So last March I was asked to be education director for our animal rescue league. Having no idea what that entailed, I just knew I wanted to work directly with kids and dogs. At the beginning of June (2010) I went to our board president and said, “I had this idea for a summer camp. We’d have to plan it for next summer though cause there isn’t time to put it together this year.” She said, “Nope, put it together and do it this year.” In five weeks, I pulled it off. It was not nearly as grand as this year, but was still great given the short notice.
We live in the “Bible belt” and our BARL president is a Christian, so I was given permission to put a Christian twist on the camp. Our theme this year was D.O.G.- depend on God and our camp song was GoD and DoG by Wendy Francisco. I was able to look each child in the eyes and tell them that God made them special and that He and I love them and were always there for them. As simple as that sounds I hope and pray that I sowed seeds into the lives of these precious children that will reap a harvest in their lives in the years to come.
It is my desire that this thing will grow and be bigger and better each year. I also want to pursue other outlets to make the lessons we’re teaching in the camp available to more children. As I shared with media last week: “Education is key to preventing children from being dog attack victims. If they knew how to react in that situation, they’d be less likely to be injured badly. And if we can teach the kids responsible ownership, we are training the next generation to have reliable canine companions that will be an asset to our communities rather than a threat.”
And so my heart is being turned again - in addition to continuing therapy work with children and adults, education has now become a strong heart's desire. With that I am hoping to turn some of the lessons we have started teaching into a children's book series featuring Boondocks and The Love Shack Pack. I have no idea how to begin but am pursuing all avenues to see this through. I'm excited to see where God is leading and to continue following the path He's set before us.
For your viewing entertainment, I leave you with a video montage from our camp week featuring three of our favorite dog songs.