Sometimes making the right decision in life are the hardest choices to make. The hardest ones usually aren’t the easiest…..and sometimes people stand up to both.
I talked to Jim Taylor days before he was to leave for training with his dog Brody. His family, life and circumstances had thrown the Taylor’s some curve balls…..between buying a home, moving, possible mother in law moving in, fast trip needed out of state…..his life was temporarily in ciaos. He was unable to train for approx another 5-6 weeks. As always, honest communication was needed. We talked about timing, how it needed to be fair to both Brody and him. Brody was ready to be paired, and I was worried what another 5 weeks might do. This only adding more stress to his life at the moment, I am sure. We gave it a few days to process……but Jim called me the next day.
“Jen, ” his voice soft and slow “As much as I don’t want to say this……..and as hard as this is personally……I know it’s the best thing for Brody…….and for another Veteran in waiting…..I decided to pass, and wait…..“ he exhaled a deep breathe…..
“I am so proud of you, of your decision. I respect you even more” I rushed in to say “Thank you Jim, again for your sacrifice”…
Jim Taylor is our first Veteran in our next class and he will be training with his new dog come the end of summer! Please stay tuned.
“A true hero is not someone who thinks about doing what is right, but one that simply does what is right without thinking!”
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I felt like Alice in Wonderland and I fell down a Orange rabbit hole…. there was Orange everywhere. All ages, all shapes and sizes, running around like crazy. There were Triplets (well, Twins and their sister) who lifted more and worked harder than most of the men! The boy twins, named Kevin and Adam (One person actually), who worked feverishly on every project. People who did not know each other were working, planing, learning,and giving side by side. Jerry Jones and Amy Armijo, were the White Rabbit; running everywhere leading people to and fro. Donna Fouriner, (Director of Training and my right hand) was the Cheshire Cat, following everyone everywhere grinning….The King of Hearts, was Brad Shaw (Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs) had flown in for the event from Atlanta!. King Brad wasn’t there to walk around and shake hands, he was dressed to work and that he did!! Our Queen of Hearts Garden was built partly by the King himself! This wonderful glorious day ended with non other than a Mad Tea Party Stiggys style….leaving our Veterans, their dogs and our Volunteers to drink tea, laugh, and reminisce. Everything ending exactly as the dream I played over and over in my mind. First thing I did the next morning was run to my window and look out……Yes, it really DID happen!!!!
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*Click here to listen to interview. WHMI Pedro/Bentley
Personally, I love WHMI and Jon and Mike have been so supportive of Stiggys Dogs from the beginning. I remember being so nervous for my first phone interview, those feeling again today as we drove in to be on the show live.
Jon King invited me so we could talk about the Home Depot Community grant project, Helping to build awareness throughout our community. We also have Veteran Pedro here training with Bentley. This was a great outing opportunity for them; a new environment, Pedro being put into a *stressful* situation, and them working together through it. I asked Pedro first, I know this can be very difficult and not all of our Veterans feel comfortable talking about anything to anyone. Pedro, wanting to help build awareness, accepted the invitation.
It was fun to actually be inside the studio. Of course seeing Jon, and getting a big hug started the morning off right. Pedro and Bentley showed up while we just started talking. Bentley making his own entrance as he *shook* – his whole body, collar, leash, and many fat rolls- making a distinct sound over the airwaves. Of course King Bentley had to steal a moment for himself, but once eyes were on him, he was the perfect ambassador!!! Jon talked about PTSD and then asked Pedro “How does Bentley helps you?” My heart jumped and I held my breathe. This is a unnerving situation, being direct and talking about this can be very hard for most. Pedro explained perfectly while Bentley lay right by him on the floor picking up on everything. They both were great! I was so proud!!!!
Thank you so much!!! What a great morning. We love you WHMI!!