Pet Therapy

I had made a new friend, one of many during the day. His name was Cocoa, an adorable gray and black dog with a wonderfully hyphenated heritage. Cocoa is a Leopard Dog/Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler Mix. He was pressed against my leg as I petted him. He was desperate for physical contact. He was also wearing a sign that said in bold letters, 'ADOPT ME'.

Somehow I resisted his charms and the soft sell pitch from the Rome Humane Society, yet meeting Cocoa was a wonderful cap to an enjoyable day at the Canine Classic to benefit Wanderer's Rest Humane Association of Madison County.

Jamie and I spent the day at the Jim Marshall Farms in Chittenango representing our Shamrock Animal Fund. We shared the story of our beloved poodle who would have turned 19 this year and how he inspired us to start a fund to help assist with the cost of veterinary care for animals in need. Along the way we met others who share our passion for animal welfare. There were people who do animal rescues, provide shelter or have pet related businesses.

The highlight of the official fundraising event was either the walk around the track for owners and their pets or the alumni dog walk that featured past adoptees of Wanderer's Rest. What gave me the greatest joy was meeting so many kind people and getting to know their stories, their bond with their dogs. It also felt really good to give a pit bull a good back rub, a Labrador a pat on the head and a Bernese Mountain dog mix a really big hug.

We have recently spent time talking about animal owners who don TMt seem to appreciate what they have who abuse or inhumanely treat man TMs best friend. That was not the group gathered on this Sunday. They care enough to support the cause and vow to work together to make our community a better place for the pets in our lives.

Click here to find out more about the Shamrock Animal Fund.

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