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June 10, 2010


Melanie Palma

Tabitha, Your story is so moving. We just don't know how much room we really have in our hearts and in our lives untill, we are by circumstance, forced to expand. What a beautiful way to look at what was originally a sad envent with your Dad's passing. We forget that love will lead the way, when the everyday mundane tasks of our lives weigh us down. It is truly my belief that these wonderful animals are here to remind us of our capacity for love, since their's is unconditional and limitless. They help us break the spell of our material world and refocus on the lessons that we are all really here to learn. Their sacrifice at the hands of man's free will is a debt we can only hope to repay through service to them and to the rest of hummankind. I commend your ability to recognize the gifts Gus gave you and the wisdom to pay it forward.
I also recieved a wonderful gift in Borjia, a beautiful female Rottweiler, Tom and I adopted from the Richmond SPCA last April. She has brought a level of family and devotion to our lives that did not exist before we met her. Because of her breed their is a strong negative bias that works against her. It is only because Richmond is a compassionate no-kill shelter that she was even able to come into our life. I lived in Va. Beach for 18 yrs and had the opportunity to volunteer at the SPCA. In the short time I was there, I saw some policies of euthanasia practiced against dogs because of breed bias. It deeply saddened me, but there was nothing I could do at the time.
In contrast, we had a wonderful experience at the Richmond SPCA during our adoption of Borjia. It is comforting to know that people as open and aware as your are, work for the welfare of these animals. Our experience there is a testament to the philosophies and leadership of this agency. Thank you Tabitha for sharing your story and following your heart. Your father, I'm sure, would be so proud.
With Love, Melanie Palma

Tabitha Hanes

Thank you for the lovely note, Melanie. I'm so glad to hear about the joy you have in Borjia. Rotties can be amazing dogs, and I'm so glad you found her here at the Richmond SPCA. It sounds like she is a wonderful canine ambassador for both her breed and the terrific companions that are found in shelter dogs.

Robin Robertson Starr

This is truly lovely, Tabitha. Both your father and Gus would be deeply proud of the wonderful person and the superb animal welfare professional that you have become. They clearly had much to do with that outcome.

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