Over the past year, I have really been doing a lot of thinking about what makes me get out of bed in the morning; what drives my energy forward. I am talking about my passion in life.
It's funny how sometimes our passion can fall right into our lap. For me, my passion has been animals, and putting my energy towards saving them and finding them homes. Let me take a step back and explain to you where my passion all began.
You see, I have always had a love for animals, especially dogs. When I was about 2-3, we had a German Shepherd named Colty. I absolutely loved Colty, even though I didn't remember much about him.
When we lived in Springfield, MO. there was a cat that kept coming to our back door at night. We couldn't help but feed her, and ending up adopting her. Her name was Gracie, and she was a very sweet cat.
Not only did my sister and I have experience with dogs and cats, but my dad took us to the Missouri state fair one year, and we both got to bring home a bunny. The second that we brought home these bunnies, my sister and I decided to let them run around in the backyard to "play". If you didn't realize already how bad of an idea this was, then I am here to tell you that it didn't end well. Our bunnies found a hole in the backyard and crawled into it and were gone forever. We had them as pets longer in the car ride home than we actually did once we got home.
A few years later, when my family moved to Kansas City, my dad decided it would be a good idea to get another dog. He didn't tell my mom about this, since she was in Chicago for a girls weekend. My sister and I were so excited! I'm sure you can imagine my mom's reaction when she got home to find a new puppy in our house. That puppy only lasted for one weekend, because she made us return it.
Fast forward about ten years, when I was living with my aunt and uncle. They decided it was time to get a puppy for us, as all six of us kids had been begging for one. I still remember the day that they brought Brady home. My aunt and uncle made us all sit in the kitchen while they went and grabbed a box from the garage. When we opened the box, Brady was inside it. I am pretty sure all of us started crying tears of joy in this moment.
Brady is where my love for animals, especially dogs, truly stemmed from. I loved experiencing the relationship that a dog an a human could have.
As my love for animals continued to grow, I decided that I would like to volunteer my time with an animal shelter in Manhattan, KS., where I was attending college at the time. I helped at a couple of adoption events, but still felt like there was more I could be doing.
When I moved back to Kansas City after college, I again decided to volunteer at a few adoption events. I would spend a couple hours on a random Saturday, sitting with the dogs in hopes of finding them a forever home. I still felt like there was more I could be doing.
Then, in December of 2017, I decided that since I lived by myself, and was wanting to eventually get a dog of my own, I would try my hand at fostering. I did my research about having dogs in an apartment, and even asked my loved ones if they thought it was a good idea. With me only being 23 at the time, they said that I should wait so I could enjoy my 20's and not have to worry about taking care of something else.
Something in me couldn't shake this feeling, though. After I made the decision that I did want to foster, I found a shelter not too far away from me, called Unleashed Pet Rescue. It was located in Mission, KS. and I would be able to attend a volunteer and foster class, then begin fostering.
At the end of the foster class, I remembered hearing the foster manager ask "Who wants to take home some puppies??"
My head was saying,"no, logistically you do not have anything ready to bring home a puppy", but my heart was begging me to stay and check it out.
I decided to stay, and man am I so glad that I did. The first puppy she brought out was this tiny, helpless little 5-week old puppy. She couldn't have been more than a few pounds. She let me hold her, and I just fell in love. She was scared being in the shelter, and was shaking a little bit. I decided to foster her.
After about 2 days of having her, I decided that I wouldn't be able to let her go, and officially adopted her after my fostering duration was up. I named her Marlo. She is my very best friend, and has expanded my heart x1000. She snuggles with me when I am sad and is always so happy to see me when I get home! She has been there during the darkest days, and the best moments.
When Marlo got older, I decided that I wanted to get back into fostering. As the months wore on, I became more and more involved with Unleashed Pet Rescue, and have found that I truly love the work they do, and couldn't imagine not having their rescue in my life.
I have learned so much from each animal, and have watched the tireless work of so many volunteers and shelter workers. I have now helped 38 dogs find homes and hope to continue growing that number.
"You Don't Need the Approval of others to do what makes you happy!"
If you find something that makes you want to get up in the morning and live, then follow that inkling, because it just might lead you to what you're truly passionate about. Sometimes people will not always support your decision, or not see the vision you have for yourself, and that is okay. You don't need the approval of others to do what makes you happy. If you don't know what your passion is, do not worry! You have the rest of your lifetime to figure it out. In the mean time, focus on trying new things that you have always wanted to try. You never know; you might surprise yourself!