Letter from the Founder
When you think about it, animals really are extraordinary.
They comfort us when we’re struggling, heal us when we’re sick, protect us from harm, make us laugh, show us unconditional love and companionship, help us grow, and even save us (quite literally) during our darkest moments. The profound impact that animals can have on humans is truly amazing.
Many of us can point to a time in our own lives when the presence of animals has been especially meaningful. For me, there have been many – but the most pivotal was during my childhood.
I was a very introverted kid. Despite my strong grades, people often mistook my shyness for lack of intelligence, aloofness, or disinterest. In school, I was constantly fed the message, day after day, that there was something wrong with me because I was quieter than my peers. My lowest moment came in the 6th grade when an administrator told me that I would “never amount to anything in life,” because “the world belongs to extroverts.” You can imagine the effect of such sentiment on a young person’s self-confidence. As a result, I spent the majority of my early years fighting a long, silent battle with insecurity, loneliness, control issues, and self-doubt.
But through it all, there was one saving grace – my horses.
In the presence of horses, I felt confident and connected. Those massive, beautiful, intuitive creatures judged me by my soul – not my words – because our communication was anything but verbal. They made me feel seen when the rest of the world didn’t get me. They respected me, trusted me, and welcomed my energy. They showed me what real connection and acceptance felt like. They were some of the best friends I’ve ever had. And I remember thinking to myself at 12 years old, “if the horses like me so much, I must not be so bad after all.” Ultimately, those horses taught a vulnerable young girl that she was, in fact, enough. My relationship with them dramatically altered the course of my mental health, and my life.
To this day, my dogs and horses are still the first place I turn during difficult times. Through the deaths of family and friends, the health scares, the bad breakups, the battles with debilitating anxiety, and whatever else – the animals are there, and have never once let me down. I am also keenly aware that this world is full of people who have experienced far more extreme trauma than I have. I often think, if animals have had such a powerful impact on me through my challenges, the sky is the limit for what they can do for others who have been through worse.
That is why I founded The Human-Animal Alliance – to share the magic of animals with those who need it, to help those at risk of losing their beloved pets to keep them close, and to advocate for the importance of the human-animal bond on a national scale.
If you, too, believe in the power of human-animal connection, I invite you to join The Alliance! Please consider making a donation, subscribing to our email list, or reaching out to us today. Your support is appreciated beyond measure.
On behalf of all of us at The Human-Animal Alliance –
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