Thursday, December 18, 2014

inspiring // create a wag


Today I have for you a very special post, I'd like you to meet an incredible person with one of the biggest hearts I have ever come across. Brooke is one of those people that makes you want to be a better person. She is a true inspiration and I am better person for knowing her.

Today Brooke is sharing with us how one person can easily make an impact across country one small act of kindness at a time.

My Name is Brooke Guay, I am 21 years old and I live in Gilford, NH. I have lived in NH all my life, I am the oldest in my family, I have two younger brothers. Growing up not having a good relationship with my Mother, and my Father passing away when I was 4 my childhood was a little rocky at times. What I enjoyed and still do enjoy is going to the ocean, playing softball every chance I get, going to Boston Red Sox Games, and of course traveling to help animals, anytime I can be near an animal I am very happy.
After moving out of my mom’s house at 17, my mind was not right, I felt totally alone, worthless, and very unhappy. When I turned 18, I ended up moving in with my Dad’s parents, still in NH but sort of away from all the craziness that was going on. I ended up getting a really good job at a sports store, making good money and doing some school online. For me it was great to get away, to clear my head, I felt like I was starting to find out who I am, but had that thought in my head “What is my purpose here on earth?”.  Honestly looking in my bible, and prayer helped me so much in feeling better about myself, and when I was thinking of something I could DO for others, the first thing came to my mind was Animal Shelters. Trying to give a voice, to those who don’t have one. I have always loved animals.

In between my schoolwork and my job, in my free time I started volunteering at the Bedford Animal Rescue League. There, I started to walk the dogs, every other day I would go there and walk each dog. I started getting really close to them, not only would I walk them, but bring them in the play area to socialize, and just talk to them, let them know and feel that somebody cares about them.

            Still walking the dogs did not seem like I was doing enough. I was getting attached, and hearing stories about how they were just found on the streets, or abused. Something in my head kept telling me I should do more; more importantly my heart was telling me I had to.
I started looking on the computer at different animal rescue stories. Also watching puppy mill stories, which made me realize that there are animals suffering every single day. There are also rescues/shelters that take in these puppy mill survivors and they need help. That is when my idea clicked in. I would send shelters in need supplies!
My Goal = to help one shelter/rescue in each state by sending two boxes full of supplies. That was my goal 2 years ago; I am still working on it! I am trying my best but I have don’t so much more since then.
I ended up losing the job that was paying me well, and I had to move back to the lakes region. Not making a lot of money anymore, not to mention people just are not donating. But I do as much as I can.

