Ask anyone at PAWS San Diego and they’ll tell you animals bring gifts into the lives of people they meet. Talk those of us who are lucky enough to share our homes and hearts with the animals in our families and you’ll hear about more than just guard dogs and cats that keep pests out of homes. PAWS volunteers and staff know how much joy and love our animal companions bring into our lives. We also know that sometimes we’re able to change an animal’s life as much as they change ours. Ray met Licorice three years ago, and gave her a new home along with giving himself a wonderful lady to warm his heart.
Talking to Ray is fun. It’s a simple thing to say, but it’s not something that one runs into every day, and for anyone knows him, they’ll agree. His upbeat attitude and brilliant sense of humor make it impossible to end a conversation with him doing anything other than smiling or laughing. The way he talks about Lic, his nick name for Licorice, is no less filled with joy and love. When asked about whether he’d be willing to talk about his bond with Licorice and PAWS San Diego, he went above and beyond, giving us a beautiful portrait of their relationship in his own words:
Ray, a WWII, Korea, 100% disabled veteran, says he was fortunate 3yrs ago to obtain Licorice at age 1 ½ (with a “gimpy” leg) from the SD Humane Society. He started training her as a “semi-service dog” (pick up paper, drop items and returning her food dish). She soon “graduated” and started her own program, ie, telling me (within five minutes) her feeding, walk, get me up and go to bed times. She is an excellent watch/guard dog, but what is unique is that she’s never had a bowel movement on her walk and if she walks over six blocks she comes and takes a bath in her pool. Most important she is my reason to get up and LIVE each day!