I was the kind of kid that always had a passion and love for animals. I would find a wounded bird and pick it up to hide it from the cats that had hurt it and hope it would get better. I always wanted to adopt the stray animals that wandered into our yard. I was a pretty shy kid and if we went to a stranger's house, if they had a pet, you could probably find me sitting on the ground petting their animal. I would have "dog shows" in our back yard with just me and our Bulldog. He always won!
My Grandfather had Thoroughbred race horses when I was growing up and he was my influence for my love of these animals. When I was a teenager he signed one of his race horses over to me and my father and I quickly became involved in the racing business. Going through my teenage years were tough, just like any teenager, and I found the horses were my therapy. I could stand and brush one of my horses for hours. As I got older and moved away to pursue job opportunities, my father eventually sold the horses, ending our racing careers. I found Spirit Therapies in Feb. of 2009 at a time in my life when I was looking for something "more" in Las Vegas. I had lived here for 9 years working in the Casinos and was pretty much resigned to the fact that there was nothing more than the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, with all of its good and bad points. I had told my family in CA that I was probably moving back within a few months. I had just had enough of Las Vegas and needed a new start.
My first day at Spirit was like coming home. The smells of the horses is something that only a person who grew up with them can love. The touch of the horse brought me right back to my childhood. I had "my" therapy back. I started volunteering on Saturday afternoons only because I had a full time job working nights. But after a few Saturdays, I quickly realized that would not be enough for me. I found out that Spirit also had classes on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, my days off. So I started volunteering those days also. The children and adults that I met that we help have really filled my life with such joy and happiness it is hard to explain. I actually cannot wait to get to Spirit each day because I know who is coming each day and I cannot wait to see them. Each one brings me a special joy in my heart. I know that Spirit Therapies is therapy for these children and adults, but it has truly been therapy for my soul as well. I knew there was something more to Las Vegas than the casinos.
I am now at Spirit Therapies 5 days a week. I quit that job at the Casino because I needed to heal my body and my spirit, and Spirit Therapies has done that for me. I no longer have the desire to move back to CA, sorry mom, for I would miss all the friends and family I have made here at Spirit.
This is truly a place of healing and therapy, and not just for the children and adults that we help, but for the volunteers as well. I thank the Lord every day that I walked in the gates.