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  • Alan Wlasuk

Life's Challenges

Consider the impossible - traveling with your old blind, diabetic dog when you fall and end up in a hospital. The dog, your life’s companion, is in the living section of your long-haul truck, a thousand mies away from your support system with no chance of a rescue by friends or relatives. Your life is frantic. Your focus is not on your own condition but the care of your dog, who, by the way, does not like strangers.


I met Fawn yesterday, a nine-year old dog, recently blinded by diabetes. One of SOAR: Street Outreach Animal Response Initiative's volunteers, Diana, had just covered this fearful, snarling dog's head with a towel and carried her to the SOAR van from her bed in the cab of the truck. Once in the van and moving, Fawn relaxed and stood between Angela, SOAR's principal, and me, looking for ear rubs and half of my hot dog. For the next four hours as we traveled to various outreach families Fawn was content when she could feel the vibration of travel beneath her feet (remember, she is a long-haul trucker’s dog). She will spend the week while her human recovers at home with Angela. Fawn will be reunited with her owner and back on the road.


The worlds just outside of our privileged vision are amazing and filled with people whose lives we can not imagine. There are angels who work the edges of these worlds, helping people and animals because they are driven to do so. Organizations like SOAR and people like Angela give me hope.

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