Audrey's Furry Friends

I’ll admit it. I’m one proud mama!  If you’re a parent, you know your heart no longer belongs to you. Parents’ hearts swell from the very minute our babies are born.  As we witness their lives, we applaud their every accomplishment.  I’m my daughter’s biggest fan.  Beautiful inside and out, she’s intelligent, sweet, creative, and outgoing. She amazes me with her musical ability, especially since my husband and I are both tone deaf!  But my favorite trait about my daughter is how kindhearted she is. Recently, she did something that made me so proud, I thought I’d burst!

Audrey is a real blessing, and I thank God everyday for her.  When I was expecting, we had complications and were told she had a fifty/fifty chance of survival.  Strong and healthy, she’s my daily reminder that miracles do happen. My daughter has such a big heart, and a huge love of animals. Since she was a tot, she’s said she wants to be a vet and open a shelter for homeless pets.  I have no doubt she’ll someday accomplish those dreams, because when Audrey makes decisions, there’s no stopping her. (That gene didn’t come from me; I can’t even order food without changing my mind a hundred times before the server gets to the table!)

I have two friends residing in Oklahoma.  One friend is from high school. Another, Shelly, is a fellow dog-lover who I met by chance playing a word game on my phone.  After several months of playing the Scrabble-like game, we ended up chatting, eventually becoming friends on Facebook. When the news reported the devastating tornadoes that rocked through Oklahoma, my first thought was to check on my Oklahoma friends.  Both were well, thankfully.  On Shelly’s Facebook page were many posts of dogs and cats that were missing, or had been found and were missing their families.  We watched with lumps in our throats as we viewed videos of folks who’d lost everything, but were overjoyed to find their pup or kitty among the rubble.  Shelly posted pictures of sweet animals that pet-parents were so desperate to find.  It broke our hearts. Our pets are true members of our family, and we’d be heartbroken to have one missing. Audrey was inspired and determined to help. She also wanted to “give back”, after so many from all over the world helped our town after the December 14th tragedy.  Her love for dogs also intensified this year with the presence of the amazing therapy dogs that graced our school’s halls


“Mama, we have to do something!  Everyone helped us when we needed it, and now we need to be there.”  Audrey realized that with many people’s homes and belongings completely wiped out, even if they found their pets, they’d need leashes and supplies for their fur-babies.  She decided to start a pet supplies drive for the people and their animals hit by the tornadoes.  She named her effort “Audrey’s Furry Friends”.  Audrey designed a flyer, explaining what she was setting out to do, and assembled drop boxes.

I’ve never organized something like that before, and frankly wasn’t sure where to start. I didn’t want to tell Audrey no, but feared even if we did start a drive, getting the supplies down to Oklahoma would be difficult. Shipping would be impossibly expensive, and we could not drive down ourselves. To assist, I made many phone calls, hitting several dead ends.  Just when I was about to give up, I searched “Connecticut Truck to Oklahoma” on Google, and amazingly, up came info on a fundraiser by that name! Two women organized a drive to fill up an eighteen wheeler with supplies, to be driven by an Ohio gentleman donating his time and truck, leaving the third week of June.

We emailed Audrey’s flyer out, and drop boxes were set up at a local pet food store and our town’s Parks and Recreation office. The local paper did a story on Audrey’s efforts, and friends called or stopped by with supplies.  Strangers stopped us when we were out, applauding Audrey’s efforts, and her request was bounced about on Facebook.

When the two weeks were up, we’d collected a trunk-full of food, leashes, cat litter, toys, and treats.

On Father’s day, we loaded up the car and drove up to Colchester, Connecticut, to drop off what we collected to Melissa, one of the ladies organizing the drive to Oklahoma.

It’s amazing how fate plays a hand; how a random video game on a phone could spark a friendship, and then inspire a little girl to help others. After a horrific event, my daughter learned a valuable lesson of love, of how helping others makes a difference.  She amazed me in her efforts, at only ten years old.  At ten, I wasn’t that wise!  Audrey did not create “Audrey’s Furry Friends” for recognition, a Girl Scout badge or some other award, but purely out of selflessness, love and concern.  She’s made me so very, very proud.

Until next time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  1. Linda B. says:

    What an amazing daughter you have! I just wanted to tell you how much your post warmed my heart this morning.

    Linda, thank you so much!  I am so proud of her.  She’s got such a good heart.  -Nicole

  2. Diane Loehr says:

    WAY TO GO AUDREY! Not only is your Mom proud of you, but the community in which you helped is proud of your efforts as well. Pets seem to be at the bottom on the list when disaster strike, but thanks to people like you the animals get food, leashes, etc. and hopefully get reconnected with their families. We are also a pet loving household and just can’t imagine what those families and pets have gone through. Our prayers are with them! and MOM – that proud feeling will never go away. My daughter just graduated from Elementary School going into Junior High in September. She got a Presidental Award that I didn’t even know about and my eyes and heart just welled up with how proud I was of her and the accomplishments she achieved at this school. Hope Audrey’s dreams come true with becoming a Vet or starting her own animal shelter. I would be honored to fill out the first adoption application when that occurs!

