For her seventh birthday my daughter wanted to have a birthday party for all of her friends. Like her mother, she has the gene that always wants to include everyone, so the guest list was growing by the day. I was resisting the party idea mainly because I did not want any more plastic toys – or stuff in general – to enter the house. So, inspired by an idea from one of my friends a few years ago, I decided to see if she was really in it for her friends – or for the gifts. I told her that we could have a party with all of her friends, but that instead of gifts, she would have to pick a charity and ask people to bring items or money for that cause. Without a moment’s hesitation, she said, “Sure. I want to help animals.”
I asked our favorite vet, Dr. Tyler at The Village Vets if there was a shelter she could recommend as a beneficiary and she put us in touch with Lindy Barrett-Grove at Hightower Farm and Animal Sanctuary.
Lindy, who started bringing home lost and injured animals when she was a child, rescues pets that are commonly labeled “unadoptable,” such as senior dogs, cats and horses as well as pets with life-threatening diseases and/or permanent disabilities. Every animal that comes to Hightower has a home for life, even if it does not get adopted. We had the privilege of meeting Lindy and her motley – yet adorable crew of critters this week when we dropped off the proceeds from the party totaling over $260! Later that night, my daughter exclaimed that it was the best birthday ever! I could tell that she genuinely felt that it is more fulfilling to give than to receive.
If you are planning to add a pet to your family, please consider adopting one of the many animals in shelters across the country that is in need of a loving home.
May we strive to embrace Hightower’s vision, “To create a sanctuary where animals are well fed, well loved, and unafraid. To promote understanding and compassion between humans and animals…In short, to create a better world from our little corner of [the world].”