Often times we think of food as the primary way to feed our body’s and souls. It helps us to maintain our health, gives us fuel to do things, and brings us together with friends, family, and others. It helps us feel good when it’s cold out to have a grilled cheese and tomato soup, or to eat a pint of our favorite ice cream while watching a sad movie or TV show. Food IS necessary to keep us going, but so are our furbies.
Several of our clients at Esther’s Pantry and Tod’s Corner have come to rely on their pet companions for both emotional and physical connection. If they have a dog they might be seen walking around the neighborhood conversing with others, at the park throwing a ball, or just sitting on a bench watching as others go by. If they are a cat owner maybe they are enjoying the comfort of their feline friend layed out in their lap, watching them run after a catnip toy, or scratching their heads as they butt your hand wanting attention.
The residents at Our House also get to enjoy pets through volunteers who bring in their dogs to visit once a week. Not to mention the many cats and dogs that our neighbors have that interact with residents on their walks or while working in the gardens.
Our services for people living with HIV look not only at their physical health but their overall well-being too. For many, a companion pet provides unconditional love, companionship and plenty of smiles. Thanks to the support of our generous donors, the Our House Companion Pet Care program enables us to provide annual wellness exams, vaccines and more for our clients who have pets in their lives.
As John Grogan said in ‘Marley & Me’ - "It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them”
One of our clients recently wrote us about his dogs Buddy and Abby and how Companion Pet Care has helped him over the years:
"My first dog Buddy literally saved my life as I was going through the throes of AIDS. I had to stay alive as he needed me to care for him- feeding and walking and bathing. Our House was there to help with his health while he was helping me with mine just by being there. He was my little hero. At 13 he let me know it was time. You helped me pay his vet bill and for his proper cremation. Thank you.
Abby was my second dog; she takes care of me. It's been hard aging with AIDS. At times I've been very depressed. Abby's always there. She pushes me out of bed with her nose as soon as I wake up. It always makes me laugh. Abby and Buddy gave me life on those days when I wouldn't have got out of bed. They've saved my life and in turn so has Out House. Your services are priceless; you help so many people and the pets we love."
Clients receive free pet food and accessories at Tod’s and Esther’s. We recognize the importance that they bring in our lives and are fortunate to receive donations from donors, like you, that may have a pet in your life or someone you know.