By Stephanie Di Traglia
If you’re an Orlando local, you’re likely familiar with the glory of Lake Eola on a gorgeous Saturday morning. February 11, 2017 the park was especially alive with the wagging excitement of Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s Paws in the Park event. The scene was parade of pups donned in bandanas, tutus and costumes. Excited paws in hot pursuit of fast moving lures and dogs dashing down diving docks. A community of over 1200 pet lovers and families joined together to celebrate life shared with our pets and fundraised over $83,000 to continue Pet Alliance’s mission to provide endless comfort and care to Central Florida’s homeless animals. This happiest of days was also the perfect time to pay special tribute and honor to all the precious pets who have touched our hearts and live with us in spirit.
This was the first year of a special new element to the event! The Pet Loss Center extended the permission for pet parents to mourn and honor the journey of their furry family members with a beautiful Bubble Release Memorial Tribute on stage as the morning began. One might be quick to think “is it okay to grieve or remember my pet on what is supposed to be a happy and fun day”? Absolutely! We remember them, not only on sad days but every day. We remember the joy and wonder they brought to our lives as the bubbles float into the sky. We remember their energy and life lessons learned as we walk around the lake they too, used to love. We remember bringing them home and how our stories began, as adoptable dogs wander the park in search of their forever families. Yes, today, any day, and in any way, that is right for you, is the perfect day to honor your pet.
It was an incredibly touching honor to have families join us at our booth, to share their stories and favorite memories. To celebrate with old friends and new. We’d like to extend that invite to you! Go blow some bubbles, take a walk in the park, share with us your stories, and together we remember them.