Most of the people that I included in my portrait project have been total strangers. Because of this, a lot of people that know me ask, “How can you walk up to somebody and just ask them if you can take their picture?”
I tell them, “That’s just what I do.” It’s not really that hard. Friends ask about rejection and I tell them I get rejected at least 67% of the time. At this point, I can even identify those who will say no before I even ask.
On the other hand, Carole, is somebody I know well. Carole used to live close by, but moved out of Antelope Valley, so I don’t get to see her anymore. However, since she was the founder of Lancaster Bark at the Park, once a year, she comes back to Lancaster, California, USA to run the Bark in the Park event.
I know Carole because she helped me train my dogs. She not only was my trainer for basic obedience, but also was my trainer for pet therapy. I used to have a dog Hector who Carole tested for the pet therapy program. Then she also trained us to be a pet therapy team. After Hector and I got into the program, she monitored our progress as volunteers and transitioned us into volunteering at the local hospital.
When Hector died, Carole was the first person I called, and she said the most kind and encouraging words. I think of these words whenever I miss Hector. I have not participated in Pet Therapy since.
Carole is such an amazing person not only because of what she does for dogs and the whole canine community, but also how she helps people in hospitals by training so many human/canine teams to visit in the most safe and healthy manner.
When Carole taught class, her philosophy was to make the dogs and their human companions compatible to society such that the people who didn’t like dogs would still be comfortable to have dogs within civilization
I can’t thank Carole enough; not only for everything she’s done for me personally, but everything she’s done for the community and for dogs in general.
Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.