I wear many hats: veterinarian, service dog handler/trainer, country music lover, and friend.
As a veterinarian, I try to challenge clients to support their pets in weight loss and healthier lifestyles to reduce the risks of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and other debilitating diseases.
As a service dog handler through Merlin's Kids, I find myself assiting in public access training for mobility assistance dogs, such as my old foster, Dexter, a 120 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback, who helped get me ready for school every morning, climb through block V, and will provide independence for his future recipient. (Merlin's Kids provides mobility assistance dogs to veterans and children in wheelchairs, amputees, and other special needs.)
As a country music lover, many of my favorite artists reference climbing mountains:
Tim McGraw sings in Humble and Kind
"...I know you got moutains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind..."
Or Carrie Underwood in So Small
"...Cause sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
is just a grain of sand
What you've been up there searching for
forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
seem so small..."
Most importantly, I climb for my friend, Becca Cook, who nearly lost mobility due to a severe car accident a few years ago. She has made great strides in her recovery since, and started dedicating her life to helping others through ROMP, the Range of Motion Project, that provides mobility to amputees worldwide. Becca now attends California State University Dominguez Hills Orthotics and Prosthetics masters program. I am so proud of all the little and big mountains she's climbed to get where she is today.
Together, we can make mobility happen. I invite you all to give in any capacity that you can. Join the climb July 22, donate, spread the word, so we can give others the gift of mobility.