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Commentary: Thankful for our community's support

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Jodi Rall, Columnist File Photo

Jodi Rall is a Brentwood resident and writer. 

This week, our hearts were broken when our 6-month-old kitten suddenly became ill and subsequently died. The shock only made our grief more palpable. Added to that was coming home to our other animals and seeing both our dog and cat grieving, too.

I posted on Facebook that while I know there is human suffering, as an animal lover, our hearts were broken. 

Recently, I have not shared as much on social media because of the negativity, politics and debates on social issues. Staying positive the past year has been something important to my own mental health. 

What I never expected was the outpouring of love our family received through one post. 

When I updated that our girl had died and then shared a photo of our other cat holding her collar, it was heartwarming to go on my page and see all the beautiful comments, prayers and love. Since I had tagged our children, they too were blown away by the kindness. 

When my husband asked me to marry him, my mother took him by the arm and said, “You know you are in for a life of stray animals and people.” He already knew this — while we were dating, I found a dog all matted with no collar and, of course, brought her home, got her cleaned up and adopted. 

Mom was not wrong. From kittens brought home on the bus from school (we grew up in the country) to rescuing pigeons on a bridge, I have brought home my fair share of animals. And, boy, do I have some fun “gotcha” stories, from a kitten in a box at Sears in Tallahassee, Florida, to a kitten who had climbed up in the motor of a truck at my printer. The wailing is what saved the little guy’s life. He was covered in oil and dirt. Your’s truly brought him home, and he is appropriately named “Waylon.” He is now 8 and loved by all who meet him. 

One of my proudest accomplishments is that our four children are animal lovers. We have had all kinds of fish, bunnies, Guinea pigs, hamsters and, of course, dogs and cats. 

Our oldest son brought home a kitten once that was barely alive. A vet offered his services if we would pay for the medicine. They kept him a week in the hospital and I drove our son to see him every day. Our son saved that kitten’s life as much as the medicine did. 

While our hearts are full and we are adjusting to our little Minnie Winny being gone, as parents, having our children’s love surrounding us as they said their goodbyes and grieved with us has been such a blessing. 

To every person who commented, messaged, texted or called, God Bless You. 

Thank you to Clovercroft Veterinary Hospital for the care and compassion you have shown our animals, and us. Especially me. We have been with them for almost 24 years starting in Nashville and then using their Franklin office.

I would be remiss if I did not thank Rural Rescue and their executive director for what they do, and we would not have had our girl if she had not been saved from a kill shelter. The love shown to us has been beyond imaginable. 

In closing, loving animals is one of the most amazing parts of life. There are a lot of rescues out there who need a home, so consider adoption and, please, spay or neuter your animals. 

A pastor friend shared this quote, and it is true: “What is grief if not love preserving?”

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