This is an article I wrote in the Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta newsletter for July 2018...
It was a beautiful crisp and clear Sunday afternoon, and my parents told my brother and I that we were going to visit one of my Dad’s colleagues. Little did I know that we were actually going to meet Butterball for the very first time ---- a 6 month old beautiful purebred Golden Retriever who was ready for adoption by GRRA.
As we drove into the driveway, I could see in the distance the wagging tails of two Golden Retrievers. I was so excited to play with them because I love animals ---- particularly dogs and especially Goldens.
Butterball greeted my brother and I with a ball in his mouth and I could feel that he genuinely wanted to meet us. I asked if we could play with him. After 10 minutes of playing ball with him, my dad said “Do you want to take him home?” and after the question sunk in, I burst out in tears as I was overcome by a flood of emotions. I realized the visit was really to see if we were going to take home a dog.
Immediately after our visit, we shopped for a dog bed, toys (especially tennis balls!), and food. My mind raced about where he’d sleep, what we’d do with him, and how much fun we’d have with him. I hadn’t had a pet since I was about 4 years old. About 10 years ago, our beloved Golden Retriever Tucker passed away. That was a dark and sad period in my young life.
Just two days after our visit, Butterball walked into our home, and I felt that our family was considered complete.
As I reflect on this, I am so grateful that GRRA gave us this amazing opportunity to rescue a beautiful animal. What I’ve learned from Butterball (and Tucker, too) is that dogs give us unconditional love. And because of them, it makes the world a better place.
I hope that more people would consider rescuing dogs as all dogs (and all animals) deserve a peaceful and loving home. Frankly, isn’t that what we all want ---- to love and be loved?
I may only be 15 years old, but what I want is more love, compassion, and peace in the world. For that reason, a few years ago I founded Hannah4Change, which is a platform for change. I focus on animal issues as well as issues that affect our planet. Rescuing Butterball aligns with my beliefs that it is much better to adopt and rescue an animal than to buy from pet stores, breeders, and “puppy mills”.
Again, thank you to GRRA for changing Butterball’s life as well as ours.
I had the honor of attending the March for the Ocean in DC in June, and met some inspiring people using their talents and skills to help save our oceans. One such inspiring person was Mr. Jim Toomey, who produced some great short films about our environment. Here is a 2-3 minute video that illustrates the plastic pollution problem and ocean health in general. I highly recommend watching it.
Hannah Testa, Young Eco-Warrior, and Environmental/ Animal Activist