Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hope for the Future, Hope for the Animals

As some of you know, this past Saturday was my birthday (and no, I will not tell you which one), and I spent it at a really fun event up here called "Bark in the Park." It's a fundraiser for the animal rescue organization, Friends of Animals Utah, I volunteer for. Everyone had a wonderful time--young and not-so-young, human and four-footed. My best bud, Charlene Brewster, was the chair and driving force behind "Bark in the Park." She recently wrote this wonderful piece below about what animal rescue is all about. I wanted to share part of it with you on my blog:

Coda and Mystery
There were several moments in all of the hustle and bustle that made me stop for a moment an wipe a tear from my eye - Dodger the blind dog valiantly running in the dog derbies, the crippled Rottie bravely hobbling around the Course A'Lure track to name a few.  I have to admit that most of the time there are tears in my eyes it is because of a very happy or very sad thing having to do with animals.
What really caused me to catch my breath was a very small child who handed me a large manila envelope with $55 in mostly coins and $1 bills.  Coda Spier, age 6, decided on Friday that he wanted to walk in the 1K with his dog Mystery and get one of the cool backpacks.  Now I know for a fact that his folks could have paid $30 for him to do this, but instead, they took an opportunity to teach several important life lessons - working for what you want, telling others about something that is important to you and compassion for animals.  Coda walked door to door in his SLC neighborhood and collected money to help the animals.  I know it is something that he will not forget.  Looking down into his eyes as he handed me that envelope yesterday is certainly something I will never forget. 
Coda lives in a house with his Mom and Dad, little brother Bodhi, two rescue dogs, two rescue cats and then there is the feral cat colony in the backyard that his Mom, Susan, cares for with the help of the family.  At the ripe old age of six, he knows that he should always ask before petting someone's dog.  He knows that dogs and cats should be spayed and neutered.  
Kids like Coda give me hope for the future of animal rescue and our society in general.  I fully recognize that this amazing organization and movement we have created called Friends of Animals Utah and its influence on this tiny part of the universe is something that will go on long after we are gone.  Those that we teach and nurture will carry on our vision and work for the time when there are no more homeless pets and animals being killed because there are just too many of them.  I get up every day hoping this is an attainable goal.  Kids like Coda Spier make me believe it.

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