Allison's Book Bag

Posts Tagged ‘Pam Hoffman

PamHoffman&SadieThe past two days I have been posting about the Sadie Dog Fund. In 2007, Pam Hoffman wrote a book about her special needs cocker spaniel. With the proceeds from her Sadie Dog picture book, Hoffman created The Sadie Dog Fund, a non-profit organization that helps to save the lives of dogs by offering financial assistance for mobility solutions, therapies, or surgeries that are too costly for pet parents. Today it’s my pleasure to present an interview with her, in which she shares a little more about her personal life as well as talks about animal welfare.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND

ALLISON: You grew up with animals. What is your favorite pet moment?

PAM: Ten years ago I was delighted to see my newly adopted, rescued puppy mill dog, Abbey, running freely in our backyard. She spotted her first monarch butterfly and with wonder and curiosity she playfully tried to chase it. She was experiencing life as a normal dog.

ALLISON:Nebraska is your home province. What top places would you show off to a visitor?

PAM: Pioneer Park, Smith Falls on the Niobrara, The Orpheum Theatre, Memorial Stadium, State Capitol, and Hearts United for Animals no-kill sanctuary near Auburn.

ALLISON: What is the most outstanding way you changed since your childhood?

PAM: I am no longer shy about expressing my opinions on things I feel passionate about. I value my creativity. I value life, family and friends more.

ALLISON: What is the most outstanding way you have stayed the same since your childhood?

PAM: I still love helping animals. I am still an introvert.

ALLISON: Outside of Sadie, what is your most cherished memory?

PAM: My most cherished memory is of the love I shared with my loved ones who are no longer with me.

BOOK BACKGROUND

ALLISON: How did Sadie come into your life?

PAM: Our friends kept bringing my favorite puppy from their dog’s litter to visit me. We traded them 3 small pine trees for Sadie. It was the best deal I ever made!

ALLISON: Why did you decide to write a book about Sadie?

PAM: I wanted to teach people, especially children, that pets have value even if they have special needs. They are not to be discarded like an old toy or computer. I wanted to teach them to keep searching for ways to help their beloved pet. Never give up on your pet and never give your pet up.

ALLISON: How did you set up a charitable organization?

PAM: I had my attorney create by-laws and other necessary paper work. I formed a board of directors, created our mission statement and applied for 501c3 non-profit status.

ALLISON: What advice would you offer to someone who has a special needs pet?

PAM: When we agree to share our life with a pet we are promising to love, care for and keep it safe for it’s entire life. Don’t become discouraged if your pet has special needs. Research all medical treatments available and make adjustments in your pets environment to accommodate it’s needs. Think out side of the box. Start your own pet fund, by saving money on a regular basis, to help cover unexpected medical treatments for your pet.

ALLISON: What advice would you give to someone wanting to promote animal welfare?

PAM: Just look around your neighborhood, city or state. There are animals suffering at the hands of humans all over the world. Teach others how to be a responsible and loving pet guardian by your own example. Become active in animal advocacy groups. Volunteer to help animals. Be their voice, for they have none in our world.

SadieDogBook“Give them love. Keep them safe” is how Pam Hoffman signs every copy of Sadie Dog, a glossy picture book she wrote about her special needs dog. This heartwarming biography, with lavish illustrations, was written in honor of Hoffman’s loving cocker spaniel.

“Once there was a cute little cocker spaniel named Sadie who was born on April Fools’ Day….” So begins the story of a lady and her beloved dog. As a teacher of writing clubs, I can tell you that describing one’s pet and more especially special moments with them can be a tough task. Hoffman perfectly helps readers visualize Sadie, both with a broad and fine brush. Sadie has big brown eyes and long curly ears. She also has freckles on her nose and chocolate chip paws. Aren’t those delightful details?

As for the special moments, Hoffman shares their morning routine, how Sadie would ask for food and for walks, their playtime, and also how Sadie reacted to each changing season. My favorite stories are about how Sadie tried to help Hoffman by shredding tissues, cleaning dishes, and even taking care of dropped food. My students hearing these anecdotal tales and are inspired to share their own. Of course, a story isn’t complete without a problem, and Sadie’s dilemmas sadly were allergies and a bad back.

