A Lifetime of Dedication

There’s a rotating wheel of thought going in my mind at all times, like a Ferris wheel without an off switch. In each seat is a family member, friend and pet, and they’re all bucked in tightly and gingerly. At various times of the day, I think about how well I am caring for each of them; Do they have what they need to be happy and healthy, and am I giving each one enough of myself. As each one makes their way to the front, there is a moment when the wheel halts and the chairs are all left swinging back and forth, back and forth. I create a mental note of how exactly I can do better at taking care of my loved ones; I spend more time, less money, and more consciously focused moments centered on being present with each of them.

Around the holidays the Ferris wheel starts to pick up speed and right now in this moment I’m feeling a bit dizzy. The end of the year brings a culmination of efforts spent past, present and future, I reminisce about the year gone by, the milestones met, the trials and tribulations that have affected each of us differently and poignantly. We moved a few months ago from the only home Theo had ever known. Thinking back on how stressful that was for me, I can’t help but wonder about the effect that it had on him. When we brought Theo home from the shelter, I went into the experience without any hesitation or concern about how well equipped we were to raise a puppy. We had raised three children, so it seemed like a very natural next step and one that we would all be well suited for. Driving home with him teeny, trembling and scared was an incredibe moment for me, as I realized in that instant that it really didn’t matter that he was a dog, he was now my baby, too. My heart grew another size and I was nearly floored at the beautiful and potentially intense implications that the realization meant.

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It took only a matter of moments for the kids and Justin to feel the same way about Theo as I did when we brought him into our home for the first time. This process of caring for a dog has been a powerful one, both emotionally, physically and logistically. He is a part of our family, only he needs specific things being a dog and all, and learning the best ways to care for him has been an interesting process that we as a family are interested in and passionate about. Since partnering with the world’s largest privately held petcare company, Mars Petcare at the beginning of the year and spending time at their headquarters in Tennessee, I’ve been sharing some of the factors that go into the products and core objectives that make up their company that also ring true for me, namely ensuring pets live great, healthy lives. Meeting with the Mars Petcare scientists, specialists and veterinarians was just the beginning of a lengthy process of teaming up with a brand that shares common priorities as we as a family do, ensuring better lives for not only our pets but for animals around the world. Several of the brands under the Mars Petcare umbrella are dedicated to supporting rescue organizations, as we as a family are, like Pedigree who has donated 20 million pounds of food to shelters.

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I think most people, pet parents and people parents & caregivers especially who have similar rotating wheels of thought in their minds at all times, assuring that everyone is happy hand healthy. It’s meaningful to me to look back on the year and know that I’ve contributed to my family in the best ways that I could, but also knowing that I’ve made thoughtful and positive contributions to the world though my partnerships in life and business as well. Being able to say at the end of the year that I feel good about those alliances and decisions I’ve made is a humbling position to be in and one that I strive for in every facet of my life.

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