Thank you, Good Shepherd!
Regular readers of this column know I am a huge animal lover. I come by it honestly ĖĖ my nana is known to feed every stray in her path, and my mom raised me with at least three pets at a time. My first love was a black-and-white tabby cat named Baby. When Baby died in an accident in 2004, my mom let me pick out a new kitty.
I chose a very tiny, vocal orange tabby and named him BJ. Itís been nearly 15 years, and BJ is still with me. Well, heís with us. When my husband and I moved in together in 2014, BJ was part of the package. Gideon says he loved BJ immediately, because he knew he had no other choice. That man can be so perceptive sometimes.
As weíve established a home in Carroll County, Gideon and I have enjoyed visiting and supporting all the good work going on at Good Shepherd Humane Society. My job allows me to write stories that help the shelter, which would be incredibly valuable on its own. But it gets better ĖĖ through all the stories Iíve written about the shelter, Iíve gotten to know the amazing people who work there.
They arenít just good animal lovers; theyíre great people and kind friends. Iíll never forget when I lost a friend in late 2017 and needed a break from all those pesky reminders that my friend isnít here anymore. I thought it would be nice to go pet the cats at the shelter; maybe that would take my mind off the grief for a bit.
When I arrived at the shelter, I saw familiar staff members Sandra and Kathy working on a float for the Eureka Springs Christmas Parade. I told them why I was there, and they each hugged me. They asked me if Iíd like to help sort stuffed animals for the float. It was only one week since my friend died. I had been crying for days, but I didnít cry that afternoon.
Instead, I tossed stuffed animals into piles and laughed at Kathyís jokes. I felt useful and comfortable. Everyone at Good Shepherd made me feel so welcome that day, and I will never forget it. If thatís how they make a human feel, just imagine how they make the dogs and cats feel.
Good Shepherd is the only no-kill shelter in Carroll County, so they never give up on the animals in their care. The shelter isnít just a waiting room until the animals find a permanent home. Itís a home for every animal that stops by, whether thatís for a week or a year. Iíve seen how everyone at the shelter cares for the animals. Iíve watched the board of directors work diligently to make the shelter sustainable for years to come.
Good things are happening at Good Shepherd, and that was very apparent at the Diamonds & Denim Ball on Saturday night. Gideon and I attended the ball, which was completely sold out. I loved having the chance to catch up with all the friends Iíve made at Good Shepherd. The first two hours felt like five minutes!
Of course, I loved seeing people come from near and far to raise money for the shelter even more. The shelter is hoping to build new dog kennels, and the ball certainly helped with that goal. If youíre an animal lover like me, donít hesitate to donate to the shelter. They need all the help they can get to continue providing a refuge for the homeless dogs and cats in our community.
For more information on the shelter, visit https://GoodShepherd-hs.org.
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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com