Friday, February 27, 2009

Unsung Heroes

Hi Folks!

How ya doin'? I hope everyone's surviving these blah winter months.

I was running an errand today at the local newspaper publishers. They've got a great woman there named Sarah who helped create my website. She also does the updates to it because I know nothing about that stuff. Whenever I'm in the building on business with Sarah, I always try to say hi to Deb, the editor of the paper. Deb's my Unsung Hero of the month, and I want to tell you why.

Several years ago, when I first approached her with a story idea involving my gang of abandoned ducks, I learned that not only was she receptive to printing animal stories, she's also receptive to printing the occasional letters to the editor that I write. The letters are always about one of my ducks, like the time Pretty Boy had to have his wing amputated because of a cancerous tumor. I wrote a short piece explaining the situation, and soliciting donations to help pay for his surgery. Deb was not only willing to print my letter, but she wrote her own story as well, and she used one of my photos to boot!

Making it a family affair is Deb's husband, who did a stint on the board of the local humane society. The two of them own three dogs, as well. In fact, if you go to my website and look at the yellow lab in my logo, that's actually one of Deb's dogs! When Sarah and I were creating that logo, she prowled around the office, looking for a photo of a dog that we could use. Everyone thought it would be funny to use Deb's photo, so that's what we did. I understand that that dog has since passed away, but he'll live on forever in my logo!

Deb's a big animal-lover, which makes my job of educating the public about the plight of those abandoned flightless ducks that much easier. You can't imagine my great fortune at having the editor of the local paper in my corner. Deb has done more to promote my cause of kindness to animals - and promote my book in the process - than any of the literary agents who've represented me.

When I stopped by her desk today, I mentioned that Easter was coming up, and asked if she'd be willing to print a note from me beseeching people not to put live ducklings in their children's Easter baskets. She didn't even hesitate before she said yes. Deb's great that way. I can always count on her to help, and she's a really nice person besides. Always cheerful, always wanting to know what's new with all the critters - that's Deb.

I try to remember all my critter helpers at Christmas. In December, I send out a newletter with a different logo on it (one that Sarah helped me create): a picture of one of the white Pekins with a (computer-generated) Santa hat on his head, encircled by the sentiment, "Have a Ducky Christmas!" Every year, I write a note at the bottom of the newlsetter, thanking Deb for all she does to help me help the ducks.

I suppose I could take just as good care of that gang of ducks without the help of a newspaper editor, but I'd never reach all of her readers on my own. And Deb's readers are the ones who're moved to donate duck food, and money for vet bills. It's quite a network, really: I write it, she prints it, they read it, and sometimes, change happens because of it. I truly am blessed to have Deb in my corner.

There are, of course, many other unsung heroes who help me help the ducks. I'll write about them in future blogs. I mentioned two of them in a previous blog called The One About A Few Good Men. Please check it out in the archive section of this page while you're here!

That's all for now, folks! Until next time, please be kind to all the critters!