“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”


Dear Raleigh County Humane Society,

I don’t know if you remember me – I don’t expect you to. I’m just one of many who found exactly what I was looking for in your shelter in West Virginia – without even knowing I was looking for it.


You had a bedraggled pit bull there in June of 2012. Man! He was a mess! He had been found wandering the streets of Beckley getting into scraps with other stray dogs. He’d been maced by police, beaten until his bones were broken, bitten, punctured, infected and his prospects were not looking good. Oh heck, let’s admit it – his time had run out. You called him ‘Roosevelt’ after the street on which he was finally captured. I have to give your shelter credit – you folks had done all you possibly could to home him or find a rescue for him. I read that he was sweet natured (unless you were a cat) but that he would keep his back to the kennel door and duck his head low if  any visitor walked past. Not exactly a social butterfly.


Enter me.


You’re going to laugh, but the last thing I wanted was a dog – I know, right? Over the last 15 years I had gone from being a creative, social and animal-loving person to someone who just wanted to find a reason – any reason – to hang in one more day. And I was running out of reasons.


Then I saw his mug-shot online. I felt like a lightening bolt went through me.


Within five days he was in the back seat of my car and headed to his new home in Delaware. And we’ve never looked back or had a moment of doubt or regret. Only wondering thoughts like, “How the heck did I ever live without him?” And, “Was there really life before Ca$h?” ( his new moniker is Ca$h Money)


My New Normal Days are spent writing and illustrating children’s books inspired by Ca$h and his journey. Motivation and inspiration flood me like they never have – even before I started struggling mentally. I have a purpose, now, you see. I read my book in the local parks to children and hand out free coloring books and crayons. I speak in schools about the reading and writing process and the inspiration behind them. I attend pet expos and talk about pit bulls and the total nonsense of breed specific legislation. My life has a purpose!


I dreamed to one day be able to give back. To be in a position to present a deserving organization with a monetary gift (Ca$h Money, if you will) that I was able to collect as a direct result of the love and hard work that resulted from folks’ appreciation of something I created. I was not prepared for the feeling that fell over me when I took a moment to let that sink in. I felt like someone had given me a million dollars! I felt a little like how Oprah Winfrey must have felt when she gave all of those cars to her studio audience!


So enclosed you will find a check. It’s not a lot – heck it might not even be enough to buy a kuranda bed. But it can do something good. Thank you so much for allowing me to help out and to give my life purpose.


And thank you for Ca$h Money. He’s sleeping in his bed next to me in my home office right now . He’ll be going to the beach next week to eat seafood and jump in the waves. I’ll send you pictures.


Stay safe, and rescue on,

-Jill Carpenter-







Dear Raleigh County Animal Shelter,


I bet you all remember me! Mom says I’m a hard one to forget.


A long time ago I stayed at your shelter for a while. I don’t know how you managed to catch me when I was running loose on the streets – I must have been temporarily blinded by that stinging stuff in my eyes or I’d still be running! You really made me feel welcome – and you helped me heal and feel good again. I thank you for that and apologize if I was less than cordial. You even named me ‘Roosevelt’ – a cool, tough name. I hope you don’t mind, but my Mom renamed me Ca$h Money. I like it – sort of street-wise and catchy.


Okay – I gotta ask it – it’s been on my mind every minute since I left the shelter.


How did you know? Do you have a crystal ball or something? How did you know that this one was supposed to me mine? She seemed nice, maybe a bit hard to read at first, but man! Was she a mess! Oh she seemed like she had it all together and was large and in charge, but bit by bit I saw that I had a lot of work on my paws. I hardly knew where to start. Good thing you gave me time to rest and heal at the shelter – I’d need the strength and patience in Delaware!


We’ve made a lot of progress since then. Mom really learns quickly – what else can you call someone who showers you with love, scratches your chest, sings to you and swaddles you in blankies when you’re chilly at night? She’s learned that I ride shot-gun. this gives me maximum ability to protect her and allows me to help with navigation. She’s learned that when I give my special bark, she needs to come running and check too see if the coast is clear in front of my house. She knows that when I raise my front leg and lean back I have a nagging itch on my chest or belly that requires attention. I could go on and on – you can tell I’m pretty proud of her.


And I’ll confess. After my time in various cages, on the street and in the shelter – I learned something. Most bulls would not even admit this but I’m secure like that. I need her. I survived the thug life. Even thrived at times. But man! Three yummy hots and a cot ( not really a cot – The Big Pack Bed), walks in parks, swims, treats, snuggles and my all-time favorite – our evening Pack Pile on the big couch where we all sit, lay and watch television and talk about our daily adventures. A bull can definitely get used to that life. And I have.


So that leads me to this. Mom said she’s sending something to you to try and help other dog, cats, whatever, to have the same life that I have now. So that you can help them find the person they need to help. Tell them it’s hard work but the rewards are many – just be patient. You know, I didn’t know it, but my life was sort of lame before you assigned me to Mom. Puppy stuff, really. I don’t know how to explain it but I know I am doing something important every day. She can’t do it without me. It’s a big responsibility, but I’ve been chosen for this one. Even I know that doesn’t happen every day.

I’d better go now – close to dinner time!

Thank you for finding me my home

and steady employment,


Ca$h Money Carpenter




Image | This entry was posted in Anxiety, Children's books, Depression, Dog, dog adoption, Dogs, Pit Bull, Pit Bull, Service Dog. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

  1. Charles Ray says:

    Sure am Proud to know You both, I think You have Changed a Lot of Minds and Lives ❤ ❤

  2. lizG says:

    What beautiful letters you’ve shared. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the impact these wonderful friends have on our lives.

  3. Jessy says:

    This is so beautifully written. Love you Jill and Ca$h!

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