We have started a new weekly interview series called Influence Positively that features pets (who have humans who type for them) and people answering five questions. The common thread is that everyone is involved in pet adoption, community involvement, pet advocacy and related areas we care about. We want to highlight some of the decent qualities and unspoken traits found in individuals who make up our world. They are the fabric of our society and demonstrate how to give fearlessly.
Jane Harrell is a communications and marketing professional specializing in nonprofits and the animal welfare field. She is an Associate Producer, Petfinder.com at Discovery Communications.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
There was this one time while I was working with the MSPCA Boston Adoption Center -- I'd fallen madly in love with a white Pit Bull named Earhart. She was the sweetest, most docile girl ever and adopters just kept overlooking her because she was a Pit and an adult dog. She was at the shelter for a long time (though not the longest I'd seen) and no one showed interest. Then one day I was sweaty and grimy and covered in just about everything you can be covered in from working at a shelter.
I walked past the dog adoption floor and saw a man stopped in front of Earhart's kennel. Long story short, he and his partner fell just as madly in love with Earhart as I had. They brought Earhart (renamed Molly) home and now have a little sign outside their home that says "Welcome to Molly's home." That's perfect happiness.
If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why?
Definitely a dog. I know most of my friends won't believe me since I'm so involved with cats, but it's a lifestyle thing. Dogs are community-thinkers. Cats, well, not so much.
What is your pets most treasured possession?
I'll have to answer for my KuraCat. She has a small, beaten up rag doll that used to resemble a little red cat. Now it's more of a jumble of ripped up cloth with stuffing coming out. It was one of those toys I figured she'd sniff once and then ignore -- eleven or so years later she's still sniffing it.
Your proudest achievement so far?
Retraining Toby my Maine Coon cat to start using the litter box again. After nine years of "accidents" it would be anyone's proudest achievement!
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother and Patrick Stewart. My mother because she's the kindest, strongest and most caring person I've ever met. Patrick Stewart because he commanded the Enterprise.