Herein, lies the lesson that Hoffman learned. Like us, our pets may sustain injuries or age in a way that effects their abilities. Does this make them less able to provide companionship and love? The resounding answer is NO. Sadie’s Dog shows how Hoffman worked through the challenges faced by having a dog with special needs. In a time when shelters are overflowing with unwanted animals, Hoffman wanted to young people to know that “that pets are not disposable like old TVs, computers or cell phones. They are forever.”

Before I conclude my review, I want to mention the format. Each 8×11 page contains a large picture of Sadie and/or her owners, along with a brief story in bold text. Most paragraphs range from three to five sentences. A few have only one sentence and left me desiring more details. Some illustrations, of varying quality, include added details such as ladybugs and butterflies. In addition, because Sadie and Hoffman had a “heart connection,” every picture has a hidden heart. 🙂

For me, purchasing a copy of Sadie Dog not only allowed provided me with a model of how my students could write their own pet tales, but also allowed me to give to a worthy cause. Sadie Dog was self-published, with all proceeds going towards the Sadie Dog Fund. The local charity helps families who can’t afford life-saving medical treatments for their dogs. “Everything is expensive, but pets are like family. It is so rewarding for me to help dog’s through Sadie’s legacy,” said Hoffman.

SadieDogFundAs I have noted in earlier posts from this month, one of my passions is animal welfare. For that reason, this week, I’m featuring the picture book Sadie Dog. With the proceeds from this book, written in 2007, Pam Hoffman created The Sadie Dog Fund. Below is more information about Hoffman and her non-profit organization.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND
According to Sadie Dog Fund, Hoffman has always loved animals. She refers to herself as one of the lucky kids whose parents let her grow up surrounded by pets. “I have shared my life with many dogs, cats and horses that brought me much joy and unconditional love.”

BOOK BACKGROUND

As an adult, Hoffman owned a dog named Sadie who was the runt of her litter. A Cocker Spaniel with freckles on her nose, Sadie was Pam Hoffman’s soul mate. But Sadie suffered from severe allergies that required medication to treat and had so much back pain that she needed a chiropractor and acupuncture. This taught Hoffman that animals with special needs can be wonderful pets too.

After Sadie died, Hoffman wanted her memory to live on. She wrote a book, the proceeds of which went to setup the Sadie Dog Fund. Because of her own experiences, Hoffman knows the love between pet and guardian, and the challenges that can arise. “I would do anything for Sadie, like most pet parents would,” Hoffman told 1011 News. She pledged to help other pet parents who needed it. “Some are just at the end of their rope, they don’t know where to go and they’re so appreciative once we’re able to step in and come up with the funding.”

The Sadie Dog Fund is now a 501c3 non-profit organization. Every penny donated is used to help promote the fund or to save the lives of dogs. As for Hoffman, all of her time is donated to the Sadie Dog Fund and helping dogs. “She just brought so much to my life and I am very happy to be able to honor her legacy with the Sadie Dog Fund,” Pam Hoffman shared with KLKN-TV.

CHARITY BACKGROUND

The Sadie Dog Fund helps to save dogs’ lives by offering financial assistance for mobility solutions, therapies, or surgeries that are too costly for pet parents. Pets shouldn’t be disposable; They should have forever families. The fund provides an alternative to ending the dog’s life prematurely or surrendering it to an already overcrowded shelter.

It is my way of paying back the gifts in life that animals have so richly blessed me with.

–Pam Hoffman, Sadie Dog Fund

Since 2007, the organization has helped 300-400 dogs. In 2014, they served 58 dogs and their families. The number of requests keep rising each year and Hoffman hopes to keep meeting the need. The Sadie Dog works through veterinarian referrals only.

Why am I featuring a local organization? Naturally, I am proud that such a support exists in my area. Beyond this, I hope that in hearing about what Sadie Dog Fund does, you might feel inspired to contribute to, get more involved with, or even start your own animal welfare group. We are the voices for companion animals!

Tomorrow I’ll return with a review of Sadie Dog. Save the date: July 15!


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