Fri, 11/18/2022 - 10:48pm

Editorial: November 18, 2022

Be Thankful

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, it’s an appropriate time to remember all the things we should be thankful about. In the last few weeks, we lost two women important to our sport. Jamie Donelson was a 39-year-old professional handler from New England, a second-generation dog fancier who had a thriving and successful handling career. Sadly, she didn't live long enough for us to see the potential that she had flourish. Beautiful, friendly, happy and helpful, she was what we all want to be. A great competitor with an equal amount of great sportsmanship and a smile that lit up the room, her passing seems so impossible to comprehend. Pat Laurans lived a long and prosperous life well into her 80s. She was a successful owner of top-winning show dogs, a successful and popular multiple-group judge, and a forceful and outspoken delegate at the American Kennel Club, but of all her canine achievements, none compare to her being one of the founders of Take the Lead. Both these ladies lived their lives and left their mark. But it’s over now; we speak of them in the past tense. Their stories have been written. But we who are reading this column are very much alive and still have our life stories to write. Be thankful that we are here, hopefully healthy and happy and being productive in whatever we undertake. We live in a world and, sadly, in a country that seem to be in constant turmoil. Things that infuriate us are not that important in the big scheme of things. A win or loss in the ring stings, but it’s not life changing. We all have had that experience. But within our canine family, there are those of us who are less fortunate. They or their family member might suffer from debilitating diseases or momentary financial ruin, like an accident that puts them out of work as the bills mount. Thanks to the aforementioned Pat Laurans and other founding members of Take the Lead, there is help from within the sport. The millions of dollars collected have helped so many and will continue doing so as long as needed. This coming year, Take the Lead will celebrate its 25th anniversary of helping people in the sport who need a helping hand. In this time of Thanksgiving, while we gather with friends and family near and far, let’s remember those of us, many of whom you may call friends, at this time of their need. The charity relies on your support. Remember to donate to this very worthy cause, which is there for all of us. With some luck, we never will have to call on it for ourselves, but let’s be there for others. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, support Take The Lead and make a contribution to help those less fortunate than we are. Happy Thanksgiving.


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