Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Volunteer

After seeming to blow into our community on a strong north wind, this woman, this foreigner from the east coast, decided to devote her spare time to our local Humane Society.  How dare she?  How dare she not be from Wisconsin, let alone our community, that is?
Given her obvious passion for animals of all shapes and sizes, it didn’t take long for this woman to dig herself in deep at the Humane Society…it didn’t even take long before she was allowed in the back of the facility.  It was impressive since so few volunteers are permitted entry into the Society’s equivalent of Area 51.  What proved even more impressive with each day she volunteered, though, was not the generous amount of money she donated to the Society’s cause…it was the way this woman gave of herself.
She walked dogs, did laundry, arranged events, engaged people, and encouraged others.  She never hesitated to argue with someone when making a plea to spare an animal from a death sentence, either…arguments that too often were mercilessly ignored.  She cleaned cages, kennels and runs, fed animals, transported displaced pets, talked with rescues, sought lost dogs, and grieved terribly whenever a companion animal was killed for any reason.  She started programs, wrote articles, and attended conferences and seminars.  She never complained because there was simply nothing she would not do to help the animals.  She didn’t just speak about her passion for animals, her actions demonstrated her unwavering commitment to the Humane Society and its cause day-in and day-out.
Outside of the shelter’s walls, this woman’s passion for people was just as obvious as her dedication to the animals was inside the facility.  Her willingness to help permeated the very air around her.  Standing next to her, you knew you were in the presence of someone who really cared not only about your pets, but about you and your human family members.  Standing before her, you knew she’d babysit your kids just as readily as she’d keep an eye on your dog if you needed her to.  There was just nothing she wouldn’t do if there was a good enough reason for her to take action.
Sadly, the proverbial wind is scheduled to blow again and it will carry this once-foreigner, now respected animal advocate and friend, to California.  Just like Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the community that welcomes our friend and her husband will not know the type of person that has arrived within its limits…until she demonstrates that she doesn’t do anything halfway just like she did here.

Thank you Victoria Grace.  Thank you for all you have done for this community.  Thank you, too, for all you have done for the animals.  Thank you, in advance, for all you are going to do in your new hometown.  We will remain grateful to you long after you are settled into your California home.  You will be truly missed.

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