This month I urge you to look for inspiration in an unlikely place.
Until I got my dog Ernie, I had no idea how important an animal could be in one’s life. This 11-pound ball of white fluff gave me years of unconditional love, devotion, and companionship.
In the past 15 years, he was by my side through a divorce, a relocation to a new city, a pandemic, and together, we resided in six homes. He remained steadfast and great company through it all, even when I wasn’t. We went almost everywhere together: the office, shopping, restaurants, friends’ homes, hikes, and road trips. I signed his name to birthday cards, Wishing you the most wonderful year – Love, Peggy and Ernie. Ernie even co-hosted many of my most infamous dinner parties.
When we walked into town he was petted by store owners, locals, tourists, and little kids who loved that he was just their size. At 15 years and three months, he was often mistaken for a puppy because of how young he looked and acted — right up until the day he passed away.
In those first few weeks, the grief came in waves, often unexpectedly. My brain was foggy, I walked into rooms not remembering why. I would put out his food and then realize there was no need. Three months later I can still feel him beside me on my walks, as I read on the sofa and in bed. He is everywhere, and yet he is nowhere.
I know how lucky I am to have had him for so long. I know that he lived a wonderful life. But, knowing all this isn’t always enough comfort when we lose something or someone we love so dearly. Hold tightly and lovingly to those two and four-legged beings in your life.
As I explore the power of animals in our lives, I want to introduce you to this month’s Unstoppable woman, Robin Dorman. Robin has turned her personal passion into acclaimed public activism as the founder of Arukah Animal International, an animal-advocacy organization, established in 2020, whose mission is ‘Bringing an end to animal exploitation and suffering through advocacy, awareness, and the arts.’ Envisioning a world where there is no differentiation between all who live and all who breathe, she believes that activism through the arts is crucial for cultural transformation and engagement.
Arukah organizes campaigns and live-streamed conversations that inspire an exhilarating flow of ideas, from wide-ranging perspectives and artistic mediums including film, poetry, music, and photography. Robin has been honored as one of ten “Animal-Rights Heroes” by OneGreenPlanet.org and has been internationally recognized for her groundbreaking investigations into the treatment of animals. To learn more about the UnStoppable Robin and her extraordinary animal activism, please visit her website.