If I ever became obscenely rich (to the tune of winning gazillions of dollars in the lottery, getting a surprise bequest, becoming the next Stephen King, etc) I have a lovely little pipe dream of what I could do with some of the money. I can't imagine that my passions would change, and that I would still want to be involved with animal rescue. With nearly limitless resources, and no need to spend time working to make a living, this is what I would do... (If you like your blog posts realistic, you'd best stop reading here!)
Of course the first thing most newly rich people do is get a much bigger house. I want one with two separate wings. One for living in, with my own personal pets. The other would be devoted to homeless or unwanted animals. In THAT wing, I would want a row of rooms, all with southerly facing windows, all for animals that need to be alone or isolated, whether for health or behavioral reasons. Of course the rooms would be very pleasant, with climbing shelves and rails for cats, soft warm things to lie upon, and toys and comfy beds for dogs. Since we're talking limitless money, we could have fresh air continuously piped in, and the stale, dander-ridden air flushed out. And I want what my vet's office has, which is an in-the-wall vacuum, which has got to be one of the best inventions for sucking up stray hairs ever made. And a staff member to help me. Even if I DON'T have to work, I would prefer to do more with the animals than scoop their litter boxes constantly, every day. ;)
My real pie in the sky dream is to have a huge, open room... two stories high but just open, with an enormous skylight overhead. Two slow-growing trees would be planted in the largely dirt floor, and there would be grass and a huge sandbox, with an elaborate wooden kitty jungle-gym off to the side. This would be a room for cats to play. I haven't decided if this would be a haven for "unadoptable" cats, or if it could just be overflow for one of the local shelters - a foster home for multiple cats.
On my own side of the house, of course all of my current animals would be with me. I would also want to adopt a few more... I'm specifically thinking of another greyhound, and two or three other needy dogs - mixed breeds probably. And since this is my dream, I'd want to be able to open the door and let them all run free whenever they wanted... to have a lovely six foot fence surrounding the property, but have that property go on for a few acres to give them lots of room to play and stretch their legs.
My own cats would be highly upset with me if I gave the homeless cats jungle gyms and plant rooms to play in and not them, so we'd probably have to have something like that on our side of the house as well. And I'd love to be able to build a screened in area outdoors for them to be able to go out and soak up sunshine and fresh air whenever they wanted, without roaming completely free.
I would probably also have a couple of horse rescues - I grew up with horses, though at the time it never occurred to me that there were actual horse rescue operations that I could have adopted from. Just a pair of them, I think - my days of being a serious equestrian are probably behind me. Trail riding, yes, I can handle that much, with gentle, undemanding horses. Okay, maybe I don't mind if they want to run "all-out" once in awhile. :)
And of course horses get kept in a barn, with pasture to be turned out into. What else is kept in barns? Barncats. I would totally be willing to take on a handful of speutered ferals. They could live in the barn, have full run of the place, and would get regular exposure to people, and of course would be fed more food than they've seen in their lives.
And that is my dream.
On a more realistic level, I feel like I'm doing what I can with the resources that I have. I'm going to kick it up a notch this spring, I THINK. More on that later, when I know more of the details. For now, let's just say that it involves kittens. Kitten season is here or going to be here soon, depending upon who you talk to.