A little history about myself:
Being the youngest of nine children my parents already had so many mouths to feed, so it wasn’t until I was 10 years old that I got my first dog. My Dad and I went to the SPCA in Va. Beach and I was so excited! I had in my mind that we’d be bringing home a cute little puppy…Well, my Dad picked out “a good looking dog” that didn’t match the cute little puppy I had pictured in my mind. As much as I tried to steer him toward some others he was set on that “good looking dog”. I was not impressed. She was just a plain brown dog that wasn’t even a puppy. Well, we brought her home and named her Sandy. I took her into the backyard and the first thing she did was start running in circles around me. I was terrified. I remembered being told not to run if a dog is chasing you but was this the same thing? She wasn’t chasing me and I don’t think I could’ve run anyway, so I just froze. The circles she was running around me were small and she was fast! Eventually she tired and I had the opportunity to escape into the house! I was not happy with my Dad’s choice of that “good looking dog”! But I had longed for a dog of my own for so long and I knew I couldn’t tell him I didn’t like her! I decided to keep going outside with her and little by little we became best friends. We grew up together and she was by my side through everything; the teenage heart breaks, my marriage and my first baby.
One night we fed her a new expensive food and not long afterwards she began having trouble breathing and standing. I thought she was having a heart attack. Something told my husband to reach into her mouth though and he pulled out a huge clump of food that had been lodged in her throat. Thankfully she was ok, he saved her life. From that point on I knew I had to educate myself because I had no idea what to do in a pet emergency. Little did we know at the time though that we were lucky because that action actually could’ve made the situation worse by pushing the lodged food further down her throat.
Time passed, my family grew, expenses increased, work and daily life got in the way of my one true passion and that’s caring for pets. Throughout the years I’ve volunteered, rescued and fostered but it hasn’t been enough to satisfy my passion. My 24/7 yearning continued to nag at me for years. I began praying daily for guidance.
I started exploring areas where my passion could best be put to use. After much research I found a huge need for pet parent education in Pet CPR and First Aid. Based on my own personal experience it dawned on me how many others may have not had the positive outcome I had with Sandy. I still remember how helpless I felt and I would not wish that on anyone.
As I did more research and continued to pray for guidance it became quite clear I was on the right track. See, my sister began a company a few years ago that offers CPR, AED and First Aid courses for people. Precious Life CPR was created in memory of her daughter, my niece, Kristie who was in a car accident in 1992, when she was 15. The first people to the scene of the accident performed CPR and kept Kristie alive until EMS arrived but unfortunately she did not survive her injuries. These “8 heroes” worked as a team and took actions based on what each of them could remember should be done. My sister realized her calling and began Precious Life CPR to educate others on the importance of CPR and train them with an approach that instills confidence and coping techniques to improve response during a traumatic event.
I found Pet Tech, the premier Pet CPR and First Aid training company and was certified as a Pet Tech Instructor. In continuing to honor my niece’s memory, I began Precious Life Paws. My goal is to educate the public on the need for them to know Pet CPR and First Aid and to train them so they have the confidence to use it.
I am thankful to be here today and proud of you all wonderful pet parents that are taking this step to become better educated on caring for your pets daily and in the event of an emergency.