Marketing and Donor Relations
Favorite quote (at the moment): “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” CS Lewis
I’m a food and features journalist and content specialist living in Cayo with my husband, Jim, and our three dogs, cat and parrot. We’ve lived here for about 3 years and love it! In my spare time I enjoy reading, writing both fiction and non-fiction work that has nothing to do with my day job, exploring Belize and of course, helping Cayo’s animals.
It was really my experiences in Cayo that got me interested in helping the animals here. When I was growing up in New Jersey, my father had a St. Bernard kennel and bred dogs for sale and dog shows. We never really got “close” to those dogs because they could be sold away at any time, but we did learn a lot about caring for them. Jim and I moved here from Texas with our old dog Budgie, so I am very fond of her of course, but seeing the sick, starving dogs in the streets here had a dramatic impact on me.
One morning about 2 1/2 years ago, a starving little black and white dog came to our gate. She just stood there staring at us, utterly defeated by life and circumstance. We started feeding her, named her “Nipper” and she began to get healthier. She ran off again as dogs that live on their streets all their lives do. A few weeks later, I went to the states for a bit and when Jim came to get me at the airport, there was Nipper in the car looking happy and healthy! Sadly, she died about 7 months ago from tick fever and other issues picked up from her life on the street but we gave her a happy life for a while. Now, I want to help them all have a happy life. My husband says, “Who would have thought it? Rachel Forrest is a dog lover!” He usually says it after I have yet another crying jag when seeing a sick, starving dog.
We did adopt more dogs, including Princessa de la Mancha who was Nipper’s companion while she was with us. Although Mancha was owned by our neighbor, as a puppy she ran around the neighborhood with a black kitten while he was at work. We took them both in during the day and brought them back to the neighbor at night. Eventually, I talked our nice neighbor into letting us get them both fixed and eventually he realized he should just let us have them both. Ok, so maybe it was my birthday and maybe I had a glass of wine or two when I asked to buy them from him. He just said, “Of course, they’re yours now!” Who’s going to turn down someone old enough to be their, ahem, Mother on her birthday?
We also rescued a puppy we named “Snert” that washed up in the drainage ditch by our yard after a heavy rain. She was with us for about 5 months, but sadly, it turned out she had a bad heart problem and she died. We now have Tipper who we adopted from CAWS as a puppy about 7 months ago. She keeps Mancha company and annoys poor old blind and deaf Budgie who just wants to sleep all day and enjoy her retirement.
In my role as the lead for marketing, events and donations, I’m eager to get the word out about this wonderful organization and the work we are doing so that people in Belize, Canada and the US will be compelled to help. My goal is to raise enough money through events, donations and sponsorships to achieve all of the projects we have planned including making sure Cayo’s dogs are spayed or neutered, get and stay healthy and all have a happy, loving home.