Thursday, 19 January 2012

Potcake Paradise found in Middle of Crowded Centerville!

 On a street in Nassau,  is a little piece of paradise right smack in the middle of  a bustling neighborhood. Sidney Knowles is the owner of Knowles Upholstering on Madeira Street. Diane Knowles is the owner of Security Forwarding service and is right next door to the Upholstering store. Diane and Sidney have taken it upon themselves to create a safe place for dogs that were roaming the neighborhood. They have created a potcake paradise in a place where there is little tolerance for the homeless potcakes.

The space between their businesses once used for garbage and storage now has a small shade garden and a shelter. It is a safe place to rest while the rest of the world continues around them in chaos and danger.
A shelter that keeps the dogs cool and dry
There are always full water bowls and once a day they bring out food, making sure all the dogs that frequent the space are fed for the day.  Sidney and Diane have created  paradise for the neighborhood  potcakes and the neighborhood is better for their efforts.

There are at least 10 potcakes that frequent this establishment; I had the privilege to meet 7 of them during my visit to this  Potcake paradise. All of the dogs have been named by Diane and Sidney to suit their personalities. The group consists of Big Daddy, Joey, Hot Dog, Uncle Laddy, Sweet Pea, Summer breeze, Sweet Caroline, Mr. Handsome, Mother Hubbard, Huppington and Jim (aka slim Jim). Some of the dogs stay there all day and night; other dogs treat the space as a drop in centre coming by during the day for food, water and rest then go back to their homes at night.
Big Daddy, sporting the scars of a homeless dog
finds refuge from the street

All the dogs have been spayed or neutered, 7 of them through Baark!’s spay and neuter program.  The remaining three dogs were paid for by Diane and Sidney out of pocket.  Sidney and Diane also make sure they receive medical attention should the dogs require it. Hot Dog has just completed her second round of treatment for a venereal tumor. "Big Daddy was responsible for fathering many litters in this neighborhood before we had him neutered,"explained Mr. Knowles. But thanks to a quick procedure, Big Daddy is no longer contributing to the unwanted and homeless population of potcakes roaming the street.

Sweet Pea stretching after a nap at Potcake paradise.
I asked Mr. Knowles about the response of his customers to these dogs. He said it was overwhelmingly positive. 9 out of 10 of the customers loved it and thought it was a fabulous thing he was doing. I can just hear someone giving directions to his store, it is on Madeira, just across from Centerville food store; you know, the place with all the dogs.  I would venture a guess that this beautiful undertaking has helped both businesses as they promote animal welfare.
Sweet Caroline and Summer Breeze eye the water .
These two call Potcake Paradise home.

As I spoke with Sidney and Diane about their little spot of kindness in this world, both of their eyes lit with excitement. It is obvious a passion of theirs to make a difference where ever they are. “If everyone does something, it all adds up to a lot” said Diane as she explain the joy of making a difference for these dogs. Sidney described helping the dogs as self-gratifying, “it just feels good to do something good.” Throughout the interview it was clear that this story was being told not to shine light on the deeds of themselves but instead  to inspire and encourage others to start to make a difference too. Not once was there a hint of "look what I did", in fact both declined being in the pictures, the dogs they explained were the stars of this story.

Joey and Hot Dog are inside.
Hot Dog is recovering from a recent surgery .

As we walked around the space between the two businesses, Diane said “we are doing the best we can, there are just so many that need help- it is overwhelming.”  In agreement Sidney nodded and added “We cannot give them the longest life possible but we can give them a better quality life.” I stood there thinking how easy it would have been for these two people to look the other way and choose not to see the poor condition of the animals. I looked around and realized they choose to do something, anything that made a difference, it was a choice. We too are faced with a choice every day. Do we look the other way or do we find something, anything that we can do to make a difference? Let the story of these two businesses and their wonderful potcake paradise inspire you to choose today to make a difference in the lives of our Bahamian animals.

Uncle Laddy finds the shade under the car delightful.

This month, we at Baark! want to challenge you to make a difference. Create a water station for homeless animals in your neighbourhood, use any container possible and keep it filled with water for the dogs and cats that roam the neighbourhood looking for water. Refill it regularly; animals need a lot of water to survive in the Bahamas.  If you cannot do this, find someone who is doing this and encourage them with donations of food, or buckets that could be used. Together and only together can we make a difference. 

We told our wonderful sponsors Purina about the story and they are donating some  Purina Products to Mr. Knowles!!!! thank you !

Please support Knowles Upholstering for your fabric needs as well as Security Forwarding Services for your freight needs.  Both companies provide excellent service, and isn’t it great to support business’ that give back to the community. 
Knowles Upholstering  
20 Madeira St. Nassau

Security Forwarding Service