Tis the season for shopping, gifting, visiting, parties, and indulging in food and drink. It is also a time to reflect on where we have been, what we have done, and where we are going. It is an occasion to show gratitude and give thanks for all we have.
So often I hear people talking about all the things they want and what they are entitled to. I hear about all the things that are “wrong and how bad things are here in this country. To that I say, “WE LIVE IN THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD AND HAVE SO MANY FREEDOMS AND THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR”.
Without sounding pontifical, I would like to share some of the things I am grateful for. I am quite fortunate to have a wonderful family, circle of friends, education, and career. I have had the opportunity to live and travel the world as a military nurse and share those talents and experiences here in the United States as a civilian nurse. I am most appreciative to have the health and means to save, rescue, and foster dogs that would otherwise be killed because of illness, age, or overpopulation.
While doing rescue work, I have met some of the most extraordinary people. These people have given of themselves not only financially but of their time and talents. They have shown kindness and compassion to my concerns for these so called ‘disposable members of our society’. With that I want to mention a few of these folks.
Bill Kolis, owner of The Fire House Café, took time to open his establishment to promote and sell tickets for my organizations’ yearly fundraiser while he was putting together and selling tickets for his own organizations’ benefit. When those events finished, he then assisted with the hurricane relief effort which I will discuss in a moment. He cleared out a huge area of his café to store the donated supplies while I was waiting on the travel container to be made accessible.
Bruce Goff, a local pilot, stepped up and offered to assist in raising funds for my rescue work. He donated his plane and time to fly a winning pair round trip from North Adams to Block Island. That prize raised money to pay for a heartworm treatment on a young dog rescued from NC. Included in that benefit were folks such as, Joe Kirchner, who bought the winning raffle ticket. His ticket was drawn by the Adams Animal Control Officer witnessed by one of the Adams Police Department Officers.
All volunteers are of great importance, but there is always that one that goes that the extra mile. That guy is Bill Drosehn, founder and owner of Fluent Motors. I met Bill 3 years ago when I relocated back to the Berkshires from North Carolina. Bill became a strong supporter of my rescue/foster work by volunteering to help with the dogs and maintain the running of the ‘dog mobile’. Soon he became one of the ‘contractors’ with my brother Paul, to build and improve the rescue goats living quarters. Got to love those firemen!!!
With the back to back hurrricanes that recently happened and resources thin all over country, Bill and I decided we were going to help with the animal relief effort. We organized a county wide collection of animal relief supplies. Not only did Bill help with the organization of that, HE DROVE THOSE DONATIONS to Jacksonville Florida. There he met, Andrea from Clay County Animal Shelter, Cheryl with Labrador Retriever Rescue for the State of Florida, and Sherry of Safe Animal Shelter. Sherry volunteered to be the point person for other shelters and rescues as not all could meet on the day of Bills’ arrival. Bill spent 3 and a half days travelling and paying the gas and tolls with his own money. Not to mention, forgoing work for those days.
Prior to Bills’ departure south, Peggy, who is director of SPCA Tarboro, reached out and asked if there was anyone that could save a few dogs that were close to their killing date at the shelter. I contacted Gail at Mohawk Hudson Humane Society and after reviewing the health records and temperament tests, she offered to take the 2 boys that were scheduled to be put down that day. On his return through NC, he stopped in Rocky Mount NC, and loaded 2 crates in the cab of his truck and delivered Johnny and Park to Mohawk Hudson.
Despite how tired Bill was at the end of his trip, he had no regrets for doing what he did. He said that the faces of the volunteers in Florida was thanks enough. He shared that he had such happiness driving the 2 dogs to safety and the tears of joy from Connie when she loaded the boys in the truck was fulfilling. Add to that, both dogs were pittie types and that is Bills’ favorite breed. When Bill saw the boys running and their wagging tails at MHHS, he was thrilled. That thrill was topped when Gail sent me an email 9 days later saying, “both sweet souls are in their forever homes”.
My wish for this holiday season is that we all take a little time to help both the human and animal population that is less fortunate and remember the need for giving and sharing is a year long obligation not a 2- month responsibility. Additionally, please remember to thank a Veteran as veterans Day is coming up quickly.
Happy tails until next month!!!!