I’m just coming off an amazing weekend with yet another Pet Loss & Grief Companioning Certification class under my belt! Not unlike any of the other classes, the attendees are all about animals! Just like every other class, it’s a fabulous few days spent with my tribe! And, I know they felt the same way.

However, this class was a bit different, and I was honored to have even been invited to be with this group of professionals and a part of their mission. An invitation by Niki Tudge with the Pet Professional Guild came my way about eight months ago, and I didn’t even give it a second thought on saying a resounding yes when she asked if I could bring this teaching to her training facility in Wesley Chapel, Florida. I said “yes,” and then months later investigated what I had gotten myself into! This class would be much different than any other I’d taught, as it would be largely comprised of dog trainers. However, still dog lovers, caretakers, and professionals who operated with a mission of honoring the human-animal bond in their respective areas of expertise with this HUGELY important aspect of loving a pet. After all, any pet lover knows the benefits of having a well-behaved animal with manners! There’s nothing better!

As the session began this past Saturday, something became clear to me very quickly. These professionals, which ranged from trainers, shelter workers, animal care control team members, a husband and wife team providing prayer blankets for pets, veterinarians and pet sitters, gave with all their heart in their love for animals. The stories, always so powerful from every aspect of service represented in the room. The shelter worker… what he shared he dealt with and saw, my heart broke. The animal care and control young lady… I had to put a layer of protection in knowing what she dealt with daily. The trainers, in sharing the love they had for the roles to the heartbreak of their job when they just couldn’t “fix” a mentally broken animal. Aurgh. My heart. My shattered heart.

The two days spent together were so deep, so fulfilling, so rewarding, and an event where I know I will forever be connected to these folks in the work we all do. I want to make sure they know I send them strength and peace in ALL the work they do! The importance of this aspect in being a part of “the village people” (I crack myself up!) who together helps a loving pet parent share in a most beautiful life with a precious love!

As I was prepping to write this blog, I came across this priceless article today on the internet. So spot on, and I thought it was just the information to share with all of you, MY Village People!

My Village People, here’s to you, and for the work we all do in being a light to those needing it in their time of darkness.