MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hurricane Dolly Affected South Padre Island More Than Realized By Rest of Country: Local Humane Society Volunteer Base Affected as Result

In Florida we'd be called "Snowbirds," but not here in Texas. This is our trial at being "Winter Texans," a fond term Texans call those of us here from out-of-state on South Padre Island for a few months in the winter. I also thought Texas can be another fun place to introduce my book, Maggie: the dog who changed my life.

At the Laguna Madre Humane Society in Port Isabel, just across the bridge, I walk a sweet little black lab mix named, "Jane." Another dog I attempt to walk freezes when I put the leash on--she doesn't know how to do this yet. At this time of year the very modest shelter counts on numerous "Winter Texans" because they are the primary volunteers who walk the Laguna Madre Humane Society dogs.

But even now, after being here over a week, the condo we are supposed to rent is still not ready due to hurricane damage. And that's the scenario with numerous condominiums in many complexes on the island. There is no place for many disappointed retirees to stay who have spent their winters on South Padre Island the past several years. It also means that the Laguna Madre Humane Society dogs are missing out on the volunteer help that comes with the winter influx each year.

My heart was touched when I meet Ollie, a gentleman I'd guess to be in his early 70's; he'd been at the shelter for almost 6 hours walking dogs, trying to pick up the slack. Bless you, Sir! You motivate the rest of us!

That's one of the beauties of being in such a small place: one person (like Ollie, like you, and like me) can make a huge difference in the lives of others.

Dawn Kairns
author of Maggie: the dog who changed my life

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