Orange cat

I’ve always possessed a deep love for animals. As a little girl, I dreamt of one day becoming a veterinarian, zookeeper, or marine biologist so that I could interact with and observe animals daily. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a pet of my own growing up, so as soon as I turned eighteen and obtained my driver’s license, I made it my mission to catch up on all of the years of my life that I had spent without a furry friend. In 2007, I began volunteering with the (now defunct) Brazoria County Humane society, and my passion for animal rescue was ignited. 

Over the course of the last fifteen (15) years or so, I have worked countless hours with rescue animals. 

No role has ever been too small (or too dirty) for me to enthusiastically tackle – I’ve volunteered as a kennel attendant, a dog trainer, a canine behavior specialist, and even a media administrator. I have had positive experiences with dogs, cats, horses, cows, birds, lizards, and even snakes that have been life-changing and formative. I’ve even become a “rescue mom” to two (2) pups and one (1) cat that brighten my life daily. 

Currently, I volunteer with Friends for Life in Houston, Texas as a volunteer tour lead, a shelter docent, a feline behaviorist, and even a running team member! I try to visit the shelter cats at least once a week to provide them with enrichment activities, playtime, and much-needed cuddles (shoutout to netlogx for allowing me to spend a full day once a year making my little cat friends happy – they appreciate it so much!). However, occasionally, the weekend will roll around, and I will feel more like sitting on the couch than driving to the shelter for a volunteer shift. However, I’ve learned over the years that on those days when I’m feeling energetically low, my choice to be actively kind and present is more important than ever. 

Taking the time to show kindness, love, and compassion to little rescued creatures through my volunteer efforts has taught me some of life’s most important lessons. The lesson that has had the most impact on my life is that no action is too small to change the course of someone else’s day (or even life). 

black cat

By making a choice to be present and show kindness to animals, I am able to connect with animals that are shy, showing them just how lovely life can be with a human friend. I am able to bring a little joy into the shelter, and help the animals there feel happy and safe. Most importantly, I am able to provide a little comfort and care for animals who have lost their families or have never known a true home outside of the streets of Houston. As a result of seeing how valued and necessary acts of kindness are, these days I make an effort to spend time sprinkling a little kindness into the world outside of the shelter.

Learning to practice kindness doesn’t have to involve a grand gesture – practicing kindness can be as simple as a loving, consistent attempt to make the life of another individual (human or animal) better. It is a wonderful thing to perform a single act of kindness, but making an effort to practice kindness as a consistent action of love is a way to facilitate real change, whether it be to the world around us, or to our own hearts.