When I was growing up, my family owned an inflatable raft. It was nothing fancy. It was about four by six feet in size and required numerous exhalations through puckered lips to fill. It was white with a maroon trim. My oldest sister ordered the raft from a catalog after having sold the requisite number of Christmas cards for a fundraiser. She no doubt planned to use it for her tanning sessions at the local pond. For me, however, at first sight, it was thrilling to think that I would be able to ride out into the center of the pond where the water was deep. Even now as I remember this, I feel like getting a raft and launching an expedition from the shore of Paradise Point State Park. Who needs Hawaii when you can have that much fun close to home?
For thirteen years, Dr. David Slocum of the Hazel Dell Animal Hospital has run a free health clinic for the pets of the homeless and the poor. The clinic takes place the second Saturday of every other month at Share House, a local homeless shelter. For his exceptional work on behalf of the welfare of animals, Dr. Slocum will be awarded the Noah’s Ark Animal Compassion Award this Sunday during our animal blessing service at 10 am. Dr. Slocum will be the first recipient of this award that we plan to give annually in recognition of those who act with notable care and compassion for the wellbeing of animals.