Editor's note: The Lebanon Voice is thrilled to announce the addition of a pet columnist to our newspaper. Alaina Goodnaugh has been affiliated with the Cocheco Valley Humane Society for many years. She will seek to answer your questions and help explain issues that often arise with our little furry friends.
I come from a long line of animal lovers, so it came as no surprise to my family when I accepted a job at Cocheco Valley Humane Society. Despite firmly declaring, “I’m not going to adopt every animal I see,” I became the proud mother of a miniature dachshund, River Tam, within a week of starting my new job – and then brought home a second one a few months later.
Although I was originally brought on as the volunteer coordinator in 2008, it wasn’t long before my role expanded. I’ve managed the shelter’s foster care program, acted as a humane educator, and even developed a knack for transforming grumpy cats into friendly ones. In my current role as Promotions Coordinator, I create quarterly newsletters, maintain the CVHS website and Facebook page, and organize the shelter’s two largest fund-raisers. No matter what role I’ve played, though, my main goal has always been the same: to educate the community about the shelter and pet care.
Over the past five years at CVHS, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many members of the community and hear their questions and concerns about pet care. I’ve heard everything from normal questions (“How do I introduce my new cat to my dog?”) to abnormal questions (“Can I get my cat half spayed?”) and I’ve managed to find an answer for every single one! When River Tam became paralyzed in February 2010, I suddenly found myself with questions of my own and nobody to help me with the answers.
Now, with Paws for Thought, I hope to be able to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained with other pet lovers. Each week, I’ll be providing insight on common concerns we hear at the shelter from pet owners. Whether you’re a longtime pet parent or still looking for that perfect animal companion, Paws for Thought will be your guide to all things pet related!
Alaina Goodnough is the Promotions Coordinator at Cocheco Valley Humane Society in Dover, N.H. She lives in Sanford, Maine, with two parrots, a cat, and two dachshunds. She can be reached at CVHS at firstname.lastname@example.org.