Fifty Years of Love and Dreams Turns Into "For Wags and Whiskers" Thrift Store
The following story has been submitted by a user of semissourian.com. To submit your own story to the site, click here.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
When I was a little girl my father was a policeman in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Many who will read this probably knew him. As he went about his day patrolling the streets of our city he would always take the time to look for stray, neglected, abused, or injured animals. He built the biggest dog pen you could imagine. He dug deep tunnels so the dogs could go underground and be cool in the summer. He built double decker dog houses which at that time to me were as big as motels. He turned our garden shed into a giant doghouse filled with straw so all the dogs would be nice and warm in the winter. There was an alley right behind the dog pen. When he found a dog on the street that needed his care he would put them in the trunk of the police car and drive down the alley, whoop the siren, and put the dog in the pen. When his day of work ended he would come home and tend to the dogs. At one time we had 29 dogs in that pen. I remember how all the neighborhood kids would come running when they would hear that siren go off. It was so exciting to see what kind of new dog was coming to live with us. Every Sunday morning my mother would get out her big iron skillet and bake cornbread. My father would get the milk out of the fridge and mix the two together. He would take it to the dogs as their special Sunday treat. He would doctor the ones who needed his special care, and would always give love to each and every one of them.
One year at Christmas my father gave my cousin one of the dogs that we named Queenie. She was a beagle mix. My aunt called my father to tell him that there was a burglar in her house. My father rushed over there only to find that the burglar was Queenie under their Christmas tree cracking nuts and tearing up some of the paper on a few of the Christmas presents.
I will never forget the day he brought this tiny little puppy home. Its mother got hit by a car and died. This one got to ride in the front seat of his patrol car because this one was for a very special little girl, ME! It was a little tiny rat terrier puppy about 6 or 7 weeks old. I remember I was about 5 years old. I took that puppy every where I went. That puppy was mine. No one would ever take it away. I named her Mitzy. When my mother would fix us something for supper (like liver and onions) that we didn't like we would hurry and go get Mitzy and tie her to our swing set that sat real close to our bathroom window. I would say I had to use the restroom and I would put that hunk of liver in a piece of bread like I was making a sandwich and head down the hallway to open the bathroom window so I could throw that awful sandwich out the window to get Mitzy to destroy the evidence. By the time I made it back to the table my dad had already figured out what was up and would be holding Mitzy by the kitchen table with that hunk of liver still in her mouth. Little to say, I got the lecture about all the starving children in the world. I'm sure you all have heard that one many times. Then I would get grounded. That little dog heard about all my problems when I got into trouble. She was there when I cried over boyfriends in high school. I took her with me after I got married.
My father helped so many animals in his lifetime. He was a wonderful person. He became ill with a kidney disease, and wasn't able to take care of any more dogs, and that included my dog Mitzy. We went from 29 dogs throughout the years down to his favorite 2 hunting dogs, Buck and Rusty and my little Mitzy. He was so sadened by this. Then Mitzy became very ill with a tumor on her neck. I went to my father and asked him if he could help me pay for an operation she needed to save her life. Sadly he told me that we just couldn't afford it. I was devastated. All those years he helped to heal all those other dogs and now couldn't do anything for my dog. I made up my mind that I was going to do anything I could to save her life, so I went to the vet and pleaded with him and told him that I swore I would come up with the money someway, to please just save her life. He did the surgery on her neck and she pulled through it just fine. I babysat, raked leaves, mowed yards, cleaned houses, and did whatever I could to raise the money to pay for her surgery. I did finally get my bill paid. My father died in 1973 from a heart attack when I was 18 years old. Mitzy outlived my father. His name was Captain Glenn Wilson Volkerding. I was, and still am very proud of him for all the years he devoted to the love and care of Gods precious animals.
I became my fathers daughter. I carried his love for animals in my heart every day. Mitzi went on to be there when my first child born. As my daughter laid on her blanket on the floor to take her daily nap, Mitzy was always there right by her side. When she went outside to play she never was very far from her. She lived a long and loving life with me and my family. I have always had dogs in my life but you never forget your first one. Everyone who loves animals knows they become part of your family. She will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you my sweet Mitzy for many, many years of love. She taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. I will see you in Heaven.
