Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tom & Atticus To Raise Money For Animals In Need This Winter

It’s been a good year for us. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of. What better time to give thanks by giving back?

This evening we came to an agreement with our MSPCA-Angell liaison, Kathleen Santry, to use this coming winter to raise funds for our favorite non-profit organization. Once again Atticus and I will take to the snowy trails in an attempt to hike each of the 48 4,000-footers in the 90 days of winter. However, this year’s attempt will have a new twist added in. That new twist? You’ll just have to stay tuned. It will be announced in the coming weeks.

I won’t go into too much detail yet, but there will be various ways to contribute. One of them is by dedicating one of the 4,000-footers to the animals who hold a special place in your heart. We’ll hike that peak in honor of your pet or in memory of a lost pet. So, start thinking about which of the 48 you’ll want to dedicate to your best friend. When the day comes to sign up, we’ll post it here.

As for the other ways to contribute, we’ll get into that when we spill the beans on the rest of the details. And the best part, all money raised will go directly to MSPCA-Angell to help animals in need.

As many of you know, Angell Animal Medical Center played a big part in our lives when Atticus was sick a few years ago. They gave us the best health care possible and they did it with compassion and understanding. More importantly, we believe in Angell because the one thing they most offered us, and hundreds of thousands of animals a year, was hope and hope is very precious when you are filled with fear.

Just to give you an idea of how special Angel is - when we raised money for them two winter ago, we did some of what we'll be doing this winter: allowing people to dedicate a mountain to their pets. Well, the people who were the first to sign up were many of the folks who work at Angell. Imagine getting paid at your job and turning right around and giving money back to the place you work for. How could we not believe in such a place?

And at MSPCA-Angell the caring for animals starts at the top.

Those who have participated in our other fundraising efforts will tell you how much fun it was to follow along on our progress during those two winters. When you get involved with our winter quest you’ll have something to look forward to every day. It’s almost like you’ll be climbing the White Mountains during their most dramatic season right from the comfort of your computer.


Unknown said...

I am an all-day sucker for anyone who tries to help dogs. My first shelter rescue, Orion, spent a decade with me and made me a better human being. If you don't mind, I share his story here -- and I salute the work you're doing in New Hampshire. Perhaps I can make a donation in Orion's honor.

Thomas F. Ryan said...

Chris, thank you for sharing that story. Beautiful stuff. And you are right, we are definitely made more human by the animals we keep company with.

We'd be honored to hike a peak for Orion.