I’ve been busy the past month organizing and preparing for a fundraiser. It’s the Art 4 Paws Auction that begins today and runs until August 13. All of the proceeds will benefit NE Ohio humane group Valley Save-a-Pet. I have a long relationship with them, but first, a story.
One night in 1987, Dalene and I got off work and headed over to a late night grocery store to pick up a few items. It was just before midnight, a couple of days before D’s birthday. A few blocks from the store, on a quiet but main road, the car ahead of us slowed and drove carefully around something in the road. As we passed the stop, we could see that it was golden retriever who had been hit by a car, and he, or she, was trying to crawl out of the road. I turned the car around and pulled over and went to open my car door, but D stopped me with a hand on my arm.
“You are wearing black.” she said. “It’s dark. I’ll go.”
She climbed out and approached the injured dog. About this time, the parking lot of the church one block behind us was emptying from their weekly bingo night. Cars began passing us, and I was nervous about D’s rescue attempt with cars streaming by, so I turned around again so I could have our car between her and the oncoming traffic.
As I pulled the car around and my headlights shown on her and the dog, she was lying in the street, rocking back and forth and it took me a few seconds to register that she’d been hit by a car. She was badly injured, and the dog, hit a second time, was dead.
You never expect things like this are going to happen. We were young, and we were invincible. D. has suffered her whole life with the injuries from that accident. But life is a balance, and where there is bad, there is also good.
Over the following months, we struggled while D. recovered. She wasn’t able to work and we were barely squeaking by on my income. Additionally, we had two dogs and 5 cats to feed. Then one day, we came across an article in the local paper about a humane group that was having a pet food drive to help people in need. So I called them. The group was Valley Save-a-Pet. A volunteer ended up bringing us enough pet food to get through the next 4 months. We were so grateful for the help that we vowed to help VSAP when D was back on her feet, and that began an almost 30 year relationship with that wonderful group.
The ART 4 PAWS auction fundraiser that I’ve organized is taking place on VSAP’s Facebook page beginning today, through Aug 13. There are more than 50 pieces of artwork up for bid — from sketches and jewelry and comic book art to original Japanese woodblock prints. I called on all of the artists in my network for donations, and received some great pieces. This year is Valley Save-a-Pet’s 40th anniversary, and this fundraiser is to honor them and the work they continue to do for animals in NE Ohio.
Please stop by the auction this week and take a look. And even if you are not bidding, you can help me, and VSAP, by sharing the auction on your social media pages. Please help me make the auction a success for Ohio animals.