“How Lucky I Am” by KARIN HACKETT

How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to.

Goodbyes are hard. Especially when you’ve grown to love someone, or a group of someones, or some pup. Especially when you’ve made friends and been a part of a family. You see, CPR is a family. Just like any family, we’ve got all kinds of volunteers – serious, funny, crazy. We don’t always all agree, but we always wind up laughing and taking care of each other at the end of the day.

Volunteering for CPR over the last five years has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I’ve worked alongside so many caring people who give everything they have to the health, welfare and forever love of thousands of dogs. I’ve seen thousands of families (CPR find homes for almost 2,500 pups every year) and thousands of pups meet their forever love. My phone is filled with photos of happily ever after’s. I’ve learned so much that my vet finds me a slightly annoying dog mom. But most of all, I found a family. Friends and colleagues who care as much as I do to help find homes for these deserving pups.

I’ve also loved… A LOT. I’ve fallen in puppy love (literally) hundreds of times with an adorable puppy (I have a soft spot for the black and white ones) just up from Tennessee to see then find their new home over the weekend. I’ve also loved – 45 times in fact, that’s how many times I’ve fostered a pup. My friends all ask “How do you not keep them all?” I tell them “That’s not the goal.” You see as a foster, I am just a stop in their journey. Someone to teach them, build their confidence, sometimes get them healthy, and always to show them how to love and be loved. And yes, just like having a favorite Aunt or Uncle, I’ve had my favorites (Pongo and adorable black furry pup with a big pink tongue; Maddie, an Anatolian Shepherd who loved to splash in the water bowl; Cooper, a sweet blonde lab; and Jackson, a little blonde deaf puppy with a DNA probably as long as my arm). I’ve loved them all. Some stayed longer than others, but they have all left paw prints on my heart.

CPR has so many opportunities to be a part of this crazy family of ours. And if you’re in need of a little love – what better way to give love than to a pup who will love you unconditionally back?

So as I begin to pack my things to move to Nevada with my family, I gather up five years of memories -five awesome years as a CPR volunteer. Thank you Molli for giving the opportunity to grow and shine in rescue. Thank you volunteers for not just being volunteers, but being my friends and part of my family. I hope to make you proud in Nevada helping pups there!

Saying goodbye is hard. But how lucky am I to have known someone (or a group of someones) who was so hard to say goodbye to.