Fabulous Fridays

In memory of our mascot, Ava Lynn

Smiling Miniature Schnauzer, photo courtesy Zeus's Place.
Ava’s official glamour shot on the wall at Zeus’s Place

It’s hard to believe a month ago today, I said goodbye to my sweet Ava Lynn. She was my sidekick through everything in life, and I’m especially glad she was by my side as I launched a business in the middle of a pandemic after a layoff. I can’t think of a better spirit to embody Fablanthropy – everything about Ava, if you had the pleasure of meeting her, was fabulous. And she understood the assignment that is philanthropy – giving to others all that you can to better the world.

But before Fablanthropy began first as a blog in 2015, then a side hustle, and finally a full-fledged firm, there was Ava. Supposedly a stray turned into the SPCA in Lake Jackson, Texas, she became a member of the Miniature Schnauzer Rescue of Houston family. There, she embodied the spirit of resilience she would help her momma navigate years later. She was treated for heartworms, spayed, and fostered and made ready for adoption in summer 2014. Another family adopted her that fall, but returned her days later. She wasn’t a fit with their existing dog. We know that’s because she hadn’t found her momma yet.

The day I met Ava, it was love at first sight. I couldn’t stop talking about her that night and called her foster to express my interest. Good thing, because another family was interested, too! In fact, I ran into them at the pet supply shop … they had their new dog with them, and everyone was happy. Things happen as they should, I do believe.

Dog in front of Cudd Hall on the Tulane campus
Ava’s first visit to the Tulane campus

We had a great 7+ years together … she bravely navigated moves to two new cities, and always was ready to greet people, dogs, and cats wherever she went. I joked that she had the soul of a New Orleanian who would talk to anyone, but I realize now, she also had a fundraiser’s heart. You see, the greatest thing she taught me was how to love, and to be loved in return. Down to its root meaning, philanthropy is the love of humankind. It’s about putting yourself aside to care for others, which often grows your own heart in return. It’s giving your time, talent, and treasure to make a better community and world.

A lady holding a dog
Fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey relief in 2017 at Second Line Brewing, New Orleans

I’ll always cherish the memories I have with Ava. And I’ll always work to honor her philanthropic spirit by doing my best to love, and be loved in return, each day. If you’d like to join me in honoring her, I encourage you to make a donation in her memory to either MSRH, or to Zeus’s Rescues in New Orleans. Zeus’s welcomed us into their family in our 4.5 years there … Ava was a regular day camp queen and Heather made her look the prettiest with each groom. Michelle and her team do amazing work in our region … in fact, the day after the horrible tornados earlier this week, Michelle was down in St. Bernard Parish picking up rescues and delivering dog beds and supplies. Zeus’s is where Ava’s things will go as well, so that we can help other dogs have a second chance at life and love as she did.

Thank you for choosing me as your momma, my baby girl.

-Lisa

Dog in a Mardi Gras dress
Enjoying the Hat Parade in Uptown New Orleans in 2019

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