I’ve loved animals ever since I was a child. Our first family dog, Penny, arrived when I was 3 years old. Some of my earliest memories are of the box she was in, changing her blankets and falling asleep with her on the floor.
I have been able to track my life through the dogs and cats that were in it. At each significant time of my life, I can remember which animals were with me. My first apartment and Sunnie the lab. The house fire and the cats, two of which went missing, one for 3 weeks, coming back when the dust had settled. My first car, our first house, my son’s first steps – each transition, change, celebration there were always dogs and often cats. They have kept me grounded, prevented loneliness and brought me extreme joy. (I certainly seemed to relate better to them as a child.) I can truly say that for much of my life I have loved animals more than people.
I’ve come to the realization that there are many people who share my infatuation with animals. Those individuals understand the passion, and often the zealous behavior, that goes along with the strong emotional ties we have for another species. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to love and relate to these people; my tribe of animal advocates. They include staff members who never leave until the animals are cared for, who can also be found with kittens in their pockets or shy dogs in the office. They are making a difference wherever they can. Our cat volunteers never miss a day. Our dog walkers are here in the sun, rain and snow. Most tell their family and friends about all the animals, trying to match each one up with a home. We could not do this work without our supportive community – those who call and ask “Where do you need this donation to go? Where do you need it most?” When we need towels, food, special items, all we have to do is ask. The people in similar organizations who direct their passion to a different niche, along with our business partners, they all share a fierce love for animals.
Through animals, I have learned to love the people who share this quest. This issue of the Tattle Tails is about love. Perhaps the love we are taught by animals, the loyalty, the nurturing of another – these things will transform even more people, making our community and world a better place.