But one single person can create a ripple effect of change…
One morning in early 2005, a woman stopped to pick up an emaciated stray. She took him to the country shelter where a volunteer cleaned him, fed him, and closed him in a kennel. Volunteers walked him and fed him every day until, many months later, another volunteer picked him up, named him Emmett, and ferried him to a no-kill shelter where a cadre of volunteers took care of him every day for the better part of a year. Then, in June 2006, a volunteer brought him out of his kennel to walk with me and John. Another volunteer drove to our home later that week for a house check, then another delivered him safely into our arms a week later.
On Thanksgiving Day in 2006, as Em was celebrating his first holiday with us, a family in North Carolina found a skinny, mange-ridden, limping puppy foraging in their trash can. They kept him through the weekend, then delivered him to their local shelter. It took volunteers at the shelter to intake this pup, get him cleaned up, and – knowing they were overrun and with his health conditions he didn’t stand a chance – they arranged for transport to Washington, DC. It took volunteers to drive him north, then to intake him at his new shelter and take care of his daily needs as well as his myriad health issues. Another volunteer introduced him to us, three volunteers introduced him to Emmett, and another processed our application.
Every one of those people indirectly contributed to the creation of this community because, without them, without us adopting Emmett and Lucas, this journey of pit bull advocacy, dog training and working with fearful dogs, and connecting online wouldn’t have happened. Emmett wouldn’t have touched the lives of hundreds of children working as a therapy dog. Cooper definitely wouldn’t have become our foster then our new puppy, and we definitely wouldn’t be fostering Molly right now.
It’s amazing how one person’s actions – whether it’s picking up a stray, walking sheltered dogs, driving transport, or sharing an adoptable pet on Facebook – that one person’s single action affects the lives of so many others for years to come… just by helping one animal.
So, tell me, have you witnessed this ripple effect in your community? Or through your own actions?