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Coffee Break: Animals Who Have Enlightened and Inspired You

For this issue’s Coffee Break, we asked you to tell us about an animal who enlightened you to the realities of an animal welfare or protection issue. You responded with stories of the resilience of animals who’ve crossed your path—whether it’s a pet recovering from neglect or one who proved your first impressions wrong. Other animals (both companions and wildlife) inspired you to get involved in rescue work, start an organization, or weigh in on local ordinances.

  • Thanks for your responses—we consider ourselves enlightened!

At an early stage in my work with dogs, I learned about socialization of pups and the impact of keeping a pup from contact with people and other animals. At one point, when I had apparently already made a bit of a name for myself as a rescuer, a Dutch couple on vacation on Curacao showed up on my doorstep with a mangy pup, about 3 months old, that they had found on the beach in an area where there was an overpopulation of stray dogs. They had taken the pup to the vet, but could not take him home when their stay on our island ended. They wanted me to take him in. I was doubtful if I could make a success of it, noting the age of the pup and thinking that he would not have had much contact with humans so far. To make a long story short: This turned out to be one of the most social dogs that ever stayed with me, and when I had found somebody who wanted to come and look at him for a possible adoption, the dog literally jumped into the arms of this (standing) man, the first moment they saw each other. The dog went on to be a great companion to this man’s handicapped son. Lesson learned!

Meta Fahrenfort, board member, SPCA Curacao, Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles

To see and respond to the latest Coffee Break question, go to

Coffee Break: Animals Who Have Enlightened and Inspired You

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