Tag Archives: pets

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Kindness Matters: Canine Compassion

Furry volunteer offers comfort to humans in need 

BY ANGIE FENTON | PHOTOS COURTESY LORI JONES 

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In the last issue, I share this verbatim in my editor’s letter: 

For more than two years, I’ve repeated these same words to my now-3-year-old daughter every morning on the way to preschool: “Olive: You are smart. You are kind. You are important. You are beautiful inside and out. Everyone matters. Treat people with kindness.” 

It’s my adaptation of a scene in the novel-turned-movie, “The Help,” but it’s also a more poignant version of what I’ve told myself for decades. And depending upon where I’m at in life, some phrases resonate more than others. 

Lately, this one means the most: 

“Everyone matters. Treat people with kindness.” 

Despite the constant barrage of social media and news outlets asserting the contrary, I believe most of us care about our neighbors and complete strangers and are willing to make people feel like they matter by inserting small acts of kindness into our everyday lives – holding a door, letting someone slide in ahead of us in traffic, simply saying, “Thank you” or “I’m sorry,” or offering a helping hand. These minor moments matter. And, sometimes they can affect others far more than we ever imagined. 

Olive, my daughter, is old enough that she now speaks our daily affirmation without prompting. She recently said it in the grocery store and brought a fellow shopper nearly to tears. As rewarding as it was to see the fruits of my labor, my heart hurt: Shouldn’t kindness and the acknowledgment of its power be the exception and not the rule? Listening to a toddler as she looks at a complete stranger and says with complete confidence, “You are kind, you are smart, you are beautiful,” should evoke a smile, not tears — at least not tears of despair. But, the woman at Kroger explained her reaction: “You just don’t see this anymore.” 

Maybe she doesn’t – and I pray she sees more – but I do, and I know many of you do, too. 

Then, I requested to hear from readers of Extol, asking that interested participants submit acts of kindness you’ve witnessed or played a role in. Lori Jones responded with the following message and photos: 

I am hoping that your Kindness Challenge doesn’t just relate to the two-legged variety, but also to our furry friends. If so, I’d like to tell you about my dog, Rudy, who is the furry definition of kindness. 

About 6 and a half years ago, Rudy and I went through the training to be a Pet Therapy team. Since then, he — and I, but I am just the chauffeur, so I don’t count — has been visiting a local nursing home and University of Louisville Hospital on a weekly basis. 

We visit dementia patients, oncology patients, lock-down psychiatric patients and so many more. He enters a room on his own volition, puts his paws on the side of the bed so he can look directly at the person lying down in the eye or sidles up to their wheelchair, and waits for them to notice him. The reaction of the patient/resident is heart-warming. 

If the hospital patient has a dog at home, they pet Rudy and tell him how they miss their dog(s). 

A NICU nurse bent down, hugged Rudy and told him how she had lost a patient and baby in delivery earlier in the day. Rudy licked her tears as she vented to him. 

An employee at the nursing home was in tears when Rudy put his head on a dementia patient’s lap and patiently waited for her to pet him, which she did. Apparently, it was the first time since she had arrived weeks before that she had engaged whatsoever in her surroundings. 

When Rudy puts on his Red Cross vest, he becomes the kindest being in the world (so long as a squirrel doesn’t cross his path). He doesn’t have a voice of his own, so I would like to speak for him when I say that he perfectly embodies your daughter Olive’s mantra, “Everyone matters. Treat people with kindness.” Rudy expects nothing in return except for a few ear-rubs or booty-scratches, and he leaves everyone he meets at work in a better place than they were before he came into their day. 

Sincerely, 

Lori Jones (Rudy’s mom) 

So, here’s my challenge again: Send me your accounts of acts of kindness – yours or others. Big and small. They matter. Email me at angie@extolmag. com or find me by searching @angiefenton2 on Facebook. Let’s keep the kindness going, and the Extol Team will continue working to let others know and spread the good – kind – news.

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Letter from the Editor | June/July 2019

It has been a thrill watching The Juice Box Heroes evolve over the past several years. The Southern Indiana-based cover band now commands packed audiences that have numbered more than 5,000. Lead singer Dan Farmer is the focus of this issue’s cover story. His tale from how he went from cage fighter to frontman for the popular band is entertaining and inspiring — and definitely worth the read. You also can see the crew on July 13 when they perform at Schmitt Furniture’s 83rd Birthday Dash 8 to 11 p.m. at the New Albany Amphitheater.

If you know any young people who have hearts for serving others, check out the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana’s article on page 12 for details about its Youth Philanthropy Council. What a wonderful program and mission that could benefit from even more participants.

extolmag_27_page_013_image_0001Other must read features: You’ll find the cutest furry volunteer on page 14, a review of the deliciousness Wild Eggs has to offer on page 18, one of my favorite places to shop for gifts and home accents on page 40, and more than 20 folks from Southern Indiana who share what means most to them at this moment beginning on page 45.

extolmag_27_page_013_image_0002Now, on a personal note… At the tail end of last summer, my husband and I made a promise: We’re going to do better in 2019. Once the warm weather months arrived, we vowed we would continue working hard while also working to protect our precious downtime. We committed to enjoying the pool he maintains but we rarely enjoyed, and inviting friends, neighbors and family to take part, too. We agreed to make memories that have nothing to do with fodder for Facebook posts. “Look at faces, not devices” reads a sign in our home, a gentle reminder. We were adamant about ensuring we spend more time together as a family with our daughter as we explore the offerings around the Southern Indiana region, including music, art, festivals, farmers markets, sporting events, hometown celebrations. While we’re just getting started, I’m happy to report we have — mostly — made good on these personal promises and are determined to ensure we don’t let another summer pass by and leave us wondering what did we do with our time. No matter how you spend this summer, I hope you make the opportunity to enjoy with the ones you love. As always, thank you for taking the time to pick up Extol.

Truly,

Angie Fenton

Editor in Chief

angie@extolmag.com

 

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Feeders Supply Company Opens Corydon Store

screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-11-53-04-amFeeders Supply Company – aka Feeders Supply – announces has opened a location in Corydon at 2363 Hwy 135 – NW, Suite 111. This is the 22nd store for the locally-owned pet supplies company.

Feeders Supply opened its first store in 1959 in Louisville, and is celebrating 59 years in business. Over the past 20 years, the company has opened a new store nearly every year throughout Kentuckiana.

“We are so excited to serve our pet lovers in Corydon and to play a bigger role in the community by supporting the local adoption groups and other community initiatives, “ said Pam Longwell, CEO and president of Feeders Supply Company. “We are looking forward to many, many years here and truly hope that the pet lovers of Harrison County are as excited about us being here as we are. We are thrilled!”

Feeders Supply will offer an extensive lineup of premium pet food brands and pet supplies along with offering space in the Corydon store for adoptable animals from a local rescue organization and a self-serve pet wash.

“As new Corydon residents, we will continue to serve the needs of our customers and their pets. We recognize our responsibility to give back, to share our good fortune in ways that help make our communities great places to live,” Longwell said.

For years, the company has partnered with humane societies in respective cities offering adoption centers in the stores, plus working with other rescues to offer adoption events in stores. Thus far, more than 50,000 animals and counting have been adopted. Feeders Supply donates and helps raise money for animal charities, and donates pet food and cat litter to animal rescues and shelters.