I’d had a little taste of “helping others” when I had helped a boy in class in Grade 6. He was writing holding his pen so hard his hand shook and the letters were completely jagged. I had done the same thing. My hand was so tense when writing; my middle finger got a bump on it. It’s still there today – I will never get selected for hand modelling.
I went over to Brian and held his hand and told him to relax. I guided his hand so he didn’t write with so much tension. His letters started to get smoother. I guided Brian, everyday, to help him write better. Helping others gave me a good feeling and I started to learn it was a key to my healing and important in my life.
Helping Casey followed this. Casey was our second dog when I grew up. She was a mutt. Small, with an underbite, she wasn’t the most beautiful dog in the world, but she could cuddle you forever. I used to dress Casey up in my clothes. She was my student when I would pretend to be a teacher.
In those days, dogs were rarely privileged with fenced backyards. Casey was always just let outside to roam when she needed to do her business. Casey was hit by a car.
It was in the middle of the summer and the family was sitting in the TV room, when I heard a dog yelp. It wasn’t a small yelp; it seemed to go on for a long time. I didn’t know what was going on. I ran into the kitchen, and Casey was in my mother’s arms. She was full of blood. I couldn’t contain myself. I started screaming at the top of my lungs. I don’t think I knew how to handle what I saw.
We rushed poor Casey to the vet. She went into surgery. We didn’t think she would survive the accident.
Casey came through the surgeries, but she needed constant supervision. It was summertime, and being a kid, it was my favourite time of year. I volunteered. I sat in the house and looked after Casey that summer. I nursed her back to health. Every day I applied Vitamin E to her torn up neck that had a very large sore. Within six weeks it was almost gone. Casey and I became great friends, and she introduced me to helping animals when they’re in dire straits.
I believe when we help others, we help ourselves. I love helping animals!