It’s a New Year…when our lives turn a page from the past and look forward to the future. Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions to improve our lives…things like losing weight or getting more exercise. But newscaster, Ann Curry suggests a way for all of us to impact not only our lives but the lives of others in her “26 Acts of Kindness” campaign.

The terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary still weighs heavy on my heart. Whether it is the senselessness of the violence, happening so close to the holidays, or the thought of 26 lives whose futures are unfulfilled, this event has made me, like so many others, reflect on the impact my decisions have on the lives of others. My Irish grandmother always taught me that any act…good or bad…would return to us “three-fold”. She did this to show us the importance of every decision we make.

It is with this in mind that I fully embrace and wish to expand on Ann Curry’s vision – in which she invites us all to commit 26 acts of random kindness…one to represent each life lost that terrible day. I propose that we expand on that idea and make it our New Year’s Resolution to commit 26 WEEKS of Random Kindness.  Six months of committing simple acts that will brighten and improve the lives of others. It can be as grand as a sizable monetary donation to a local charity, or as humble as holding the door open for an elderly person. These acts can be committed every day of the 26 weeks, or just one per week…the choice is yours. Are you with me?

Greenville has had a long tradition of helping others. It should come as no surprise to most that our hometown was recently recognized as one of the “Most Giving Cities in the US.”  It is…after all…”The Greenville Way”.

So, I hope that you will join me in taking part in this mission. To find out more about the “26 Acts” Campaign, visit their Facebook Page at Join thousands of others who have committed themselves to this cause. ..You’ll be glad you did!


{May 29, 2012}   Adopting a Furry Friend…

Greenvillians definitely love their dogs! With roomy sidewalks, water bowls and waste bag dispensers conveniently located throughout Main Street, a canine bakery and a great dog park, Downtown is very dog-friendly. But what if you don’t have a furry friend with whom to share a Downtown Doggie Excursion? Before you start researching dog breeders online, visit one of Greenville’s animal shelters and rescue groups to find the perfect canine companion.

The Greenville Humane Society has been finding loving homes for Upstate pets for decades. Averaging 450 placements per month, the Society’s new location on Airport Road has allowed them to care for more animals and as a result, they have a large selection of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens – all waiting for a “forever home”.  Adoption fees are reasonable – $50 – $95 for dogs and puppies, $25-$75 for cats and kittens – and the friendly, caring staff are happy to work with you to help find a pet that fits perfectly into your family. There is also a “Best Friend Finder” Program for those looking for purebreeds and specific mixes with an adoption fee of $145. Pet adoptions include: spaying/neutering, basic vaccinations, a bag of pet food and even 30 days of free pet insurance (opt-in and activation required). But pet adoptions are not all…the GHS has a number of services to help you care for your new furry family member. From low-cost vaccinations, microchipping and spay/neutering to full service grooming, the Humane Society helps keep your pet happy and healthy while keeping your budget happy and healthy too!

When the Humane Society moved to their new location, the Greenville County Animal Care Services were able to expand throughout the Furman Hall location.  With more room to house and care for more homeless animals, the GCACS is able to offer expanded adoption services as well as reduced cost veterinary services such as wellness care, low-cost vaccinations, spaying/neutering, microchipping, de-worming and some grooming. Adoption fees are reasonable ($50-$125) and include vaccinations, spay/neutering, microchipping and registration, de-worming, flea treatment, heartworm testing, a bag of pet food and coupons to local pet supply stores.  Because of May’s “Focus on Felines” Adopton Drive, many of their cats and kittens found loving homes (although they do still have a few available for adoption). In June, they hope to do the same for their canine friends with their “Who Let The Dogs Out” event on Friday, June 8 (Noon – 7PM) and Saturday, June 9 (11AM-8PM). With reduced adoption fees and fun dog (& people)-friendly activities, the GCACS hopes to find a home for every dog in the shelter!

In addition to the Humane Society and Animal Care Services, there are many smaller, independent organizations that rescue homeless animals. In recent years, the Golden Retriever has been a popualr breed. Unfortunately, people often don’t realize that the adorable ball of fur they adopted will grow into a very large, very rambunctious ball of energy! That’s where the Foothills Golden Retriever Rescue comes in – they find loving homes for Goldens that have been surrendered or are abandoned, abused and otherwise homeless. They are especially  devoted to finding good homes for senior and special needs dogs. Adoption rates vary – depending on the age and gender of the dog and the veterinary costs incurred in rehabilitation. If you prefer smaller dogs, organizations such as Boykin Spaniel Rescue, which rescues, rehabilitates and places the medium-sized breed, and Ararats Doxie Haven, which rescues, cares for and finds homes for dachshunds, may be what you are looking for. Many other non-profit organizations do wonderful work saving and placing homeless Upstate pets including Concerned Citizens for Animals, Carolina Loving Hound Rescue, Enoree River Rescue, Pet Tender Angels and Pet Haven of South Carolina. In addition to many of the organizations listed above, cat lovers can also find the purr-fect feline through Feline Urgent Rescue – whose adoptable pets can been visited at PetSmart on Laurens Road.

Another avenue to finding a furry addition to your family is This online search engine features adoptable pets from the organizations previously listed as well as other shelters and rescue groups throughout the country. This is especially useful if you are looking for a specific type, size or breed of animal. Most shelters and groups will require you to complete an application for adoption and provide a pictured ID. Some shelters provide a leash or carrier for transport of your new pet, others don’t – so it’s best to ask. There may be a small waiting period while the organization screens your application or prepares the animal for adoption. Guidelines  vary from group to group.

Shelter and rescue animals often come from tramatic backgrounds. Don’t let this scare you. Shelters carefully screen potential adoptees for any socialization problems and work hard to rehabilitate them for adoption into loving homes. As the parent of a rescue dog myself, I can assure you, that with some patience and lots of love, you will have a wonderful pet that will bring joy into your home for many years to come!

Shelter & Rescue Group Info:

Greenville Humane Society:305 Airport Road, Greenville; ;;  Hours: Noon-6:30PM, Monday-Friday; 11AM-5PM, Saturday; 1-5PM, Sunday

Greenville County Animal Care Services:328 Furman Hall Road, Greenville; 864-467-3950;; Hours: Noon-7PM, Monday-Friday; 11AM-6PM, Saturday

Foothills Golden Retriever Rescue: 864-234-9739;;

Boykin Spaniel Rescue:

Ararats Doxie Haven ; : 864-706-5131;

Concerned Citizens For Animals;  864-243-4CCA;

Carolina Loving Hound Rescue :
Enoree River Rescue ; : 864-505-9061;

Pet Tender Angels : 864-787-2498;

Pet Haven of South Carolina

Feline Urgent Rescue:


These shelters and rescue groups are non-profits and rely on donations to continue their good deeds. If you cannot commit to adopting a pet at this time, please ask them about fostering homeless animals or donations.

et cetera