The earliest memory I have of my love affair with animals, was at the age of 4. In a cartoon I was watching, a small bird had fallen from his mother’s nest and I cried so hard my mom had to decide whether to change the channel. From that day on, I have never been able to watch anything where an animal is hurt. I have lived with, loved, respected and related to animals my entire life. One day a shy, very thin and pregnant dog stumbled into our yard.. Although many say that was her lucky day, the truth is, it was ours. Shortly thereafter both of my parents passed away. Devastated and lost, I found comfort and compassion from our “Angel”. Through the years since she found us, Angel, now 16 years old, has been there through good and bad times, always making the journey so much easier.
For over 28 years I worked successfully for an international staffing company in sales, operations and training, working closely with numerous corporations including UPS, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, and Federal Express; non-profits such as the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association; and schools such as Emory University and Georgia Tech. However, my desire to work on behalf of animals grew stronger and eventually led to a life changing move to work in animal welfare. Utilizing my sales and marketing skills, I worked in the Cause Marketing Department of a non-profit animal sanctuary. There I was introduced to the wonderful world of the Manadoob and to June Salin and Susan Cooper. As I read through the novel and learned more about the program, I realized Manadoob had captured the emotional bond between humans and animals, and I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. Little did I know my life would be forever changed because of it.
From the time I started with Manadoob in 2008, I have worn many hats, but the most rewarding for me is working as both trainer and mentor to our licensed Manadoob educators and teachers at both public and private schools around the world. From California to Atlanta, from Hawaii to Africa, I have the privilege of guiding each educator through their personal journey of self-discovery and preparing them for teaching Manadoob to the children in their communities. Their energy and excitement as they move through the training, their willingness and desire to share their thoughts and ideas with fellow educators, their total committment to providing a child with life-changing skills, proves to me, they are indeed, the heart of the Manadoob Program. They are charged with an enormous responsibility. I help prepare them for that task. And I know that once they step into that classroom, they will never be the same.
In the words of Forest Witcraft — Scholar, Teacher and Scout Leader, “A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.” I am proud of our educators and honored to be a part of the Manadoob family.