I’ve never been a huge do - gooder. But this year I was inspired. I was inspired by my coworker who gave up EVERY Sunday to help feed the homeless in New York City. I was inspired by my friend who changed her lifestyle to train for her first half marathon and raise money for brain cancer research in honor of her mother who had passed away. I was inspired by my brother-in-law who rode his bike for two days, through two states, in support of MS. And I was inspired by a mother, wife and professional woman who had devoted nearly all her free time, even giving up sleep, to help make a difference in the lives of animals.
In June, I was introduced to Amy Hofer and A Pathway to Hope. I was looking for a dog rescue where I could donate my time to make a difference and was sent Amy’s way by a friend. From the first adoption event where I volunteered, I knew that I wanted to make myself a part of this extraordinary organization. A Pathway to Hope pulls mostly Northern breed dogs from kill shelters down south. However, they often don’t turn away dogs and cats in need.
This month, Amy sent her volunteers an email. Two small puppies had been found in a backyard in South Carolina.
To keep them in the yard, their owner had tied a rope around their necks when they were young puppies. As puppies do, these girls began to grow. As they got bigger, the ropes grew tighter and tighter until they became embedded in their skin and had compressed their tracheas. Mia and Mya were found just in time. They were in need of urgent medical care. Pneumonia had ravaged their lungs due to the compressed trachea. They were extremely underweight, appearing to be young puppies when they are nearly a year old. They were so scared of humans that they cowered together when rescue came to save them.
Mia and Mya arrived in New Jersey last Sunday. They’re currently living with Amy, her family and her many dogs. After Thanksgiving, I will pick up Mia and foster her until she is adopted. The dog that was found outside, starving and neglected, will come have a soft spot on my couch. Have a meal every day. Have lots of toys and even a “foster sister” to play with.
I’ve donated to many causes in the past, but have not quite devoted as much of my time. To be able to see a dog come into my home as a foster and leave as someone’s beloved pet has been the most rewarding part. While I may not always be able to give financially, I can easily give my time and care to these dogs.
So thank you to Amy for giving so much to these dogs and allowing me to be a part of something so fulfilling. And thank you to my friends, family and coworkers who have inspired me to give in a way that puts a smile on my face and costs me so little, but gives so much.