This I Believe

Sherri - Salem, Oregon
Entered on September 16, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

Almost every day as I drove home from work, I would see the two of them out walking in the neighborhood. They both looked as if they’d lived a full life…each a little slow in their step, but one was always smiling, while the other’s tail was constantly wagging.

Then one day went by, and they weren’t there.

And then another day passed.

And another.

I felt a knot in my stomach when I noticed the shades were all drawn at their house. My husband found out that Art passed away while

traveling out of state. But he was in the hospital long enough for his dog Dublin to be put on a plane and flown to his bedside for one last tail wag.

I believe in the power of pets.

Now I’m not one of those crazy animaniacs. I’ve never picketed a place because of bad treatment of animals (although I supposed I might). I eat meat. And I only have two pets.

I just have a passion for what we can learn from our four-legged friends.

They have taught me much about life.

About being dedicated.

About being faithful.

And loyal.

And loving.

I volunteer at our local humane society. This organization takes in roughly 12,000 animals each year, and finds new homes for 6,000. You do the math. Some people can’t imagine, and some probably would even scoff at, the bond between Dublin and Art. But to me, it’s magical.

When I saw Art’s obituary in the local paper, I wondered if it would mention his faithful friend. I smiled (and I’ll admit, dropped a tear) when I read, “Also surviving is his companion pet, Dublin.”

I believe in the power of pets.

From the moment my grandfather gave me a frightened puppy he found on the school playground, I was hooked. And 35 years later, I’m still hooked.

Everyone has those life-changing moments they’ll never forget — college graduation, marriage, the birth of a child. Added to my list is the memory of being a frightened 10-year-old kid holding my severely injured dog on my lap while my mom frantically drove to the vet. My furry friend had been hit by the milk

truck, but was still alive. I was devastated when the vet said there was nothing they could do to save him.

For over 20 years, my chosen profession has been in the world of healthcare, but my volunteer time and resources are spent attempting to create a community

where compassion toward animals is at least something people stop and thinkabout.

I believe in the power of pets. And hope that perhaps one day, everyone will be lucky enough to have had a “Dublin” in their life. I do, and I’m only 42-years-old. Her name is Kona, a 10-year-old canine. And next to my husband and five-year-old daughter, she is

the most important member of our family.