SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 73: “Animals Don’t Have A Voice”

“It’s raining cats and dogs outside,” Animal lovers, please forgive the reference, I mean no harm, the only way to explain the down pour in my area of the woods today.

Really… I come from a great lineage of animal lovers: Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, fish, horses, rats, guinea pigs and reptiles. The list goes on and on to what has lived under the roof with me. Even as I write this entry, I am being serenaded by the whirling sound of my daughters hamster spinning its running wheel with Olympic effort.

So when I end up at a 24 hour emergency veterinary clinic this evening, I am certainly not out of my element. In some ways, it’s home away from home. My animals get sick, to the vet we go. After all, they are people too.

I’m happy to say, “No pet emergencies today.” I’m here on my own recognizance. You have often heard me speak of the 365 voice. Tonight it kicked into full stride getting me, and my daughter here. Only 15 minutes prior to our arrival, we were driving when an overwhelming feeling hit both of us to come here. It is not an unfamiliar destination to us, having spent several emotion heavy late nights of past under this roof with our own pets, but tonight is different. I know we are here to invite someone to 365, but who?

It’s a somewhat frightening adventure cold-walking into a business to introduce 365. Even though I’m fairly comfortable speaking to most people, entering into someone elses domain, and asking them to allow me to photograph and interview them, is more than a touch intimidating, it’s very exposing. And the last thing I want to do is come off like some sort of unwanted salesman or, worse yet, a random scary person.

So here we are, standing in the lobby for a minute or two, no one in sight. I’m tempted to raise the loud “hello” voice, when we are greeted by one of the staffers. A very kind person, who graciously hears me out on my 365 introduction. It’s been a very long day for her, and although intrigued, she passes on the invite with a hook, “I’m not feeling up to being photographed, but maybe someone else here is interested.”

She leaves for a beat and returns, “We’ve all been on a very long shift and none of us are up to it, maybe Wednesday?” I don’t show it, but I’m a little bummed, thinking to myself, “Then why was I directed here?”

I’m cut off mid thought when my front desk friend picks the conversation up with, “Our receptionist Molly is young and pretty, I bet she will do it?” I light up, there is hope.

Molly arrives, In-and-Out hamburgers for all in hand. It’s a group conversation now and I tell Molly about 365. She warmly accepts, but I sense two conflicting emotions from her, “Do I want to do this? Married to “This is way cool!” In the end she and I both agree, “This is way cool.”

Molly tells me her friends all call her a social butterfly and an overall lovable person. I completely support their claim. Molly is wonderful to be around. We talk about a few generalities at first, but ultimately settle on a shared theme, “Things happen for a reason.”

“Just this morning I said this on my facebook, I’m going to make a mark in the world,” Molly states as we begin the interview. Her words lead me to silently question if this is the reason we are here, at this particular moment, on this particular day. I know my blog following is in its infancy, but maybe we all need to here what Molly has to say.

You see Molly has a mission, “To give a voice to the animals,” A statement that I can wholly empathize with.

She backs up her words with stories of what she has witnessed in her time working in animal care. I hear case studies of the most abusive actions to  helpless animals, and even though I am a very responsible pet owner, I’m forced to reflect on my relationship with my loyal four-legged companions. Yes, it is a relationship, and one that I need to nurture.

Always an animal lover, Molly talks of he childhood and recounts back to her earliest memories of raising stray animals. Something that obviously was important not only to her, but her mother as well. “I want my Mom to be proud of me,” she says. It is hugely apparent that she was raised to respect all creatures of the earth. “My mother showed me a PIDA video when I was 18, it changed my life.” Like I said, “Molly has a mission.”

“Animals are my thing.” she states with a tremendous smile. That’s got to be the motivator to her compassion and work ethic. I ask Molly of her goals. “By the time I’m thirty, I want to have a family, a house and be working full-time as a wildlife researcher.” Her idols, The late Steve Erwin and Jack Hanna.

Most people think I’m a nerd to model my life after them. I call her brave. She tells me, “If it wasn’t for them, the world would be a lot different.” She’s right! Even though many of us don’t want to admit it, these two men have shown us parts of the world, and creatures that we most likely would have never considered. Because of these men, we are aware. And Molly is the next generation to follow in their footsteps. Like I said, “Molly is Brave.”

“I learned at an early age to be independent.” A statement that is evident in the 60 to 70 hour work weeks she puts in at two clinics, this, not including her added studies. Molly is on a speed course to her dreams. When asked to give advice to my readers, She mirrors a perspective shared by so many of my 365 friends, “Find something that you are passionate about and do it.”

And for Molly, “Animals are my thing and I want people to respect them!”

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