May 26 06:11 AM
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Donations help brighten holidays for two and four-legged soldiers

To the Editor:

Thank you to all the crafters, vendors and those who supported the Craft for a Paws show on Dec. 9 at the Lapeer Senior Center. I would like to give a big thank you to all that gave. We were able to raise enough money to purchase an entire outfit for another military working dog.

Friday night, Weston and Borland elementary schools in Imlay City had their North Pole night and invited me to join them and set up my display so that people could see what Desert K-9s is about. I would like to thank all those who gave donations, and to Borland for inviting me to be part of their North Pole Night.

On Sat., Dec. 11 in Imlay City we packed Miracle Boxes to send Christmas cheer to our soldiers, both two and four legged, after the parade. I would like to give a big thank you to all who donated items to pack and those who joined in to help pack the boxes, most of whom were first time packers. Items for our K-9s included toys, treats, nose and paw salve, eye and ear drops, water bowls and two beds for them to enjoy sleeping in. We also included some cards made at the North Pole Night by kids who sent words of encouragement and thanks. We also included copies of the Tri-City Times and Woods-N-Water News as well as other newspapers.

I would also like to give a big thank you to the Imlay City Lions, Mrs. Parent of American Legion Post 135 in Imlay City and Mrs. Kala for donations. These donations to Desert K-9s will be used to help purchase items needed for our military working dogs. The government does not provide these items and it is up to the handler to provide for his own K-9 and himself, so my goal is to raise money and send items to our military working dogs, or as I like to think of them, our four-legged soldiers; a soldier's best friend.

I had the honor of having the mother of one of our soldiers who is a K-9 handler drive out from near Detroit to join us at the packing party on Saturday just to see what we do. Her son is serving in Afghanistan. She was so touched to see what Desert K-9s really is. She wrote me a letter, which touched my heart. Part of it follows, and I I hope it will touch your hearts, too, and let you know what great joy I get from doing this. "I was overcome with emotion yesterday, just seeing everything your group is doing for our troops. I can not even start to tell you how much these men and women go through over there, and (my son's) dog is one of his best buddies. He will not only save his life and the lives of others, 'Markava' is his heat when it's cold, his confidant when he is lonely for home and his best friend."

Helping our military working dogs may take a lot of time and planning, but it is a mission, not work! If I can make a difference in one person's life then my mission has been completed.

God bless our soldiers, all of them, two- and four-legged. Please remember military working dogs are hard working soldiers too. They save the lives of many of our men and women.

Thank you again for all the donations.

—Sandie Smith


Desert K-9s

Imlay City

December 15, 2010

Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
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