Remember coming of age during the turbulence of the late ‘60’s? The Vietnam war, the protests and riots. The Black Panthers. Kent State. Make love, not war. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Bra burning. The cultural revolution.
Maybe you had big dreams. Hitchhike across Europe? Save the whales? Move to the country and live off the land? In a commune?
Then life happened.
Hi, I'm Deborah. I was born right in the middle of the Baby Boom, 1955. Too young for "Woodstock", yet enamored with the Hippy culture. The clothes, the music, the idealism. A teenager in the 70's, I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, (still THE best rock band ever), believing in individualism, that women aren't tied to traditional, (at the time), roles or men for that matter, and nonconformism, (took a while to figure out that I had to conform to some extent and be responsible).
As I matured, my values began to emerge. Guess what?! I was reverting to 1969, you know, save the trees, save the whales, save the planet? Now I proudly tell everyone I’m a Tree Hugger and a Bunny Lover.
I got married young, started a family, then ended up a Single Mom. I worked various types of jobs, waitress, I took photos of art work that made Army training films. I even drove a limousine.
Then one day I saw a girl, driving a dump truck and thought, hey, I can do that! I went to a few construction companies and told them I would drive for no pay, for a while if they taught me to drive. (There were no Truck Driving schools back then).
That was 38 years ago. Dump trucks led to Over the Road tractor trailers which gave me the opportunity to see the U S cities and back roads. Trucking offered a pretty good living, enough to raise my son and eventually buy a small house. But NO emotional fulfillment and NO retirement benefits.
While driving around the country, I would see a whole lot of stray dogs at truck stops, on Indian reservations and along the side of the road. Often, I would stop and try to help. Waiting for shelter personnel to come get them or many times just offering a meal. It broke my heart.
At a truck stop in New Mexico, I found a puppy. Her belly full of parasites, her body riddles with ticks, so skinny I could see every bone in her tail. I picked her up, she looked at my face and stuck her snout in my armpit. I was smitten. I took her to a Vet and got her fixed up, then she trucked with me for many years. Her name was Kita and lived to 19 years old.
After 12 years driving Long Haul, I just wanted to be home. I knew I needed some education. At 50 years of age, I went to college during the day and drove trucks locally at night and got my degree as a Veterinary Nurse. I’ve worked off and on in the field through the years and with many species. I began wondering – why was I eating the animals I was trying to save? That day I became Vegetarian.
Like so many others with a degree, mine just didn’t pay enough to pay the mortgage and student loans, so back to truck driving I went. This time in a very long gravel truck so I could be home every night.
Still I have the yearning to fulfill my dream. Specifically, of purchasing a very large farm so I can rescue homeless animals.