IMAGE: Farmer Leeanne Oldfield and her dog Jett at her farm in Wandandian, New South Wales, Australia. (Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg)
New visitors might have noticed that randomly our CEO Shanna will make 'the call' and announce that it's Dog Appreciation Day on our Facebook page. And, whammo, in come hundreds and hundreds of adorable images of beloved pooches from all over Australia.
It's heartwarming, it's awesome, and everyone gets on board.
Ever wondered what that's about?
Well, Shanna explains:
''5 years ago when I started blogging and writing about sobriety in the rural space, I knew I was taking on one of the hardest topics of all time. I knew great care, respect, inclusivity, love and a total lack of judgement or condemnation and leadership from the top-down was necessary.
I also knew that people feeling comfortable and safe to join the chat would be slow. And, it has been. But guess what's been breaking down barriers in this space for five years since day one? Dogs.
It is so simple.
And that's why I've instinctively done this since ground zero.
We can ALL get involved in the dog yarn, right? So, we do. We simply share our canine friends and those of us who've been in the trenches can also sometimes share how dogs have helped in our own struggles. And those who lead a life that has nothing whatsoever to do with fighting addiction also get right into the fun. Because it's a leveller and an equaliser.
Ever noticed the SITC logo - and the blue dog? Well - that blue dog is my best mate Fleabag. The middle two humans, in case you missed it, are myself and Timbo.
Fleabag is such a perfect addition to the logo not because she represents what blue heelers are world famous for; namely loyalty, bravery, hard work, and determination to get the job done - but they are also a super iconic outback dog as we know.
Anyhow ... the simple truth is that dogs connect people. Always have done. Always will. They open up conversations and they cross boundaries our own fear and limitations cannot.
If you're a dog lover and you haven't yet heard about Backtrack then may I suggest you do so ASAP - because the work Bernie Shakeshaft does in this space is amazing. (I am so thrilled to see this man finally getting overdue national recognition in this space) !
Anyhow we will always have Dog Appreciation Day at SITC - because dogs are everything to so many of us, for so many reasons.
For me, personally - Fleabag has been by my side for almost 14 years now. She has been by my side as a witness to the most terrible dark days of all. And truthfully, if I could be be bothered to get the permission of a bureaucrat to tell me the blindingly obvious (that she is 100% my ''service'' dog) I would. But I don't need some boffin with shiny shoes to verify what I already know.
Fleabag is pivotal to my mental health and as a source of companionship. I have no kids and I work from home in isolation. Which means I get LONELY. Often. And the one thing that keeps me on track mentally is this little blue living, breathing, adoring best mate of mine who speaks to me in multiple ways every single day.
And that's why we love dogs.
Stay tuned on our Facebook page for our next Dog Appreciation Day post and get amongst it!
We bloody love dogs!!!
To catch up on the latest thread - scroll down to yesterday! You'll see.
And now - gotta get some work done.
Have a fabulous day everyone.
(CEO, Founder @SITC)