Our guest post on SHINE

A few weeks ago, a wonderful writer whose blog I love to read approached me about doing a guest post for a new feature on her blog called SHINE, which she described this way:

“In an effort to continue on my path to living more deliberately, I’m starting a new section of the blog.  The  germ of the idea came to me when I was volunteering for a non-profit organization by writing articles for their website. All of the articles were positive stories featuring kids or adults who were making a difference in their communities. Each interview left me inspired and humbled.

I was constantly blown away by what average, everyday people have done to make their corner of the world a better place. I loved writing the articles. Then I thought that you might like reading them. So why not keep it going? This section is meant to be just that: a repository for uplifting stories about everyday people who are following their dreams. Maybe you’ll be inspired to follow in their footsteps or share their stories with your friends. That’s why I’m calling this page SHINE. I hope it will spread some light and warmth.”

Naturally, I was flattered. But truthfully, synthesizing my ideas on a big topic has never been my strongsuit, so I struggled for days to write this post. It was not easy, but it was good exercise.

So to those who wonder — why are we doing this? What’s the point? How does it make the world a better place?  This is for you.


In October 2004, I walked in to the Town Lake Animal Shelter in Austin, Texas, as a volunteer looking for a way to contribute – a mission. In November, I walked out with so much more.

His name is Chick, and he is a pit bull. Something about the enthusiasm in his tail wag and the emotion in his eyes just called out to me, saying, “I love you, I love you, I love you, I’ll love you forever. Please love me too.” As I watched other dogs leave the shelter for the homes of happy families, he was overlooked, time and again. On the last day before his time ran out, he became mine.

. . . to continue reading, click here or copy this into your web browser:  http://jacquelincangro.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/shine-opening-hearts-and-changing-minds-a-guest-post-by-aleksandra/

16 responses

  1. Thank you for writing such a wonderful, thoughtful post. A perfect addition to Shine.
    I have to admit I had tears in my eyes and got a little choked up toward the end. Thank you for trying to put into words this connection in your heart.

  2. I always wondered what Chick’s story was…….now I know! OK – got to go finish reading your entire post! Thank you Aleksandra for doing all that you (and your hubby) do!

  3. I just finished reading the entire post on Shine. You have such a way with words! And you can add me to the long list of people who have been enlightened re: pit bulls and the love that they give so freely. I have become a huge fan of pitties due largely to your blog. And I have a new-found respect for anyone who fosters. PS: love the photo of Chick in his sleeping bag!!

  4. Tears, tears, tears! Even though I feel like I know your story already, reading it on your guest post just made me so emotional! You’re awesome!

  5. And all this time I thought blogs were just a place to complain about stuff or be a self indulgent jerk. It’s nice to see somebody (besides you obviously) out not only doing something to promote more positivity in the world but also recognizing other people out doing the same!

  6. Yay! The story of Chick! I have been hoping you’d tell it one day. I will definitely have to check the link. Though judging by everyone else’s response, I may want to wait until the safety of home and my tissue box.

    • Honestly, I don’t think the risk of getting teary is very high at all. I have written some tear-jerkers (our letters to fosters when they finally go home and our goodbye post about Blue come to mind) but this is nothing like those at all. I think it’s quite matter-of-fact. I would love to know your thoughts though 🙂

  7. I had not had an opportunity to see Chick pictures before (recent follower of your wonderful blog!) He is a gorgeous boy. Thank you for sharing your story and for doing what you do.

  8. That was a super wonderful postie, Miss Aleksandra! You did a Most Marvelous job putting all your thoughts together on this Very Big Subject. I think it’s very much awesome that you were picked for “Shine” cuz around here, we all think you’re one of the shiniest peoples EVER!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  9. I loved your post on Shine. It was great to read how Chick came into your lives and changed it forever. And also got you into fostering which is changing the lives of other pitbulls and their new families forever. More power to you:)

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