by Sandy Whitaker
Pets can do so much more than fulfill a life. They can open doors and break down walls people put up towards each other.
One day, a very uppity, and stylish young woman who had married an adored bachelor in our hometown was walking down the street. We had all heard some stories of how she wasn't good enough for our hometown boy and thought she acted like she was too good for us.
Our part time dog catcher had been trying to trap a stray dog roaming Main Street for days. On this busy Saturday, screeching tires were heard along with the yelping of the stray dog which rolled into a ditch.
This young woman rushed to his side while the crowd cautioned her to stay away. "It's a stray. It will bite!" Ignoring the spectators, she leaned close to the dog, cooing softly and asked for permission to touch it.
The dog raised its head and gave her grateful eyes, so she petted it while asking someone to go into a store and call the vet. Of course the vet didn't make house calls for a stray dogs, so she took off her jacket, rolled the dog in it and asked someone to take her to the vet's office.
She and the stray were hurried to a vet where I heard she stayed with the animal until he died. This may seem a sad wasted tale, but good things happened.
The community quickly learned this was a shy young woman who had not found her place in the small community. She didn't know how to reach out FOR help, but she knew how to reach out TO help.
After that, she was asked to join clubs and often welcomed visitors to her home. Her comfort level increased enough to show she was outgoing and fun to be around.
It's quite possible this dying stray dog did more to open everyone's eyes than any other event could have. Not only did the community benefit, but there is no way of knowing how many have benefited from her charity work.
-- Sandy Whitaker