Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Boy & His Dog

A few months ago, I took over the role of donor relations for Heart of Texas Lab Rescue. This means that I get to collect the data from the donations we receive and have the opportunity to send letters to our donors thanking them for their gifts.

After a few months, you become familiar with the names of regular donors. Our donations allow you to sponsor a current HOTLR rescue pup, or honor a person or pup special to you. We also get many donations in memory of pups and/or people who have passed.

While each of the specially designated donations make me wonder and think about the people or pups who are recognized, none has fascinated me more than a monthly donation in honor and memory of Army Corporal Kory Wiens and Military K9 Cooper.

As, I watched the news this morning, the biggest story of the day was that after nearly 9 years, the war with Iraq is over. I watched as the American flag was lowered in Baghdad during the closing ceremonies. I watched as the last of the American troops boarded the plane for home. I watched as the statistics of the nine year war were posted - 4,487 dead, over 32,000 wounded, $8 billion spent.

It got me thinking again about Kory and Cooper. So, I googled Kory Wiens, and I found his story. And I read it. And I saw a picture of him with his yellow Lab. He was stationed in Iraq. On July 6, 2007, he was 20 when an IED killed him and his dog Cooper. His plans were to stay in the army just long enough that when Cooper's bomb-sniffing days were over, he could adopt her. They were buried together. Then my eyes filled with tears and I wept. I was grateful that this boy and his dog gave their lives for this country. I was grateful that someone in Austin, TX has not forgotten them and honors them every single month with a donation to HOTLR.

Today, I made a donation to HOTLR in honor of Army Corporal Kory Wiens and Military K9 Cooper. Kory and Cooper, I thank you and salute you. May you both rest in peace together forever.

During the hubbub of the holiday season, please remember to embrace those you love. Each day, remember to appreciate the love and Labs in your life. Be grateful for freedom and a safe place to live. Keep in your memories, those that have given their lives to keep these things safe for us. Remember Kory & Cooper.

Happy Holidays to you all from the folks at Heart of Texas Lab Rescue!! We could not save as many Labs as we do without the time, support and dollars from our volunteers, supporters and donors. A heartfelt "thank you" to each and every one of you.