    Thank you Diane!  I would like to say a big Congratulations to your daughter, too!  Way to go!!!!    Hugs, Nicole

  3. Adrienne says:

    Your family is truly blessed as are those in Oklahoma who are recovering from their tragedy. Sometimes "a little child shall lead them" and she has.

    Adrienne, so true!  I did not know where to start to help Audrey organize her effort, but she was determined.  I hope she carries that determination with her throughout her life.  Thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  4. Laurie Dimino says:

    Congratulations Nicole on raising such a kindhearted young lady, and Congratulations Audrey on doing such a thoughtful kind gesture for all of our furry friends. There is no doubt about it, our pets are family members who hold a special place in our hearts.
    I am thankful to have people like Audrey, who realize this and go above and beyond to help.
    God Bless you!
    Big farmgirl hugs,

    Hi Laurie!  I do hope that those affected find their dogs and cats.  To have such a scary thing happen and then to lose their pets, too, is just awful.  Big hugs to you…hope to meet in person over the summer! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Diana Henretty says:

    Amazing story of love and compassion for others, I love it!
    Our little town of Noel just opened it’s "no kill animal shelter" with a little thrift store that sells donated items and hand crafted things to help
    support the feed and care of the animals.
    My husband and I plan to volunteer there, as long as they make us sign
    a contract that we won’t adopt or bring any animals home with us!
    All of our pets we have now are either strays that have walked up, drop offs
    found under our front porch, or a dog hit by a car in town that no one wanted, so he is ours now!
    Blessings on your little girl with a huge heart and all those pets that will receive her special gifts…….hugs, Diana

    Diana, I hear you!  Audrey and I would both have a hard time even reading the local paper where they post animals in our local shelters needing homes.  We only have one big dog right now, but at one point we had four dogs and four cats…all rescues.  The vet we used at one point had a shelter in back.  That is how we got our twenty year old cat.  He’s been the best and is really slowing down.  Rescues "know" they’ve been rescued.  Kudos to you and your town for what you are doing!  Hugs to you and your fur-babies!  -Nicole

  6. Denise S says:

    YEAH for Audrey!

  7. Jody says:

    This made me cry, I can only imagine how proud you must feel being her mama!! HOORAY for AUDREY!! What a sweetheart!
    Farmgirl #5000

    Hi Jo!  Yes, she really blew me away with this idea and how she organized everything.  Thank you so much!  Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Joan says:

    I like several others have to say my eyes are still filled with tears, tears of bursting proudness – is there really such a word – yes you have every right to be proud. In my humble opinion children such as Audrey are very special but if it weren’t for parents that have exampled all their lives – so I thank you and your husband very much for your example and most sweet, precious, kind and if I might also say very pretty daughter. God Bless

    Joan, wow, thank you so very much.  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  9. Debbie says:

    Hi Nicole!
    Wow, that’s one little go with a HUGE HEART you’ve got on your hands! I love it! You are blessed as are Audrey’s Fur Babies! Give her a big farmgirl hug from us and tell her we’re proud of her too!
    Deb ( your BEACH bloggin’ sis)
    Oh, and go ahead and burst with pride! It’s well deserved!

    Thank you, Debbie!  She is blushing right now as I just read your comment to her.  You’re so right – I’m just so blessed to be her mom!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  10. Louise Marie says:

    Beautiful in and out. She was an answer to some prayers. It seems that it all started in your womb. i am blessed even to have read the story.

    Thanks so much, Louise Marie! -Nicole

  11. Mary Rauch says:

    Congratulations to your daughter, and to you for not holding her back!…Because of her efforts I am getting off my chair TODAY and going to the local shelter with my application for membership AND a hearty annual contribution. They are desperate (and not because of a storm). People are not generous enough to support their needs. At least one of their workers (because I know her)uses her OWN car and gasoline and uses lots of her OWN money to purchase necessary supplies for cleaning/bleaching and maintenance. Her husband says she is generous "to a fault" because they don’t have much money in the first place.
    Isn’t it always people like YOUR DAUGHTER and my friend that step up? I hope this particular article spurs people across AMERICA to at least support their local shelters.
    THANK YOUR DAUGHTER for me please!

    Wow, Mary, thank you!  I will let Audrey know how much you’ve inspired her!  Thanks!-Nicole

  12. Betty McTiernan says:

    I am connecting again. WooooHooooo!!!!!!! to my "other" sweet Audrey!!!!!!

    Awww…glad to see you back online, Betty!  Love you! -Nicole

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *