Easy to be hard. Easy to say no.

Friends For Life

Update on Aggie and Hopper, Seniors

"I'm not sure if/who reads these emails but I felt compelled to send a note on our precious senior babies. Maybe this will impact someone coming in the door looking for that "perfect" pet as a reminder that many times the imperfects are the greatest blessing. 

Abby (I think she was Aggie there :) ) and Hopper were adopted as older seniors. Abby has one eye and Hopper is blind. We still cannot understand how someone can give up a pet after having them more than 14 years but that is what it is - we are the beneficiaries of whatever motivated that decision. They are here with us - forever - and they are loved deeply. You've done an update of Abby and Hopper, I think it was around January. Since then they have aged of course, but are doing well and they are happy. 

My Wife Knew It

They were perhaps initially considered difficult to adopt, but when my wife first saw their picture on your website, she knew they belonged with us. I say this because perhaps many people may come in to look at the younger dogs and cats and overlook the older or impaired pets sitting quietly waiting for that new life. 

We are imperfect as people, yet we often expect perfection from things around us.

We are imperfect as people, yet we often expect perfection from things around us that does not answer any calling within us. I urge anyone to move out of their comfort zone and make that effort to extend themselves into care for the quiet ones that have limited choices. They will find that not only do they grow spiritually, but the blessing and unfailing love they receive from those babies far outweigh any extra care they may be worried about. Our lives are not just about ourselves, they include stopping and going back for those that cannot help themselves. Abby and Hopper will be together in our home for the rest of their lives and we at grateful for every day with them. 

We could not imagine being without these two characters and the devoted love they give back. And our thanks to you for taking them in the first place when it would have been easy to say no." 

--Nick Vonas

The Friends For Life Way

The irony is that for people wired like we are in the FFL ARMY, saying no would be unimaginably hard. The answer that reverberates through every fiber of our being here is, "YES! We'll find a way!"

We will make it work, blockwalk door-to-door, forge a new partnership, create a new protocol, try something new, shatter breed prejudice, spend more time with the broken and frightened, come earlier, stay later, listen harder and brainstorm a way. Every day. 

This commitment to finding life-saving solutions is how we brought the no kill model to Houston in the most progressive shelter in Houston history.  It is how we triaged 671 animals in the first 24 hours after Hurricane Harvey to create a new national model to shelter evacuees with their pets. 

It is how, post-Harvey, we are managing the greatest number of animals we have ever managed. But even with the volume as high as it is, we never lose sight of our True North: Every Animal Matters. 

Does this resonate with you? Do you want to be a part of the FFL ARMY? 

Would you consider a senior? Someone with special needs?

We need you.

Update June 28, 2018

Abby (fka Aggie) and Hopper found their incredible forever family almost 2 years ago. Today, their family sent us this update:

"A couple of days ago, Hopper finally succumbed to age and kidney disease. His last moments were with us holding and loving on him, as we have done almost constantly since he came to be with us. He loved to be held, always snuggling in close, letting us know how he felt about us. He and Abby were (and are) front and center in our daily lives and our schedule revolved around their needs.

Our grief is still intense and piercing, yet we are so grateful that we were blessed with this little man, full of love and personality. We are especially holding Abby close, as Hopper was her sole companion for all of her life. Our sadness is also for her, knowing that she does not have her boy around any longer. They were always a pair of characters, together.

Sometimes the thought about rescues is what we can do for them, giving them a safe and loving home away from fear, abuse, and loneliness. But we have found that thinking is totally eclipsed by how much they actually do for us. They teach us what selfless love is, they strengthen our character, they make us vulnerable to laugh and cry, and above all, they restore our faith in something beyond the everyday. We have been blessed to have had a large number of rescue babies over the years.

Hopper, we fought the good fight together, but we finally had no choice but to say goodbye for now. We believe that we will be restored together again someday and we will take the very best care of your girl. You will never be forgotten and you are so loved. Always and forever.

For those on the fence about rescues, especially the older ones, stop thinking about it and do it. Your life will be touched and enriched far beyond your expectations."