on our social media pages for upcoming ways you can help us help the dogs. Our goal is to break ground on the dog shelter June 1, 2019. With your help, we can do this!
Talk to you soon!