“We live month-to-month but normally everything works out somehow. This month there was just no way for us to make rent and buy dog food (which has to be one of the worst feelings in the world)! They are our family and we love them like family. I just don’t even know what we would have done without you guys and can’t thank you enough! I hope you know how important the work you do is!”
A lot has changed since Gabriel came into my life. “Gabe” was born April 8, 2008 at 4 lbs., and I was 500 lbs+. I was working in sales for a tech start up and in social work as a crisis counselor. We trained, hiked and went to the dog park multiple times a day. Gabe became an incredibly well-socialized 200-pound lovable giant and I lost 200 lbs.! Talk about the health benefits of owning a pet.
Recently, after caring for my dad who has now passed away, working two jobs, and undergoing surgery to truly get my weight in check, I found myself physically burned out. Drastic measures were necessary to heal. This meant leaving both social work and sales; high-stress, demanding careers I’d been in for 20 years. Although I was 40, all of the starting over had me feeling closer to 4.
Learning to live a very different life — without my dad, nearly 400 lbs. lighter, and in deep need of new career skills knocked me on my butt! Thankfully, in the past year, the Colorado Pet Pantry provided quality kibble for Gabe when my income didn’t allow me to buy it.
Gabe IS the family I have here in Colorado. He’s my bright spot. From weight loss to stress reduction, he has literally saved my life time and again. All that I’ve faced has been tough, but the Colorado Pet Pantry has eased my load as I get back on track. To think of how the Colorado Pet Pantry is assisting others through the difficult parts of their own journeys encourages me. It’s crazy how hope can be found in a bag of dog food! During this time of bright lights and offering hope, may we all receive a joy as rich as what I receive from Gabe. And, in turn, may we all have the fortune of spreading such joy.
Here’s a note straight from one of our wonderful clients. She ran out of pet food yesterday and has been using her family’s small supply of ground beef to feed her dogs. We told her about our new pet food bank near downtown Denver at DICP that begins tomorrow, so she’ll be able to get what she needs sooner than later. “I love my dogs with my life. I want them to be healthy. Thank you for being so concerned with the health of my pets.”
A woman and her two kids, six and two years old, came to one of our partner food banks, Denver Inner City Parish, in 2014. While she was getting food for her family, she was relieved to learn that the Colorado Pet Pantry pet food bank was also there that day to help with pet food. She’s had her 10-year old female Shar Pei, Mocha, since she was a puppy. But when they moved from Florida to Colorado in hopes of finding a better job, the family was left with even less support and now teeters on the edge of not being able to feed the furry family member. It had been three days since Mocha had a solid meal. But mom couldn’t imagine giving her up and didn’t want to contemplate what that loss would do to her children.
“I’m barely feeding my children, it’s nearly impossible to feed the dog,” she said.
That day, she left the food bank with food for her family and Mocha, and she knows that we’ll be there, in the same spot once a month so she and her family will be able to stay together even when times are tight.