The Power Of Humanity


By Kait Sawyer Hanson

With what seems like a constant stream of negativity happening in the world around us, there are times when I have to step back and marvel in awe of the power of humanity.

Last week, I was browsing Facebook on my phone before going to bed. A post in one of the local pet rescue groups caught my attention immediately. (Full disclosure: I am a crazy dog lady. Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved animals, but dogs, in particular, grip my heart in a way that no other animal can contend with.)

A family had posted that they were no longer able to afford the treatment and care of their dog. They needed someone to take their dog, or he was going to be dropped off at a local shelter.

This type of posting, unfortunately, is not uncommon. But this time, the dog was paralyzed, with no use of his hindquarters. This post spoke to me on a different level.

That night, I tossed and turned. I couldn’t get the sweet face of this dog out of my head.

I was in absolutely no position to take on a paraplegic dog (living in a townhouse, for starters), and yet, my heart was giving me a call to action. I needed to do something — and quickly. I contacted the owner, drove to meet the sweet 3-year-old chocolate Labrador, and that was the end of it. No turning back.

In that moment, I did what any rational, level-headed person would do in this situation: I promised the owner I had things handled. So I started a PetCaring page for this dog I had just met.

I just kept playing over and over in my mind my personal life motto, a famous Margaret Mead quote and my email signature: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I still don’t. This situation played out just one week ago, and some days I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.

In that time, people from across the world — yes, world! — have contacted me about the fundraiser. People from other islands have called asking for updates. Postings on social media have skyrocketed. Blog posts from fellow animal lovers have cropped up … and the list goes on. Additionally, I worked closely with a fellow animal lover locally to find this dog a loving and caring home — and set up veterinary appointments to get him the medical care he deserves. My heart has never felt more full.

This story isn’t about me and, ultimately, it’s not about a dog either. It’s about the power of people changing this world for the better. These days, it’s hard to find the good in every situation, and it’s even harder to continually seek the positive.

As the holidays approach, I challenge everyone to “hunt the good stuff,” as my husband likes to remind me, and reap the reward of knowing you have made an impact. It pays off in dividends, I promise.

Kait Sawyer Hanson is a Hawaii-based freelance writer who enjoys cooking, traveling with her husband, Dane, and playing with her chocolate Lab, Judy. Her work has appeared in The Associated Press. Kait’s daily musings can be found on her blog,

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