On my computer, I have a list of every shelter in every state, because on my Create a Wag facebook page, people who are looking for a dog (anywhere in the country) ask me and I help then find exactly what they are looking for.
Last year (2012) I was going though my Tennessee list on my laptop, and I came across this shelter, called “Tullahoma Animal Shelter”. There was this dog, named Maddie, who they said was 16 and free because nobody wanted her. My heart just started pounding and I don’t know why. I mean yes it is very sad, but I see this stuff every day, I hear about it, I see it; so I just didn’t understand why I felt “extra” sad.
The next day I called the shelter, just to get Maddie’s real story. I was told that Maddie had gotten out of her “home” and picked up by animal control and when they called her “home” they proceeded to say “just put her down, she is too old”. I became furious as any person who loves animals would. Thankfully she was placed in a foster home. After I told my grandmother about Maddie, a few days later she agreed I could have her (because I live in her home). I immediately called Tullahoma, telling them I would be down the fist week of December, which was about 2 weeks from when I was calling. I don’t know what came over me, but I needed that dog, needed for her to know what a real family was like; to have someone to give love back in return. 
I was off for Tennessee in the first week of December! I left with a friend and it took a total of 2 days (because I had to stop in Nashville). I was interviewed by the paper there, and then left to go to the foster home. From there we left for home, and arrived in NH two days later!
I have had Maddie now for a year and a half. She has been a complete blessing and has literally changed my life. I have a major responsibility now, to take care of her. She is the sweetest creature in this world. She hates the snow! But she loves her dog bed, and when I look at her and smile, she just gets up even though it is tough for her to get up and she walks right over to be and put her head on my lap. I love her so much, after all I have been through and feeling alone; I don’t feel that way anymore with Maddie . She is always there to talk to, and she doesn't hate anyone,  she just wants to be loved.
      Right after I got home from getting Maddie, I had put a post on my facebook page for Create a Wag saying that if anyone knew about a shelter or a rescue that was in need of serious help to please contact me. Didn’t take too long for one woman to message me. Her name is Rebecca, “i know you have done Oklahoma already - but as a transplanted bostonian - I live in Osage County - on an indian reservation and we have a struggling animal rescue in town - really struggling!! Wynona Animal Rescue, Inc. and they sure could use help - if you have any way of helping them they would be greatly appreciated!!!! its a poor county! sure seems they could use your help! Thanks so much - i have lived here for 8 years - from Essex and Boston before and i have never seen so much animal struggles in my live - we have 4 rescues already and I’d take more but the husband won't let me! Anyway - just a thought” , She goes on to say, “I live in Pawhuska- met my husband in NYC where we both were working and after we married he wanted to move back home to the rez - so here we are - have learned a lot about hate in this state and many animals are the brunt of it all- talk about chained animals that get nothing- any way there is a fledgling animal rescue in Wynona that could use a lit of help - WAR, inc and the woman is Beverly Roof on my friends list - she is the only group in Osage County (the Indian reservation county that has a lot of whites too cause the Osage owned their land) - Wikipedia Osage Indian and u will learn all about them - anyway know they could use some Yankee ingenuity!”. 
Right away, I messaged Beverly. After speaking with her both through e-mail and on the phone. She was so happy; Beverly told me all about how they take in strays; also, how badly the population is down in the area she lives in. Wynona Animal Rescue is the only animal rescue in that county…Oklahoma has a lot of land, lots of dogs just being dumped on the highway, tied up to fences. It’s not good at all.
So anyway, after talking with Bev I packed up two boxes filled to the MAX with Dog food, dog toys, treats, leashes, bowls, beds, towels, and puppy pads as well. They were very grateful for what I did. I received pictures and phone calls from them we kept in touch for over a year and a half. She always talked about me coming down to visit.
Last Year, September of 2013 I did so! I collected money up here, t bring down with me so some of the rescue dogs could be spayed/ neutered, get shots, groomed, ect. I found a dog sitter for Maddie so I was all set!
When I arrived in Wynona Oklahoma, I had never been in that part of the country before. Fields, cows crossing the road, and straight roads… that is all there is haha. When I arrived at the rescue (because Beverly and Fred have their own land and they have the rescue at their home) a lot of the dogs is kept outside in pens (very nice weather down there so it is normal). Bev showed me around, introduced me to ALL the dogs. When we went inside I just sat down, I didn’t say anything but I was honestly heartbroken. I was in total shock. I had only heard about how these situations are, but actually being in that environment, and witnessing what is going on; it was like I froze in time. I spent those four days helping with the then new puppies, purchased tick and flea treatment for every single dog there. Leaving was the hardest thing. But I knew that I would be back.
When I returned home in NH, I began starting the “Change Jar”. The point was to fill up jars with change, then when I go back to Oklahoma, or wherever I travel to help a rescue, I would go turn the change into money and bring the money with me. The money is used for Vet bills, dog food, spaying/neutering, tick and flea treatment. I had returned to Oklahoma in January to continue to help, that is when I brought the money with me, we were able to get three dogs spayed, purchase some toys for the dogs, also 8 large bags of dog food. The “Change Jar” idea worked! I have a few people starting to do it now, because I am going back to Oklahoma when I can save back up for a plane ticket.
I want to thank everyone for reading this. I love what I do, I don’t get paid for it, not many people donate, I don’t make a lot of money anymore so I can’t donate or send items often. But I know I am making a difference, what I have seen, the stories I’ve heard, and the people and animals I have met along my journey all of this has changed my life. I have compassion; understanding, patience now and I have found what makes me truly happy. I will never stop doing this, no matter where I live, how much money I make nothing will cause me to stop being a voice for these animals. I may be just one person, who can’t change the world, but I can change an animals life, and at the end of the day that is all that matters to me.



If you are interested in helping please feel free to contact Brooke @ createawag@yahoo.com
or
FACEBOOK // PAYPAL = createawag@yahoo.com

{update- Maddie has since walked over the rainbow bridge but lives on through many happy memories }
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