You may remember Oliver, a ginger kitty and Elizabeth’s best friend. Elizabeth, a Phinney's volunteer who took Oliver in a couple of years ago when Phinney's needed to find him a loving home, bonded with him immediately.
Looking at this pair's selfie, and thinking of the 15 years I've been volunteering for Phinney's, I couldn't help but tear up. I remembered so many of the smiling and eager faces, and the words of hundreds of people I've met who wanted to volunteer, donate, foster (like Elizabeth) — ultimately help in some way.
They selflessly devoted their time to people and pets they don't know. They generously relinquished part of their savings to faceless people and animals in need.
At times like these, in which we've recently witnessed and felt sadness, and maybe even anger at times, I look at my surroundings and marvel. Every day, I have the honor of interacting with wonderful, generous, kind people who just want to make this world better. And we all work together to help more wonderful people, who also work so hard to keep the pets they love.
About dear Oliver, due to Elizabeth's health, she made the impossibly painful decision to re-home him. She thought it wouldn't be fair to him to be home alone for long periods, enjoying the care of her kind neighbors for days at a time.
Oliver is now living with his new foster mom, helping her through her online yoga workouts, happy and safe. Like Elizabeth, she doesn’t need to worry about Oliver’s treatments and prescription food to keep his gastroenteritis and bouts of pancreatitis at bay. Phinney’s covers those costs through Friends of Tui Fund for Older Cats.
Elizabeth says she misses Oliver terribly, but said "sometimes you just need to think of how much better off the pet you love will be" even if it means being with another volunteer.
Elizabeth also told us that she is "so grateful to Phinney's for all the help" we gave her and all her pets over the years. This partnership has allowed her to enjoy the company of pets, but also has given Phinney's an opportunity to place pets who suddenly become homeless in the hands of one of the best people in the world.
Well, that's how I feel about Elizabeth and Oliver's new mom. I am beyond grateful for their loving care, and for all the selflessness and kindess I've witnessed through Phinney's.
Really, there are no other words: THANK YOU!
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving this Thursday, and again, thank you for being such an inspiration.
Daniela Caride - Phinney's President