Starting an animal rescue isn't an easy venture....on a daily basis a rescuer bears witness to an unimaginable amount of heartbreak and suffering. Seeing animals in pain, watching those we can't save be put to sleep. It can often feel endless and overwhelming; however, the rewards, when they come (and believe me, they DO come!) far outweigh the heartbreak.
As founder of Ollie's Angels, rescue has always been my passion, and throughout my life I've found different ways to be involved. I've volunteered, adopted dogs, supported rescues. Starting my own rescue was a pipe dream, something I thought about constantly, yet I always told myself was an impossibility. For the past two years I worked directly in rescue, but I quickly realized that in order to truly be happy, you need to treat others as you'd like to be treated and feel comfortable with your daily interactions. As a mom to three young daughters, I knew I needed to model this philosophy in my everyday life, and I didn't feel I was succeeding. My girls need to see a mom who is strong enough to live the best life possible and is brave enough follow her dream.
So what happened that gave me the strength, despite being incredibly scared, to finally follow my dream? Shelly, a dear friend of mine from college, fought a valiant battle with breast cancer for 8 years. Thinking about Shelly always brings a smile to my face. She was truly one of the most vibrant and funniest women I've ever known! Throughout her fight, she showed a certain grace, bravery, and humor that most of us will never possess. When I realized that her condition was deteriorating and she was at the end of her struggle, something truly clicked inside of me. Life is too short, and I couldn't spend my days feeling discontent. I knew I could make a difference - in fact, I was already making a difference - I just needed to do it on my own terms. With my friend Shelly always in the back of my mind, I summoned my courage, worked many, many hours to put together my website, and launched Ollie's Angels Animal Rescue.
I am blessed and humbled by all of the support I've received - from my family, my friends, and fellow animal rescuers to complete stranger who have happened across Ollie's Angels. I'd tell anyone who has a dream to follow the path. This is something I NEVER envisioned happening, and yet, here I am! I know Shelly is watching and is proud of me, and I know her name will live on, not just through my mission with Ollie's Angels, but also through her MANY friends and family members who will do their best to honor and live life as Shelly lived hers...with dignity, courage, and strength.