A Dog Saved My Life, Now I’m Returning The Favor

by Cara Decknadel, Wright State University Student Intern

The old saying is that it takes a village to raise a child. Well in my case, it was more of a pack; a pack of dogs to be exact. Ever since I was a baby I have been around dogs. Not only did we have dogs of our own but my mother ran a dog grooming business out of my childhood home in Piqua, so naturally I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  My mom told me that as soon as I could walk I would greet dogs with a hug and a kiss. My parents warned me again and again that not all dogs like children and I needed to be more careful but I never seemed to let that stop me. As a result of my constant exposure to dogs as well as cats they became apart of my life in the same way a human sibling would. My pets have always been my family and I was raised to treat them as such. After all, dogs and cats are basically just little (or big) furry people.


When I was extremely young I ate a hard piece of candy that slid down my throat and caused me to choke. I was too young to understand how to dislodge it so I fell to the floor and tried to cough it up but I couldn’t. It was then that our puppy at the time, Tux, ran towards me and hit me in the back full force. The impact caused the candy to dislodge and I spit it out, finally able to breathe. My puppy who wasn’t even a year old saved me from choking and it was from then on that I truly believed that our pets understand a lot more than we think.

Cara at SICSA

Cara at SICSA

Every time I have ever felt sad or depressed, my pets have been there to cheer me up. A furry face has always been there to comfort me in times of distress and sadness which just proves that animals knows exactly what we are feeling and feel compassion. Animals have saved my life in more ways than one, and I have always wanted to return the favor. Because of everything animals have done for me, when I was offered the opportunity to intern with SICSA my answer was obvious: Yes! I love that I get to use my skills I have learned in school to do what I have always wanted to do; help animals the way they have helped me. I love that I get to work with a wonderful community of people who love animals as much as I do and have the same compassion for them. It’s incredible to see the inside of a non-profit and understand everything they do for animal welfare. My supervisor, Marketing Coordinator Debbie Durbin, has taught me so much about non-profit work and helping animals and I am excited to take the knowledge with me into my career.  I have had the incredible opportunity to help animals in need and have fun doing it! I hope to continue finding opportunities to help animals any way I can and help them gain the rights they deserve.

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