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Morning Rituals: Dogs in the city

Influence Positively Interview - Janice Wolf

Janice-Wolf-Rocky-Ridge-Refuge Janice Wolf has been rescuing, rehabbing, studying and advocating for animals for over 50 years. She has been a Veterinary Tech., dog trainer, and kennel manager among her work experiences, and has cared for a large variety of creatures, including wildlife, domestic and exotic species. 20 years ago her dream of a sanctuary slowly began to take shape in the hills of Arkansas. A place where injured and ill animals of many types could heal, and where special needs animals could often find a permanent loving environment. Rocky Ridge Refuge has been home to everything from Antelope, a Zebra, and a Watusi, to the current Capybara , Water Buffalo and baby Emu. Also, plenty of dogs - 26 right now, of which 16 or so are 'keepers' and the rest being readied for adoption.

Janice also has implemented 'Pet Therapy' programs in many locales around the country, and presently heads a group she started called 'Paws for Comfort'. She believes animals have a unique ability to affect the heart and emotions and sharing her furry and feathered friends with others has long been an activity she finds time for. One of her greatest joys is photographing her multi-species family as they interact day to day and sharing those photos on her Facebook Fan page (rocky ridge refuge). She has been urged by many to publish a book of these images and she is exploring that possibility now. She also plans a book of the stories from the Refuge, the individual tales of many of her rescues and the often miraculous recoveries she has played a part in. She uses a combination of conventional and alternative treatments in her healing efforts and always a large dose of love. Animals don't care how much you know, they need to know how much you care.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A perfect day is one in which I have made some positive impact in another life: person or critter! Whether through acts of healing, comforting, teaching, or sharing joy on any level, any giving I can do is really a gift back to me.

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? I would come back as a dog for sure. A livestock guardian breed because then I could live among other animals just as I do now and spend my days watching over them and keeping them safe and secure.

What is your pets most treasured possession? Well. I have A LOT of pets! I would say the most treasured possession among them is each other. I could not do what I do, all on my own, with the small space and limited resources I have, if my animals did not coexist so harmoniously and accept others of myriad species, shapes and sizes!

Your proudest achievement so far? My greatest accomplishment is definitely starting and running my little Refuge. I have always been on my own and started small and grew slowly as I could afford to. Sometimes that meant working 3 jobs to be able to buy feed, pay vet bills and all the other necessities, and its always meant doing without a lot of stuff for myself, but I never minded that. I've always known I could either save money or save animals, and it's an easy choice!

Who are your heroes in real life? My heroes - well, Mother Teresa was one. Randy Grim of Stray Rescue Saint Louis is also a hero. He has worked so hard for years to save the stray, neglected and abused dogs of St. Louis. He follows his life's purpose even when its uncomfortable, frightening, or heartbreaking. Those that sacrifice to ease suffering in this world are heroes.


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