I was born into in a multiple pet family. I cannot ever remember not having pets in the house. From the time that I was just a little girl, my mother was always rescuing strays and finding them homes. As she put it, "If I don't, who will?" It made perfect sense to me. And I will always remember my dad telling me that when you pet an animal, they can feel love in the touch of your hand. My parents are both gone now, but their love and sense of responsibility toward our animal friends lives within me.
By the time I left home and was on my own, my love for animals grew even stronger. I was a responsible pet owner and also helped the occasional strays I found. Still, I wanted to do more. In 1979 I became a volunteer for a local pet rescue organization, providing a foster home for pets awaiting adoption. Around that same time, I left my secretarial position, trained to be a dog groomer and eventually opened my own pet grooming and boarding business.
Nine years later my son Matthew was born. Although Matthew has Down Syndrome, he too, is growing up with love and compassion for our animal friends. Growing up with pets has had a positive impact on my son. I think my strong commitment to advocating for responsible pet ownership prepared me to be an even more outspoken advocate for Matthew. In turn, Matthew is becoming quite an outspoken advocate for animals. He has learned well that we must speak out for those who cannot.