As seems to be the case with most of my journey in dog rescue, I came across the first event completely by accident – a convergence of coincidences that led me a little over a hundred miles away to North Attleboro MA on a Thursday night in July. North Attleboro is a relatively small town in Massachusetts, near the Rhode Island border and not far from Boston.
I had not heard of it so I did a little research – North Attleboro is an industrial town, about 19 square miles in area with a population of around 28.000. It was first settled in the mid 1600’s. During the Revolutionary War it was used as a stopover for George Washington and his army on their march to Boston. There is a list of well-known residents throughout history, although none was well-known to me, other than a football player in the NFL who recently starred for my alma mater, the University of Connecticut.
The event was the area premier movie screening of “Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent,” a film about Breed Specific Legislation which asks the question, "Do We Have A Dangerous Dog Breed Problem, Or Dangerous Laws Targeting Dogs?" It was a fundraising event sponsored by two area pit bull rescues, A Voice For Tyson and Braveheart Pit Bull Rescue and I was invited to sign copies of my book as part of their fundraising efforts.
This event really hit home for me. It reinforced everything I have been working for and all the reasons I decided to write a book in the first place. Everyone in attendance was there for one purpose. This sold out event brought the community together for the dogs.
I did not actually see the film as I had to stay at my table throughout the evening but I heard great things about it from the excited crowd and, although I would have liked to, it didn’t matter. What I loved was that so many people stopped by my table to talk to me and show me pictures of their dogs – all pit bulls and all rescued from one awful situation or another.
Then something even more astonishing happened. As a woman approached Blueberry, suddenly everything changed. Blueberry began running in circles, jumping excitedly and trying to crawl right into this woman’s arms - literally hugging and kissing her. I wondered what had gotten into Blueberry. Then her owner, Maura told me that the woman was the Animal Control Officer who had saved Blueberry from a neglectful owner. Just thinking about the scene gives me goose bumps. Anyone who doesn’t believe that animals can remember things and feel emotions should have witnessed this poignant and affecting scene.
The second event took place two days later and once again made me feel like part of something much greater. A community coming together for one purpose – helping dogs in need. This one was a paint bar party/fundraiser for Kenway’s Cause. Not surprisingly, my relationship with Kenway’s Cause also happened quite by accident and it is a relationship I plan to continue for as long as I possibly can. I am humbled by the perseverance and dedication of this group that seems to always come through for the dogs, despite the obstacles it must face every day.
Kenway’s Cause is a non-profit foundation which was established in the City of Hartford to assist individuals and families who adopt dogs from the Hartford dog pound (about 85% of which are pit bulls) and to fund medical treatment for sick and injured animals. Kenway’s Cause provides assistance to both the dogs and their adoptive families. It consists of a group of amazing women who have come together to save lives. I am happy and proud to support them and the incredible work they do day in and day out..
Being the perfectionist that I am, my finished painting was not quite what I was hoping for but it was so much fun – a great time with great people. While I am not sure whether or not I will put my art work on display, it was not only a most enjoyable way to spend a few hours but it also helped out a great cause – Kenway’s Cause.
It was a joy and a privilege to attend both of these events. Both were experiences I will remember always. Thank you to all who work so hard every day to help animals in need –I am truly in awe.