I remember as a very young child I would tell my parents that I wanted to go to each home in the world to make sure if the people had any pets that they were being treated right. Of corse I didn't quite make all of them. Through the years I have rescued and helped find homes for countless animals.
In my father and Mitzys honor I contacted my friend and asked her to join me in a venture, one that I had dreamed about my whole life. I asked her if she would help me raise money for abused, neglected, and injured animals. So...We decided to start the process of opening a No-Kill Animal Shelter Thrift Store in Jackson, MO. The name will be called "For Wags and Whiskers". We are a Christian based organization. All of the proceeds after we pay the rent, utilities, and some small additional expenses will go to No-Kill Animal Shelters in the Heartland. There, no animals will ever have to be put to sleep. If not adopted, that will be their forever home. Our store will help all animals, which includes cats, dogs, horses, cows, pigs, goats, etc., not just cats. Our store will be ran totally by loving volunteers. Give us a call if you would like to become one of our "Heavens Helpers"
The Jackson and Cape Girardeau community have been so very gracious and generous with donating items for our store. We are reaching out to ALL our animal loving friends again. We need help with a building in Jackson. We need racks for clothing, hangers, display cases, and shelving. We also would like to ask if anyone would be willing to donate an old truck for pick-ups. We are asking for cash donations to help with rent and utilities. An account has been set up at the Bank of America on East Main in Jackson under "For Wags and Whiskers". We are always grateful to accept any yard sale type items at any time. These items can be dropped off at our temporary address at 935 Greensferry in Jackson. Please challenge co-workers. Match their donations dollar for dollar. To all the business owners in Cape and Jackson, and all other businesses in the surrounding areas, you don't know how far just one dollar will go. Give because of your love for animals. Give because you truly care. Give because you have a heart like our Father in Heaven. Please help us to carry out a dream that started over 50 years ago by my father.
We are dedicated to the relief of suffering. We hope that the money we raise will help take the animals who are lost, afraid, hungry or ill and comfort them, give them a warm soft bed, good food, medical care, and most of all, love. We want them to have a place of happiness and joy. We want them all to have a place to celebrate the joy of life. No donation is too small, and every dollar helps. "The animals can't help themselves, and if we can't, who will?"
We at "For Wags and Whiskers" believe that our pets are loaned to us by God. He gives us His touch of love, and we believe we should do the same for them. From the minute they are born and open their eyes they know nothing else to give except unconditional love. They bring us God's living love. Animals are born with innocent hearts. They are placed in our hands to love, but we have seen that some hands don't love. Every 10 seconds in America an animal is beaten or abused. They suffer alone and terrified waiting for someone to help. Before you make a decision to give or not, please turn on your computer and type in the search engine "Abused and Neglected Animals". LOOK at those pictures. LOOK into their eyes. How can anyone treat something so innocent like this? This is your time to say I won't sit by while another animal suffers. Please help and be the voice of all the animals who cannot speak. We are all Gods creatures.
A quote from Stephen Grellet says "I expect to pass through this world but once; therefore any good thing that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any person or creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I may not pass this way again".
Please Join Us In Prayer For All The Animals
No amount of "justice" will undo the wrong that has been done to this dear animal of Yours. But bring correction, discipline, and cause restitution to be made to those situations were it's genuinely appropriate and worthwhile. Show the animal on his (or her) level of understanding all that You've prepared for him (or her) since ancient times. Reclaim this dear one from all fear and injury. Give them something-anything that You alone know would gladden their heart. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon this animal in comforting dreams and in bodily healing, renewal, and miraculous restoration. Restore playfulness to them and a sense of wonder about the world around them. Mend all that is broken in this animals mind and body. Fill him (or her) with peace and forgiveness that surpasses all understanding,
In Jesus Name, Amen
May God Bless You And Your Pets Always!
Mary Porter & Rain Jackson
From "For Wags and Whiskers"