Weekend wondering…

Last night Renaissance Man and I attended the annual CASA (Court Appointed Advocates for Children) banquet, and I officially checked the “I want to be a CASA volunteer” box on the contribution card. God help me. I have so much to learn… about the courts, children’s realities, myself.


We heard numbers:

  • 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S.
  • 86 children in our two-county region have received CASAs
  • 50 CASA volunteers needed in our region; we had 10

I guess now we need 39 more…


Last night Renaissance Man and I returned home to a disturbing phone message:

THIS IS A LOST PET AMBER ALERT. On February 18, your neighbor, Jennifer, lost “Carson” – a Rottweiler/Doberman mix. If you find him, please call XXX-XXX-XXXX or visit www.PetAmberAlert.com


We looked at the phone in disbelief – then anger. Really? You just took an acceptable “lost pet” message and elevated it to an AMBER ALERT?


For those of you readers in other countries, here’s the definition (and origin) of the AMBER ALERT:

An emergency response system that disseminates information about a missing person (usually a child), by media broadcasting or electronic roadway signs.

Origin:  acronym from America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, named after Amber Hagerman, a child kidnapped in Texas in 1996. Amber didn’t live to tell her story.
Did you know? There’s a list of criteria… and even some child abductions can’t use the term “AMBER ALERT”.

So why is it okay to use those “sacred words” in connection with a lost pet?

This morning, with the AMBER ALERT incident still in my mind, I heard another number:
  • Last week for Valentine’s Day, Americans spent approximately 850 MILLION dollars on their pets.

Pets again… elevated to “child” status. God help us.

If you’ve visited here much, you know I have nothing against pets, but they’re not children.

Do you have any idea what a different world we would live in if we as kind-hearted, loving human beings took just ONE DAY and spent 850 million dollars on children in need?

Do you understand that societal ills like poverty, child abuse, sex trafficking, drug addiction, broken foster care systems, HIV/AIDS could actually be greatly improved (and the lives of children along with them!) if more of us will get up off of our comfy sofas – or church pews – and step out of our comfort zones?

Do you realize we have the ability – if not the desire – to make a difference for children?

When did we start treating our pets as children …

and our children as animals?

Go ahead and love on your furry friends. I know you’ll do everything you can to make them safe and comfortable – and I’m glad that’s the kind of person you are!

I hope you’re the kind of person who will do a little “weekend wondering” too. Start by asking yourself this question: Am I also a person who will do at least as much for a child who’s living – this very minute – without hope?

Are you?

Is anything going to change?

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  1. Sorry, but my pets ARE my children ~

  2. My pets are my children. I raised my children and did a hell of a job. I volunteer at a school, donate money to their causes and help anyway I can. I do not need anyone tell me how much else I can do if I don’t spend money on my pets. I think you are completely out of line today. I understand your enthusiasm but you can’t tear people down because they don’t live up to your expectations. Sorry my opinion.

    • Hi, Patty. Never be sorry for your opinion — even if it does seem I failed to communicate well today. I did not say anything about not spending on pets. What I hoped to encourage readers to do is care for at-risk/vulnerable children as well as pets. Sadly, some people miss blessings by not reaching beyond themselves. Obviously, from your comment, that doesn’t apply to you. Thanks for all you do on behalf of children. Have a great weekend.

  3. I totally agree that it is wrong to equate a lost pet to a lost child by referring to an Amber Alert.

    I am often amazed at what others choose to do with their money.

  4. Children aren’t animals. Children are human beings.

    Pets are animals. Pets aren’t human beings.

    God help us to reflect His heart for children– the stranger, the fatherless, the poor. Very compunctious post, Susan, with which I agree wholeheartedly.

    Hugs and prayers for your work,