Oscar Speech, minus the Oscar

DSC_1461On July 9, I arrived at Santiago’s main airport with seven dogs ready for transport to the US. There were many challenges, in particular the doubling of airfare and the fact that paying by credit card or foreign check was not allowed. I was literally the last one on the plane, not knowing if I had a seat until every other person had boarded. Of the several volunteers there to help, one woman adopted a mutt that had made the cargo section of the airport it’s home, bringing the total number of rescues to eight.

After a 14-hour flight, we arrived in Los Angeles, California – three dogs from Chaiten, three from Rinconada, and one add-on from LAN airlines. What it entailed to bring the dogs here few people will ever understand. Nevertheless, at the risk of sounding like an Oscar recipient, I would like to express my profound gratitude to the following people –

David Gomez, for giving your heart and soul to defending animals and justice. Thank you for being one of those rare people who knows how to finish a task, and for having the ability to trust that when we give freely, the rewards can be tenfold. Gabriela Jarpa, for your tireless commitment to the dogs of Rinconada and Maipu. You are an absolute inspiration for all that you do, and the selfless attitude you bring that allows you to keep going amidst so much heartache and challenge. Nicolas Klein for waiting five hours, Rodrigo Valdes, Daniela for driving us all through town, Lilly, Carolina Ahumada, Jorge Miethke, and all the journalists and photographers who see the value of stories about street dogs, Liesl Bailey, Sergio the driver, Alvaro Undurraga and all the LAN crew who helped do whatever necessary to get the dogs home, Mario who fought for Copito to be rescued, Juan Carlos Cuitino who delivered the “hostage dogs,” the volunteers whose names I never knew but who came for the dogs… and all the people back home rooting for us, Allison Lance and Nick for helping at LAX airport, and last but not least, Cara Townsend for driving me and the pack all the way back to Bend and on to Portland.

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. And to Daniela who adopted the black airport dog in the midst of it all, I want to say thank you for giving me something tangible to hold on to, because good action breeds good action and sometimes that is the only way to bring about change.

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1 Response to “Oscar Speech, minus the Oscar”


  1. 1 Viviana Figueroa August 17, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I cannot stop crying……. Thank you so much!!!!! I am from Chile actually living in Calif. and this horrible reality breaks my heart.


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