Thursday, May 18, 2006

Frodo's Journeys

I have this big project, and it's kind of a difficult project, so I'm trying to get in touch with pretty much everyone I know to help me out.

My living and work situation is about to become really unstable (which is a good thing) since my National Science Foundation Fellowship will expire soon and I will be out of school and unemployed (read: unattached, free, liberated, etc.).

I have some amazing plans in the works to travel and live/work in India for a while, with the idea of soaking up some Eastern philosophy and studying how people in many Indian communities live long, healthy, happy, fulfilled lives while living very lightly on the Earth and with comparatively little money.

This is meant to be a research trip where I learn by participant-observation and experience, as opposed to the detached, Western, intellectual/academic ivory tower methods that I have used for pretty much my whole life so far. The motivation is that I want to get some knowledge, experiences, tools, and practices to show how people can live lightly on the planet and have fulfilling lives so that I can bring these ideas back to the US to help create an intentional community / ecovillage / living-learning center in the Bay Area.

(Read more about the East Bay Living-Learning Center project HERE.)

You might guess that the US is the most resource-consumptive country on the planet, and not necessarily the happiest, despite what economists tell us about the relationship between material wealth and well-being. My aim is to show people in the US how we can live lightly (read ecologically sustainable) and have a BETTER quality of life than we do currently (not “belt tightening” and “sacrificing” and “austerity”, or living in caves eating bugs, or 20-people-to-a-room or any of that.)

So probably to you this all sounds like great stuff. Well, here’s the hard part:

Because of the instability (economic, logistic, geographical, etc.) that I am about to experience for at least the next 3 - 6 years as I travel in India and elsewhere gaining the skills, knowledge and experience to transform life here in the Bay Area, I will not be able to offer the attention, care, infrastructure, and economic support required to care for my dog Frodo.

My parents and I have talked about this at great length, as we initially thought they would take care of him while I am gone. But my life is evolving, and there is no hard date in the future that I can foresee when I will be stable enough and have the means to offer Frodo proper care. My parents could consider having Frodo live with them if it was for a fixed and relatively short period, say 6 – 12 months. But beyond that they don’t have the means or stability to care for him either, since they are trying to work out about retirement and figure out how to sell their house and move to where they will spend their retired years—in the Carolinas, West Virginia or wherever-- it isn’t clear at this time where that will be. They, regrettably, just can’t take him on long term.

So what this means is that I have to find a great and loving new home for Frodo, so that he can be adopted on a semi-permanent, or more likely permanent, basis.

Why this is hard for me, other than I will have to give up my doggie, which is gut-wrenchingly tragic, is that most everyone I know is like me, i.e. non-wealthy grad student or non-profit worker in the Bay Area (which is heinously expensive), unstable geographically and through time, and not prepared financially or logistically to take care of Frodo long-term.

So I am reaching out to colleagues, friends, family, and everyone I can get a hold of to enlist in a great search to find Frodo the perfect new home. This is where YOU come in.

I am preparing an adoption packet for Frodo (including his medical records, sundry info about his life and needs, and a flyer that can be distributed electronically or printed out [see below], etc.) which I can send you if you are willing to help me in this enormous task of finding Frodo the best possible place to be loved and cared for. He would be great in any home with other dogs, with kids, or with elderly people who need a companion to take walks with and so on. He’s 6 ½ now, so he’s out of the puupy stage but still has the energy of his lab/Australian shepherd lineage, so he would be great with active younger people as well. If you know of an awesome candidate family/household for Frodo please let me know how I can get in contact with them ASAP!

I can’t thank you enough for any help you can offer in finding Frodo a great new home. He is the most amazing dog on the planet, as far as I can tell. Super sweet, super friendly, a terrific and loyal companion. He will bless any home he is received into. I just have to find him a new family and home by this August. Any help you can offer is much appreciated!!!

Please email me or leave comments here with your contact info if you are ready to be enlisted in this BIG project. Not only are you helping the greatest dog in the universe find an awesome new home, you’re helping his future family to connect with him and have an experience they will cherish forever. Not only that, you are helping me to carry on my life’s work and mission to change the world for ecological sustainability and peace.

Please contact me if you want to help! Thank you so much, from me and from Frodo!

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