Like a pebble dropped into water sending out endless ripples, Black Dog Animal Rescue has had a far-reaching impact on Wyoming since its creation almost ten years ago. The dream by Britney Wallesch, BDAR’s founder and executive director, to do better by animals has inspired so many to join together to save thousands of forgotten, and sometimes broken, animals. Not to mention the countless people BDAR has impacted - from those who have donated their time, homes and funds, to those who have given these animals a forever home.
Admittedly, when I first joined the BDAR board of directors, I didn't fully grasp how this tiny organization with such big heart quietly impacted so many lives. That is until I started hearing the stories, some of them unsolicited at the mere mention of BDAR. A stranger at the liquor store saw my BDAR sweatshirt and told me how his adopted pet comforted him on walks and at night. Then a secretary told me how her BDAR dog's quirks warmed her lonely heart and home. My brother-in-law's family has adopted a loveable critter from BDAR. One client is a notorious several-time foster fail with a gaggle of well-loved dogs roaming their land and hearts.
And then, there is my family's adoption story of Apollo, a wily boxer whose feet never seem to touch the earth. Our boxer Cassie died earlier this year, leaving a hole in our hearts, an empty space on our son's bed where she had slept since he was three and an empty dog bed in my office. Our family was not looking for another dog, the pain too fresh. We already have a nutty husky, chunky white lab, and two cats. But then I saw Apollo, too skinny and drugged to the gills after getting his tail amputated, sad brown eyes pleading to be held. I sent my husband a photo; we debated, and then we met him. My husband and son couldn't say no to those eyes either, and our trial adoption was never really a trial. A few months later, we all, well except our cats, love our boxer who is finding his niche in our home, creating new stories of bouncing mayhem in our family history.
Stories are a great way to connect and to reveal the far-reaching effects that these animals and the volunteers who have cared for them have on our lives. Our adoptions are much more than a statistic. Our adoptions are stories about love, healing and perseverance, about how our amazing volunteers, unsung heroes, give their time, love and a little bit of their hearts with every foster, and about how these animals change their forever families for the better. Just look at how Cheyenne opened its heart when it heard about the abuse that Angel, now Stitch, endured and the efforts of BDAR to heal her and find her forever home.
That is why BDAR needs your favorite stories and photos to help commemorate BDAR's tenth anniversary with a celebration in March 2018. Sharing these stories is very important, especially with BDAR growing and needing a larger facility within the next year. So - please send your favorite stories to board member Annie Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of January. Thank you for being part of our rescue story! It’s been a great ten years and we are really looking forward to the future.