July 17th has long been an anniversary of things I stop to ponder. July 17, 1967 was the long awaited day my Rottweiler puppy arrived from Rodsden in a 70 pound crate on a UAL flight from O’Hare to SFO. It was the “Summer of Love” in San Francisco, and it seemed there could be worse things for a girl to do than choose a new breed and start a new puppy. I suppose…but the difficult dogs are the ones we learn from, and these years were formative years in ways I never imagined.
July 17, 1991 was the incorporation date of The Animal Council. It was 9 months into the San Mateo County moratorium on breeding ordinance, and it seemed a formal organization would be a ticket into our longer term and credible participation in public policy. Had we known that 16 years later after year in and year out work, we would have found ourselves in the midst of AB 1634, we might have thought longer about former band singer Grace Slick’s telling us to get a new hobby. We didn’t, because this is a life, not a hobby. All the dogs and people over the past 40 years have been part of a greater community of meaning for us all — something legislator Lloyd Levine could not understand when he complained that we think an attack on one of us is an attack on all.
This is what I pause to remember on July 17.
Sharon A. Coleman, President, The Animal Council