Expression, Freedom

A Birthday to Remember | Experiencing Giving as Receiving

February 21, 2019

We cannot create observers by saying ‘observe’, but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses.
Maria Montessori

Our sweet daughter, Ryann was so receptive when on the heels of decluttering our home and lightening our load, I asked her if she’d like to pick a charity to donate to in her name instead of a bunch of gifts for her birthday. She jumped at the idea without any hesitation! She not only didn’t skip a beat but she knew just where she would want the donation to go to.

Ryann chose the Southern Oregon Humane society. Her friends generously contributed with bags of grain free dog food, collars, leashes, cat toys, food, and much more. She had quite the pile of items to drop off!

She agreed it would be ok to share her story on the blog, so we photographed and took some video. To our surprise, not only one employee came to the front, but several.

They were so excited that Ryann was there with a donation. Their official photographer came out and photographed Ryann with a bunch of employees for their publication.

Even the Executive Director came out to greet Ryann and offered to take Ryann on a “behind the scenes tour” where we were able to see the warm areas each dog had to get out of the winter cold.

We also saw the trainer in action, getting to know some of the dogs and working with them. Check out my Instagram for more of the behind the scenes video. I found what felt like my zone, the dishwashing and laundry area, where they had stacks and stacks of bowls and blankets getting laundered to keep the dogs and cats comfortable and warm.

There were all shapes and sizes and it was so neat to watch the trainer with them. One sweet little dog, Tilly, had just lost her owner. Her owner had passed away and she is 17 years old (see the video on my Instagram). If you know anyone that is an animal lover who just wants a sweet little, confused dog please call the Southern Oregon Humane Society asap. My heart broke seeing this precious little one shaking and obviously overwhelmed, but it also warmed immensely to think about them taking in this old girl and giving her a chance to live out her life with lots of love. She had apparently just before been snuggling with one of the employees.

Before going in, I made sure that Ryann understood we wouldn’t be able to take on any new pets. She regularly asks for a dog of her own. I told her maybe someday when she is around more ( she’s on a competitive dance team) and explained that dogs need owners to be available, it’s like having a baby that needs time, attention, to be fed, and changed. We did walk around together and meet all of the dogs. A good learning experience in practicing patience and restraint for both of us!

I am so impressed with Ryann and the Southern Oregon Humane Society for the love that they are sharing with our furry friends. We all got far more out of this experience than what a new pile of gifts would have givne us. Gifts are fun, and there is nothing wrong with them, but in this case, it was very rewarding to watch my daughter light up and have the experience of the feeling that giving gives us. She now wants to volunteer and spread the word of the great work they are doing. My heart is full!

If you’d like to also donate to the Southern Oregon Humane Society, the website has a list of preferred supplies needed here. They are also always looking for loving homes for their animal friends. All of the contact information and address is listed on their website.


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About me

I'm a people pleasing filmmaker turned dream-inspirer life coach, that used my personal hardships in life to grow my ability in empowering women around the world to create practices that promote healthy living and a freedom lifestyle. 

Hi there, I'm Brooke and I'm so happy you're here!

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