ahhh, the life of a diplomatic princess . . .

Rescue Runners: Help Us Help Animals

Sanity break! It’s time for some damn sunshine and puppies. Yes, actual puppies. Sloths, even! Here’s the deal.

Last summer Eric and I decided to run our first half-marathon when we were home in Minneapolis. *Side note: yes, Eric and I are actually married, he does not have a wife named Margaret with whom he lives in Minnesota, we do live in Honduras with our children, he does work for the US State Department as a Foreign Service Officer, and I am a stay-at-home-mom. If you have no idea why I’m bringing this up, congratulations, you live in the land of the sane. If you do know why I’m bringing this up, take off the tinfoil hat and let the cleansing sunshine in.* Anyhoo … half-marathon. We had a fantastic time! Though that’s not exactly what I was uttering during the heart of it. But, like childbirth, the memory of the pain fades. Soon you find yourself turning to your husband and saying “what would you think about running Grandma’s Marathon next June?” And, since your husband is every bit the lunatic you are he replies “let’s do it!” So we are!

Here’s where the puppies and dogs come in (also cats, kittens, and the occasional sloth). We decided we would really like to run our marathon for a purpose bigger than our own sense of accomplishment, which is pretty common with marathon runners (have I mentioned how I love my tribe? Yep? Okie dokie). There are so many remarkable rescue groups and shelters, it was really tough to decide who we wanted to run for. But we settled on two groups — Pitty Love Rescue and Animal Shelter Costa Rica. Unfortunately, the way Crowdrise (the fundraising site we chose) works you can only choose one organization and it has to be US based. When I mentioned this to Pitty Love Rescue what I got in response was an offer to make a donation to Animal Shelter Costa Rica once the fundraiser has finished. Which just goes to show you what a special rescue group Pitty Love is. Let me tell you a little about these two groups.

First, meet the pups currently available for adoption from Pitty Love Rescue:

Aren’t they gorgeous? As you’ll notice Pitty Love Rescue does not exclusively take in pittbull/terrier mixes — while that is their focus what they do is respond to need. Pitty Love centers around finding responsible, forever homes for the dogs who come to them but they also go one step further by acting as a lifelong resource for the folks who adopt from them. Whether it’s the hard to adopt dog who has behavioral/health issues, or the dog with no issues at all, Pitty Love Rescue is there for whatever the dog needs in order to find a forever home. They also have a secondary focus on education, advocacy, and helping families in the communities where they work stay together by providing them with judgment-free assistance if they hit a rough patch — be it with medical care or dog food. This is a truly remarkable organization. They are located in upstate New York and, in order to provide the very best forever homes possible (through their thorough vetting process), and be a lifelong resource to their adopters, they keep adoptions in-state. So if you’re in New York state and are looking for a forever friend, please check out those gorgeous hunks and hunkettes up there and head on over to the Pitty Love Rescue website.

Allow me to introduce you to our dog, Firu:


We adopted Firu from Animal Shelter Costa Rica, a shelter located in the hills surrounding San Jose. Firu was a street dog, though presumably “owned” by someone at one time. I use the word “owned” intentionally because his tail had been chopped off — you do that to property, not a companion. When Firu was rescued from the streets and taken to the shelter by a guardian angel his body was so broken they were unsure if he would survive. Firu was not only severely underweight, he’d been hit by a car and left for dead by the side of the road; his rear left femur had been snapped in half and his hip had been dislocated. After surgery, and weeks of rehabilitation, Firu began to heal and, through a bit of golden luck, he became a part of our family.

Animal Shelter Costa Rica (locally known as The Refugio) helps animals like Firu every day, animals for whom there are no other options, animals who have been tossed aside like garbage, sometimes left for dead. They not only run a large shelter (maintained by a dedicated group of staff and volunteers), they operate a full-service veterinary clinic for the community, a mobile spay/neuter program (which also provides other medical care within the communities they visit), a retirement sanctuary for older dogs, and take in wildlife who need medical care and rehabilitation. Because we adopted Firu from The Refugio, and volunteered there, we got to know Lilian, the remarkable and dedicated woman who runs the shelter, and she is a powerhouse, a dedicated and compassionate woman whose energy seems to know no bounds. I pretty much want to be Lilian when I grow up.

So these are the two amazing rescue groups we’re raising money for with our marathon. We are asking people to join us on our marathon journey, culminating at Grandma’s Marathon on June 18, by donating to our fundraiser for Pitty Love Rescue and Animal Shelter Costa Rica and by spreading the word so that others will do the same. Our goal is modest but, with the mentality of kookie endurance runners who think it’s loads of fun to push our limits and run for hours at a time, we’d like to bust past it and raise as much as possible.

We are honored to be running for these two groups, during our training their dedication and advocacy is providing us with inspiration and drive — and when we run our first marathon we will run it with strength and determination, knowing we, and everyone who joined us, are helping these two rescue groups with their remarkable work. Please visit our fundraising page to donate what you can for Pitty love Rescue and Animal Shelter Costa Rica!

With Many Thanks, Heather and Eric



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2 thoughts on “Rescue Runners: Help Us Help Animals

  1. These dogs are the cutest!

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