I very strongly believe in the importance of considering adoption as a first alternative to adding a new pet to one’s household. Please know that this was not always the case. My purchased golden has taught me a lot along our journey together.
My journey to rescue started with having “bought” my dog, Borrego. I started looking through all the rescue and shelter sites when I was looking to adopt my golden, Borrego, over 15 years ago. I was surprised at how many resources there are beyond breeders and pet stores, and I enjoyed looking through the sites and reading the stories.
Unfortunately I had a very bad experience with the rescue organization that I tried to adopt through – they actually told me that I was being irresponsible considering dog ownership since I work full time and there was no way they would consider placing a dog with me. I got furious and irrational and ended up adopting my Borrego from a disreputable back yard breeder to “show them”. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Borrego to death but, health-wise, she is every argument against backyard breeders. She is highly neurotic, had to have both hips replaced before she was one year old, is allergic to most foods as well as many airborne allergens…
In retrospect and calmer emotions, I realized that I had become a part of the problem, not the solution. I started to research rescue organizations that really did have the animals best interests rather than their own egos at stake. Kim’s Fuzzies were borne of this research and I started emailing them to friends and family. As the word spread, the Fuzzies grew to a subscribership of over 200 (free and no obligation) and I get emails and calls from shelters, rescues and private folks for help with whatever level of connection they need. I love it and feel like my little part really made a difference in some canine lives!
Kim’s Fuzzies led to my work with Pit Bull Rescue San Diego where I was a founding Board Member, then Executive Director and now President of the Board of Directors. I joined the organization only because I felt like other breeds of dogs probably had plenty of people on their side and pit bulls needed me. I’ve had my hands on over 600 pit bulls over the years and, while I have always believed that dogs are dogs are dogs, have also come to see the unique and lovable qualities of this maligned breed. People have said my eyes light up when I talk about pit bulls. If I didn’t have a golden that was more dog aggressive than any pit bull I’ve met, I probably would have a pit bull in my furry family. Someday I will. For now, I am happy that I’ve helped foster 30 into permanent homes over the years.
My work with PBRSD was one of the key reasons that I got my previous job at the Petco Foundation. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. Volunteer work does count in the big picture and my passion, coupled with my business acumen and technical skills put me exactly where I needed to be to make a niche for myself in national animal welfare.
Along the journey I’ve worked with trainers and behaviorists and even breeders to increase my understanding of this calling I know is mine. In order to better understand pit bulls, I felt it was important to understand the traits of many breeds and I am proud of how much dog specific knowledge I’ve amassed.
My life isn’t just about dogs though. I currently share my home with a 14 year old black Tom cat (Buddy), an 8 year old pit bull (Max), a one year old lab mix (Cayenne) and eight chickens (Polly, Danni, Mara, Java, Rachael, Buffy, Orfila, and Brahma).
I have never felt more certainly what my calling in life is. It most certainly revolves around animals – whether it be my paid or my volunteer calling. I know that the connection I have is real and tangible and something I was put on this earth to explore.