We weren’t exactly roasting chestnuts, but we certainly had the “open fire” thing going at the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter last week. Just a couple of weeks ago, in this very column, I was making wisecracks about getting through the holiday season without calamity or homeowner’s insurance claims — that’ll teach me!
In spite of our little flirtation with disaster, this Christmas proved to be one of the best ever for the shelter and our animals. Adoptions have been fabulous for the past three weeks. An unprecedented number of homeless animals received the greatest gift of all: someone to love them. The fire at the shelter brought out the best in people as we were inundated with friends and volunteers bringing in linens, picking up laundry and coming in to help us clean up and get things back to normal. Offers of support and concern poured in, a wonderful reminder for my staff and me that many people care deeply about the animals that society casts off.