Love is a powerful thing in all its forms, there’s just no denying it.
My conviction about that was furthered this last week when I had the honor and the privilege of visiting with Faye and Allen Harris and their lucky pets, Sissy the Chihuahua and Chucky the cat.
The story they wanted to tell is how Sissy, from the first day they saw her, has helped them through some really dark days immediately following the death of their only child Gregory last year and Allen’s illness that followed.
They want people to know that there are many, many more companions like Sissy at the Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter just waiting for someone to take them home.
I found their faith and their conviction that everything happens for a reason truly inspiring and so refreshing to me personally, and I hope you will too.
Like a lot of you, I’ve known “Miss Faye” for years. After all she’s the one who usually answered the phone at the middle school when I called about my kids when they were there and she is still the one I turn to most often when I need information for the Journal.
And in more recent years, I’ve been happy to call her a personal friend and one of my favorite “e-mail buddies.”
I know I share this with many, many others for whom Faye and Allen have become an integral part of our county and our community.
It was especially interesting to me that they actually ended up here because of the trains that run along Hwy. 72. Turns out that Allen, who is a train enthusiast, took Faye and their then 3-year old Gregory for a ride one day to “follow the train” out of Athens.
Lucky for us that train came through Madison County and stopped in Colbert. The Harrises were intrigued by the little town and the friendly folks there helped them find an apartment. And the rest as they say, is history.
The Harrises told me they were astounded by the support and outpouring of love they received from the community, the school system and others last year during their time of need. They shouldn’t have been. After all, they’ve spent their years here building friendships and giving back to the community in many ways.
Faye told me they love it here and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Now, say what you will about our county, that’s a wonderful compliment.
I am a firm supporter of the shelter and so of course, it is my fervent hope that you will heed the Harrises advice and adopt you new best friend from there, or if you (like me) already have a bunch of furry best friends, I hope that you will support the shelter in anyway that you can.
Shelter director Susan Fornash told me that what happened to little Sissy is what they want for each and every one of the dogs and cats, puppies and kittens that come to the shelter. They are living, feeling creatures who deserve to be loved and who have so much love to offer in return.
I hope you can find room this holiday season for one (or two) of them in your home.
And I know Faye and Allen (and Sissy) do too.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.