When I got a letter in from a worker at a housing project telling me a very sad story, I thought I was going to be able to help. It didn't sound that difficult...
The letter told me about Caroline, a lady who had fled terrible domestic violence with just her clothes and her beloved dog - a Tibetan Terrier.
She had been very depressed as she'd been living a nightmare, but now she was very depressed and homeless.
Caroline spent some considerable time on the streets - but the worker in the housing project said everyone had been amazed by how well Caroline had cared for her dog and how much the dog meant to her. So much so that the project had decided to change their policy and allow Caroline to have a place with her dog - a test case to maybe make the halfway house available to other homeless dog owners.
There was only one problem. To stay in the project Caroline has to pay a chunky service charge (elec/gas etc) and she's only getting £59 a week income support. It leaves precious little for food for Caroline never mind her dog.
The very sympathetic project worker asked, "Is there any way we can help Caroline get her dog fed while she's getting back on her feet and hopefully getting a job?"
I'd have thought it was easy, that it would just take one call - call me naive! How much can it cost to feed a Tibetan Terrier?
But so far, my begging to one or two of the smaller pet food companies have returned a big fat zero response. They think I'm asking them to advertise!!!
Anyone got any contacts in pet food companies who would like some really lovely publicity in exchange for a little bit of food?
Any other ideas?
My back up idea is just to buy the food myself and send it to her - now I've told the care worker I'd sort it out, I feel obliged. (I got the letter as I'm Chairman of Tailwaggers - but in reality I've probably got more money than they do - the poor old charity is strapped for cash.)
It could take Caroline 18 months before she's ready to leave the project, she's getting counselling and lots of help - and apparently if times are hard the dog eats and Caroline doesn't. You just know those two mean the world to one another and when her life's back on track everything will be fine.
Wonder who reads this blog? Any kindly pet food moguls by any chance?